At Print China in Dongguan from 10th to 14th April (Hall 3, Stand C1001), KBA will be unveiling a specially tailored version of its internationally successful medium-format sheetfed offset press Rapida 105 universal.
As a worthy successor to a press which has enjoyed a worldwide reputation over many years, it combines proven, robust engineering with modern technologies and a level of automation guaranteed to appeal to all those users who handle primarily the straight printing of four, five and six-colour commercial and packaging jobs, with or without dispersion coatings, and are thus unwilling to invest in equipment which far exceeds the requirements of their usual business structure. The new Rapida 105 universal is to be available in four to six-colour versions, with and without an anilox coating tower and corresponding dryer installations.
Rapida-typical robust design
The Rapida 105 universal makes no compromises whatsoever when it comes to its Rapida-typical robust press design. Torsionally rigid, cast-frame substructures, play-free antifriction roller bearings for the cylinders, drive by way of a continuous gear train, universal gripper settings, KBA's unique shaftless feeder – none of the features so appreciated by the operators of KBA Rapida sheetfed offset presses have been foregone. Further attention has been paid to minimised maintenance requirements and ultimate ease of servicing, for example with readily accessible central lubrication points. And it goes almost without saying, that the revised press also offers a remote maintenance function as standard.
New design and modern operator interface
Immediately conspicuous when the press on show at Print China is compared to the classic Rapida 105 universal, which is to remain available with a wider range of automation components, is the new outward appearance with its KBA-typical dynamic curves. Under the skin, nevertheless, the revised press differs significantly from the 18,000-class high-end Rapida 105 and presents itself as an independent product. The distinctive curved covers on the operating side of the printing towers and the unbroken panelling both at the feeder and along the drive side of the press are not only expressions of modern industrial design in printing press manufacture, but also serve to reduce cleaning work for the operators. The feeder distinguishes the press clearly from the other representatives of this class, with the dedicated drive technology still unique to KBA.
And at the delivery, light barriers have been integrated to further enhance labour safety. When elaborating the electrical concept of the Rapida 105 universal, it was considered imperative to ensure that, as in the past, commercially available components were used. The most important operating functions are controlled from the ErgoTronic console (with software based on Windows XP). The input and display screens are ideally arranged and generally self-explanatory. Thanks to the plain text displays at the infeed and delivery, the new Rapida can also be controlled conveniently without returning constantly to the console. Integration into company workflow solutions can be realised via KBA LogoTronic, while link-ups to colour measuring and control systems permit monitoring of the print quality.
Six configurations for typical applications
Keeping a watchful eye on investment costs, however, it was decided to do without expensive fully automatic solutions for certain operating functions which are not in constant use: Plate changing, for example, is based on quick-action clamps with automation only of the cylinder positioning and plate mounting. The semi-automatic and fully automatic plate changers known from the classic Rapida 105 universal, which will still be sold also in China, are not to become available for the new model until next year. The new gallery concept has significantly improved accessibility on the press. Automatic washing systems for roller, blanket and impression cylinder washing remain available as options. The ink duct of the new Rapida 105 universal has been widened to offer 35 instead of 34 ink zones, which besides extending the paper format beyond that of the competitor presses, also achieves an optimum print format.
Packaging printers have not been forgotten
Alongside the standard version for substrates up to 450 g/m2, an additional CX version caters for the special demands of packaging printers, handling board or corrugated stocks up to a thickness of 1.2 mm. From 2008, moreover, a plastics equipment package and a UV version of the press are planned. Further special configurations, however, are not to be expected. For these users, KBA has been able to offer the new 18,000 sph Rapida 105 since drupa 2004 and has already installed countless such customer-specific presses.