KBA Leads With Environmental Initiatives

KBA continues its awareness of environmental concerns and finding solutions for its customers. Since Drupa 2000 when KBA unveiled emissions-tested litho presses, long before any other vendor, the company has been a leader, single-mindedly pursuing advances in waterless offset with waste-reducing anilox inking units for both sheetfed and web presses, like the 74 Karat, Cortina, and Genius 52UV. In conventional offset the company was an early adopter of alcohol-free print production and more recently has focused on energy efficiency with new products like its VariDryBLUE dryer with heat recovery in large format or in the energy-saving 29-inch Rapida 75E press.

One growing area is the installation of presses with UV (ultraviolet) capabilities to increase environmental and sustainability efforts and quickly move into green printing. While conventional printing inks can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to both humans and the environment, UV printing inks release zero VOCs, making them both safer for the environment and consumers. These UV inks require less energy to print because the ink is dried as it is printed in an instant-cure process; and most UV-printed materials can be fully recyclable. UV printing also offers faster throughput, more vibrant colors, and greater choices in substrates (including plastics, vinyl, foil, paperboard, and other specialty substrates).

This past year, KBA began promoting a new environmentally-friendly plastic substrate from MicroGREEN Polymers, an innovative plastics company that develops economically and ecologically viable advanced plastics technologies to promote sustainable living. The InCycle plastic substrates were tested and run on the KBA Genius 52 UV press and displayed at a recent open house in Dallas. The new 20mil InCycle plastic sheets from MicroGREEN Polymers are available in 28 x 40, 28 x 20, and 48 x 96 -inch, and web rolls. The KBA Genius 52 UV press printed on the InCycle substrate with four-color process inks and a UV coating inline, all cured via UV at the end of press. The basic InCycle brand sheet is made with up to 50 percent post consumer recycled content.

A number of KBA customers are implementing UV systems to enhance their environmental initiatives. Hanover Packaging, a premier packaging firm based in Hanover, Pa., is an EPA Green Power Partner, an EPA Climate Leader, 100 percent powered with renewable energy and 100 percent carbon balanced. Its KBA Rapida 106 41-inch six-color sheetfed press with conventional and UV capabilities was recognized by the EU as the most environmentally-friendly press and it has excellent stability and is faster to color equaling low waste; its UV inks have no volatile organic compounds to pollute; its fast makeready equals low waste and high efficiency; and its KBA Drivetronic feeder provides 20 percent to 25 percent reduction in electricity.

Pazazz, a 19-year-old offset, digital, label, large format, and package printing company headquartered in Montreal, calibrated its KBA Rapida 142 56-inch six-color hybrid press entirely to use UV inks. Pazazz advertises the three benefits of using UV printing inks: more environmentally-friendly, better print quality, and more efficient. Pazazz uses UV inks that contain zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and zero hazardous airborne particles (HAPs) while delivering outstanding quality and unparalleled effects. Its UV inks contain low levels of alkali, alcohol and nitro solvents and have an excellent ink water balance which leads to less chemistry waste.