KBA and RR Donnelley Develop RotaJET 76 Inkjet Press in Record Time

KBA president and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann (left), RR Donnelley President and CEO Thomas J Quinlan III and KBA Executive Vice-President Christoph Müller were on hand to mark the debut of the RotaJET 76 inkjet web press that was created jointly in a matter of months.

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY—May 9, 2012—On March 1, 2011, leading press manufacturer KBA and RR Donnelley & Sons, the world’s biggest print group, announced that they had entered a collaborative alliance to develop, manufacture and launch promising new digital printing systems.

Just over 14 months later, the product of this alliance—the RotaJET 76—has been received with keen interest in making its debut at drupa 2012.

Built at KBA’s main production plant in Würzburg, Germany, the RotaJET 76 stands for quality, performance and cost efficiency in digital inkjet print production. It unites KBA’s unique know-how as the market leader in high-quality web offset press engineering with Donnelley’s in-depth expertise and longstanding experience in the development and industrial application of inkjet technology complete with the attendant hardware and workflows.

The American-German partnership has enabled KBA to optimize digital technology that has already been successfully deployed by RR Donnelley, and to make it accessible to other users.

Thomas J Quinlan III, president and CEO, and Mary Lee Schneider, president of Digital Solutions and chief technology officer, both of RR Donnelley, dropped by the KBA stand for a chat with management whilst at drupa and were visibly impressed by the outcome of their joint endeavors and the outstanding team spirit demonstrated by the American and German development engineers.

KBA RotaJET 76: digital print from the offset experts
Engineered for a maximum web speed of 493 fpm and web widths of up to 30.7˝, corresponding to approx. 3,000 A4 pages/min or 85 million pages per month, the KBA RotaJET prints with water-based pigment inks. The state-of-the-art piezo inkjet heads are reliable in production and require only a minimum of maintenance. They have been designed for heavy-duty use and contribute to the high availability of the overall system. Frequent replacement is avoided and uninterrupted industrial production is guaranteed.

Precision engineering from KBA is here the key to high print and register quality with the inkjet technology. This quality is only realized, however, in combination with precise web tension. The unwinder and infeed unit have thus been designed specifically for the RotaJET. Together with an ingeniously simple web lead without turning bars for four-color production, they ensure excellent results. Web tension is controlled fully automatically.

The two arrays of 56 inkjet heads each (total 112) form an arch over large central impression cylinders for four-color printing on both sides of the web, but can still be shifted aside for cleaning and maintenance purposes. This arrangement provides for optimum web guidance and facilitates an outstanding print quality even with problematic materials. The printing heads are cleaned and aligned automatically (stitching) to minimize manual intervention and ensure straightforward handling.

The system offers a native print resolution of 600 dpi, while the variable droplet size represents an additional quality plus. A dispersion coater is planned as a future option for further quality enhancement.

Source: KBA.

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