Last year, the German Patent and Trademark Office published 200 patent applications from KBA relating to innovative, cutting-edge technology. KBA thus took 1st place among the extremely innovative German printing press manufacturers in 2005 and ranks 22nd in Germany’s overall patent application statistics, not far behind the country’s giant car manufacturers such as Audi in 11th place with 354 applications. This high innovative prowess was apparent in KBA’s high figures for previous years (193 in 2004, 173 in 2003), which were exceeded yet again by this record score.
In 2005 the focus of KBA patent applications relating to web and special presses was on user-orientated innovations under the brand names QualiTronic and NipTronic and on numerous technically sophisticated developments relating to the new generation of publication gravure presses. For the latter to implement a web width of 4.32m with a printing speed of up to 16m/s while maintaining a high level of printing quality it was necessary to re-engineer the reelstands and printing units in terms of reel weights, dynamic vibrations and printing and process technology. The QualiTronic inline sheet inspection system, which is used in various versions of KBA security and offset presses, scans the printed sheets with a high-performance colour camera. A computer system developed by KBA compares the image with a good sheet. Any errors are indicated on the control console.
The new KBA NipTronic bearing technology for web presses, which was developed in conjunction with Bosch Rexroth and bearing manufacturer Ina, allows the remote adjustment of printing pressure between the plate and blanket cylinders from the console. This is a world first. Patent applications in the previous two years mainly related to innovations like the RollerTronic automatic roller lock, WebTronic automatic web-tension, measuring and control system, PlateTronic automatic plate changer, TemperaTronic temperature control system for the Gravuflow rollers and plate cylinder in the KBA Cortina, waterless newspaper offset with the KBA Cortina, the new KF 7 high-performance folder and new KBA Commander 6/2 triple-width newspaper web press.
Cutting-edge innovations in sheetfed offset resulted in a number of patent applications and further boosted KBA’s image as an innovator. These included world premières like the no-sidelay infeed for the new Rapida 105 medium-format press, process innovations and refinements in hybrid technology, processes for product finishing and for printing on critical materials, and brand protection on packaging.