KBA is Reducing Energy Input on High-Output Presses

Reutilizing the air circulated in the dryer can substantially reduce the amount of energy consumed by KBA VariDryBlue dryers compared to conventional infrared/hot-air dryers.

RADEBEUL, GERMANY—July 24, 2012—Sheetfed offset printing is an energy-intensive process. So it is all the more important to develop energy-efficient assemblies and to utilize waste heat wherever possible. Koenig & Bauer (KBA) has long been pursuing this train of thought in the interests of its customers and the environment, and has come up with some useful ideas.

With a sheetfed offset press, the amount of energy consumed depends to a large extent on the type of job being printed. Alongside general efforts to optimize energy efficiency, from which any printer would benefit, there are some additional options for reducing the primary energy input where the financial outlay would only be worthwhile for specific print applications. Given the diversity of the production parameters involved, determining the potential benefits of recovering and reutilizing waste heat off the press in the most effective way required a series of precise measurements taken over a prolonged period of time.

Drawing on a solid foundation of captured data, KBA has developed an array of standard and optional features for enhancing the energy efficiency of Rapida presses from the feeder to the delivery.

Efficiency-enhancing four-quadrant drives
Rapidas are fitted with four-quadrant drives which enhance overall press efficiency by feeding braking energy back into the grid. This has proven particularly effective at reducing power consumption during makeready processes. KBA favors direct belt drive onto the first impression cylinder.

Shaftless DriveTronic feeder
KBA’s DriveTronic feeder has no mechanical gears, longitudinal shafts or other energy-guzzling consumable parts. In their place are direct drives which are much more efficient. Proportional valves, in conjunction with a self-regulating air-compression cabinet, ensure that only the volume of blower and suction air actually required at the sheet separator is provided. This means a lower energy input for the air supply. Individual, distributed blowers at the suction belt ensure an energy-efficient sheet transport.