The MedPrint trade fair from 23 to 26 March in Rome will see the Italian debut of the B2 (29in) Rapida 75E that Koenig & Bauer AG launched at IPEX in Birmingham last year. The press exhibited by subsidiary KBA-Italia on stand C10-D15 in hall 3 will be a four-colour version with a coater and delivery extension.
The Rapida 75E differs from its predecessor in having an enhanced output of 16,000 sheets per hour, a new feeder with remote format adjustment, air-assisted sheet guidance, ErgoTronic ACR automatic registration, automated plate and coating-forme change, job-change software and a board package for printing stock up to 0.8mm (32pt) thick. Its ErgoTronic console has a CIP3/JDF-enabled interface and a Techkon SpectroDrive colorimetry system. Compact and exceptionally energy-efficient, the Rapida 75E targets printers seeking flexibility and ease of operation in conjunction with a practical level of automation.
Early indicators of a modest upturn
Although the Italian economy is still suffering the knock-on effects of the financial crisis, investment has picked up over the past twelve months in some sectors, among them book printers with an international clientele. Last year, for example, Mondadori Printing purchased a Rapida 106 five-backing-five perfector press with DriveTronic SPC dedicated plate-cylinder drives for its Verona operation. Stige in Turin will take delivery this July of a large-format Rapida 162a five-colour press. A new Rapida 106 five-backing-five perfector press and a four-colour Rapida 142 will soon be launching into action at Cosentino in Sicily. Following a prolonged moratorium on investment, demand among packaging printers is now gathering momentum. In recent months specialist printers have also started eying up new kit. They include Tipolitografica CS in Padua, which has fired up a Rapida 106 with a coating and drying unit, six printing units, a second coater and triple delivery extension for UV printing on film and plastics.
In the Italian web offset market, which was knocked sideways by the recent recession, bankruptcies have freed up capacity which is now being redistributed. This, too, entails investment in new technology. At the end of last year a new KBA Colora 3/2 newspaper press went into operation at Colasanto Group subsidiary Editorial in Medicina, near Bologna. KBA is currently negotiating other projects with the support of its Italian newspaper agency G.A.M. International.