KBA Retrofits Inkjet Systems to Newspaper Presses
WÜRZBURG, GERMANY—April 4, 2013—It was back at drupa '95 that KBA first presented an Express newspaper press with variable imprinting (at that time using inkjet heads from Scitex in Dayton, OH, the manufacturer later taken over by Kodak). The inkjet technology has developed further in the meantime and KBA has gained extensive experience with a diversity of applications, the latest being the high-volume digital web press RotaJET 76.
As already with the predecessor company Scitex in 1995, KBA offers the latest generation of inkjet imprinting heads in cooperation with Kodak. The imprinting system preferred by Kodak for this purpose—Prosper S30—features a maximum print resolution of 600x200 dpi and can imprint variable data at web speeds up to 15 m/s. Optimum positioning of the print heads in the superstructure, the exact clearance between print heads and paper web, and precise setting of the web tension and cut-off register are routine tasks for a press manufacturer with the competence of KBA.
Added value through retrofitting to older offset presses
Especially for users of older newspaper presses with low levels of automation and long makeready processes, the retrofitting of an inkjet system brings interesting new possibilities. Many older KBA Journal, Colora, Express and Commander presses are still delivering good print quality in production all over the world, they are nevertheless often unable to keep pace with today's demands in respect of makeready for ever smaller part editions, and must consequently yield to presses of the latest generation with automatic plate changing and diverse control and software modules for optimized, time- and waste-saving start-up and run-down.
With an inkjet imprinting system, on the other hand, it becomes possible to produce title pages with corresponding regional headlines and content indexes both flexibly and without additional waste. Frequently changing regional sections—in the majority of cases no more than four to six pages in part editions of 1,000- to 10,000-copies—could be printed parallel to the main production on a high-volume inkjet web press such as the KBA RotaJET 76. This mixed variant also holds further potential for other products in short runs or with a high degree of personalization. That is not to say, however, that retrofits to older presses are rendered superfluous by the new options. At the end of the day, it is the individual product and production structure which counts—and a well-founded economic feasibility study to determine the most meaningful investment variant. KBA supports users in this respect with corresponding analyses.