KBA Offers ‘Complete’ Package

RADEBEUL, GERMANY—You have to give Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) a lot of credit. When it wants to throw a coming-out party for new presses or capabilities, KBA certainly displays a flair for the dramatic.

When the smoke had cleared from the pomp and circumstance of its pre-demonstration entertainment—which included an eclectic mix of dancers, a juggler, a man on stilts and an opera singer against a backdrop of colorful lasers—KBA gave 200 worldwide journalists a taste of its newer offerings heading into this month’s Drupa exhibition.

KBA literally had to wait for the smoke to clear to start its Rapida 162 packaging press; the press’ sensor picked up on the smoke and wouldn’t allow the feeder to start.

The press conference was a precursor to KBA’s open house, held April 9-11 for 1,500 guests from more than 50 countries. While the printing press specialist didn’t completely tip its hand on all the innovations that will be showcased in Hall 16 at Drupa, it certainly provided a hearty appetizer for the assembled media. Leading the way was KBA Complete, a multi-vendor project for independent consultancy specializing in strategic investment planning, process analysis and workflow optimization.

The possibilities offered by KBA Complete and the enhanced makeready and output times for its sheetfed presses gave KBA North America President Holger Garbrecht reason to smile.

“We made a big jump (in makeready times) compared to last Drupa,” Garbrecht said. “Together with Complete, it’s a gain that’s not been seen before.”

Among the highlights:

• The new Rapida 75 and an upgraded Rapida 105 sheetfed presses. The 75, which builds upon the Rapida 74 and Performa 74, has 30 new features and a slightly larger sheet size (20.5×29.5˝). The updated Rapida 105 (“universal” has been dropped) features a shaftless DriveTronic feeder and automatic/semi-automatic plate changing.

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