- Increasing demand for packaging
- Six-colour Rapida 106 with coater and logistics installed
- Replacement for three older sheetfed offset presses
Measurable factors such as population growth, economic prosperity and consumer behaviour form the generally accepted basis for predictions regarding the future demand for packaging. And the indicators are positive all over the world. In the Middle East, and especially in Saudi Arabia, an above-average increase in demand is expected. Saudi Arabia is today already importing packaging from the neighbouring countries.
In an economically strong and prosperous region in the east of the country, the Al Jawad Group has built up an outstanding reputation as a packaging supplier. One of Al Jawad’s specialities is flexible packaging for the food and detergent industries, while the offset printing department produces primary and secondary packaging on a diversity of substrates up to and including corrugated board. This calls for a correspondingly broad and flexible machinery base. At the same time, the company attaches great importance to the streamlining of production processes, as a means to raise efficiency and in turn competitiveness. To this end, Al Jawad invests regularly in new and productive technologies: The last acquisition, three years ago, was a six-colour sheetfed offset press with inline foiling unit and provisions for both conventional and UV applications.
Automation down to the last detail
For the most recent investment round in 2017, attention was concentrated on a conventional press with the highest possible level of automation. The outcome of many intensive discussions was the decision to purchase a six-colour Rapida 106 with coater, extended delivery and HighSpeed functionality from Koenig & Bauer. Further key features of this fast medium-format Rapida are automatic non-stop pile changing and logistics systems for the feeder and delivery. In addition, the ink rollers in the fifth printing unit can be washed parallel to production. The ability to disengage unused inking units from the main press drive has already been a standard feature on Rapida sheetfed offset presses for several decades.
Alongside the automation of the Rapida 106, printshop networking played a significant role. Print companies in Central Europe were forced to streamline operations and to integrate their various means of production many years ago, but the process is still in its infancy in other parts of the world. This represents a source of great potential for all concerned. In these emerging markets, therefore, Koenig & Bauer not only supplies the latest printing technologies, but also encourages the users to target greater cost awareness and efficiency. As a pleasing side effect, this at the same time contributes to more ecological production practices.
Ehsan Al Khars, general manager of Al Jawad, and Abdalah Al-Hareri, general manager of local Koenig & Bauer agency Al Kharafi, are both delighted with the excellent implementation of the project: “It is impressive to experience the production speeds of up to 20,000 sheets/hr on the Rapida 106. The new press replaces three older models from another manufacturer, but still offers ample production reserves. Over the course of the project, we found that the advice given by the Al Kharafi team was paramount in determining an optimum solution. This productivity gives us the desired differentiation and necessary lead on the market. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Al Kharafi.”