Since being launched on the market at Drupa 2008 KBA's high-tech Rapida 106 has undergone a process of continual improvement with the aim of boosting its performance, flexibility and cost efficiency still further. Additional software packages, design enhancements at the infeed and delivery plus a broad spectrum of cross-platform systems have made the Rapida 106 the world champion in makeready and the most productive press in its class.
Although it is no longer brand new, the DriveTronic SIS (Sensoric Infeed System) is still unique on the market. Totally makeready-free, it knows no setting or sidelay errors, nor does it mark sensitive substrates. Its mode of operation is ingeniously simple: a sensor determines the lateral position of the sheet on the feeder board, and as the sheet approaches the transfer point to the first printing unit the gripper on the transfer drum aligns the sheet with the side position specified at the console. The sidelay pull is ±5mm (0.2in). Sheet transport to the infeed line is supported by vacuum-controlled thrust elements, which ensure that the sheets are guided gently to the front lays. This investment in disruption-free production is well worthwhile.
With DriveTronic SPC (Simultaneous Plate Change), each plate cylinder has a dedicated drive, with no clutches or auxiliary drives. The absence of a mechanical connection between the plate cylinder and the Rapida's gear train means that almost all makeready processes can run simultaneously. This saves time. Because sequences run simultaneously, the time required for plate changes no longer features in the calculation: to all intents and purposes it is zero seconds, irrespective of the number of printing units. In tandem with the CleanTronic Synchro high-speed washing system DriveTronic SPC enables the benefits of dedicated drive technology to be exploited to the full.
CleanTronic Synchro is a two-bar washing system. The bar for the blanket is located above the impression cylinder and is easily accessible. The second bar is below the impression cylinder and can be removed from the press quickly and easily via rails. The washing programs for each printing unit can be preselected individually. With CleanTronic Synchro, the washing and plate-changing processes can run simultaneously. The diagram below illustrates a typical makeready process and reveals the potential savings that can be made in conjunction with DriveTronic SPC dedicated drives. The two-minute time gain for each job change translates into a saving of 33 hours after 1,000 job changes.
KBA DriveTronic Plate-Ident is an automation component with multiple functions.
1. Function: Register-Pin Plate Recognition: Very often, if the plate does not sit on the register pins properly due to punching errors or flaws in the rubber coating, it can disrupt the plate-changing sequence. The Rapida 106 is the only litho press on the market with optical register-pin plate recognition. Two cameras at each plate shaft recognise the position of the plate relative to the register pin via register marks. This system will stop the plate-changing sequence if the tolerance limit is exceeded, but allows more play than existing systems. 2. Function: Pre-Registration: DriveTronic Plate-Ident is an optical system that measures plate position via the register marks, so the values measured can be used for pre-registration. The register shift is completed even before the first proof is pulled, and for many jobs no further adjustments are necessary, saving time and waste.
3. Function: Plausibility Check: A mix-up in plate allocation easily happens, and with the Rapida 106 running at such high speeds, it cannot be totally eliminated. DriveTronic Plate-Ident checks the stored job data against the data in the console by scanning a data matrix code exposed with the plate. The system instantly recognises whether the plate is in the correct position within the printing unit, and whether it is in the right language. This, too, helps to avoid needless delays and waste.