There’s no oompah band playing, but there is German sausage and beer, along with some print-related news, including the firm’s RotaJET 76 digital press which features a 30.5" web width and output speeds up to 500 fpm. “Expect a beta in place by early 2013,” said Mark Hischar, President and CEO of KBA North America. Digital newspaper printed samples are available at the booth.
Hischar also reported that the 17,000-sph Rapida 145 features a new coater, while the Rapida 106 now churns out 20,000 sph. Meanwhile, KBA is alpha-testing the Varius 80 variable-format packaging press.
Soren Larsen, Vice President of Sheetfed Sales, reported that KBA’s sheetfed numbers are its best in years, up some 17% for 2012. “Forty percent of all orders in 2012 are from accounts that never had a KBA press before,” he pointed out. In the large-format space, Larsen said that KBA has 19 81" presses installed in North America, including one in Canada. The 20th will be installed this December at POP firm Foster Printing in Los Angeles.
“About 35% of these large presses are in commercial print environments,” Larsen noted. “The rest are [used] for packaging.”
So far as web presses are concerned, Hischar noted Hearst Corp.’s commitment to printed newspapers with the addition of a Commander CL press at the Times-Union in Albany, NY, which will start production early next year. Also, Great Western Newspaper in Canada added a COLORA model.
At KBA’s Monday press conference, CEO Claus Bolza-Schnemann noted that while drupa 2012 attendance was down some 20% last May, GRAPH EXPO projections look for an increase over 2011 through the end of the day Wednesday.