The real show highlight, however, is the presentation of this internationally popular press type in a hybrid offset/inkjet version. The five offset printing units and coater tower are joined by an inkjet unit with two Delta 105iUV printing systems from Atlantic Zeiser for personalised imprinting and coding applications. Thanks to an innovative vacuum cylinder (AirTronic Drum) to fix the sheets under the inkjet heads, the KBA Rapidas (105 and 106) are currently the only presses on the market to realise this option without the need for mechanical sheet guides and print-free corridors. The unique solution prevents lifting of the tail edges and enables the inkjet systems to be installed at a clearance of only 1mm (0.04in) from the sheet. UV-LED dryers provide for fast drying of the ink.
There are many potential applications for inkjet systems in a sheetfed printing press. They range from sheet marking in connection with quality inspection using the alphaJET-tempo printer from KBA-Metronic to codings for purposes of brand protection (barcodes, QR codes, numerical IDs or combinations thereof). Relevant fields are security printing, packaging, labels, lottery tickets and industrial product marking. Up to eight inkjet heads from Atlantic Zeiser can be accommodated in a printing unit of the Rapida 105 or 106 press. The high-speed greyscale printer is equally suitable for coated, laminated, glossy and non-absorbent materials. A mini controller takes care of system handling in marking, inspection and quality assurance processes. Quality control, including verification of the variable data, is similarly the purpose of a high-speed camera system. Another interesting option for packaging printers is the marking of individual blanks in connection with the inline sheet inspection system KBA QualiTronic MarkPlus. Flawed blanks can then be ejected automatically during downstream processing, e.g. in the folder gluer. With the KBA AirTronic Drum, further inline finishing processes are likely to be integrated in future.
Rapida 106: 20,000sph and duplex inline coating
The makeready world champion press Rapida 106 was first presented at the last Drupa in 2008. For this year's show, an optional package now raises the maximum production speed one notch further to 20,000sph in straight printing and 18,000sph in perfecting mode. The KBA flagship in medium format is to be seen in a 12-unit configuration for four-colour print and inline coating on both sides of the sheet. Among the many innovations incorporated into this already highly automated press, particular mention should be made of the new coater tower with simultaneous forme changing (DriveTronic SFC), automated anilox roller exchange with AniloxLoader, the further optimised AirTronic delivery for exact pile formation at even the highest speeds, new modules for online and inline quality monitoring and control, and a new ErgoTronic console with wall screen as on the large-format presses.
B2 format: high-end Rapida 76 to complement the Rapida 75
In the half-format segment, the 15,000sph, 530 x 750mm (20.86 x 29.53in) Rapida 75E unveiled at Ipex 2010 has been upgraded in terms of sheet travel, feeder, delivery and many other technical details. It is now offered with the new ErgoTronic console, QualiTronic inline colour measurement and control system and a UV accessory package, and is now available in a four-back-four perfector version. The compact, energy-saving B2-format press has regained its original name of Rapida 75 and will be joined at Drupa 2012 by a sister press boasting higher speed and an enhanced level of automation: the high-end Rapida 76.
The new Rapida 76 on the stand in Düsseldorf is a five-colour coater press. With its maximum speed of 18,000sph in straight printing, it is an interesting proposition for both commercial and packaging printers and incorporates many of the automation options of its medium-format sister Rapida 106. These include DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed, fast automatic plate changers, DriveTronic SPC dedicated drives for the plate cylinders, fast, simultaneous washing with CleanTronic Synchro and ErgoTronic online colour measurement and control at the new console, or inline colour measurement and control with QualiTronic. With the Rapida 76, KBA has transferred cutting-edge solutions from its large and medium-format presses into the half-format class.