Polish commercial printer continues modernisation Eight-colour Rapida 106 perfector for Białostockie Zakłady Graficzne

  • Replacement investment with additional printing units
  • Company expects a 40% increase in productivity  
  • Fourth investment in presses from Koenig & Bauer  

Antonina Kuchlewska, president of BZGraf, signed the press acceptance report (1)
In July 2017, Polish commercial printer Białostockie Zakłady Graficzne (BZGraf) commissioned a new eight-colour Rapida 106 perfector for 4-over-4 production at its Białystok plant. With this new press, already the fourth Rapida to be installed at BZGraf, the company expects to increase its productivity in the segments for full‑colour commercial printing and books by over 40 per cent.  

Grzegorz Szymczykowski, sales and service manager at KBA CEE: “We are already the market leader for medium- and large-format offset presses for packaging printing. And this installation at BZGraf now confirms the growing market share of Koenig & Bauer when it comes to long perfector presses for full-colour books and commercial products.” It is only two years ago that BZGraf took delivery of a four-colour Rapida 105.  

Next stage of modernisation completed

The new press is replacing a Rapida 105 which dates from 2001 and represents another important step in the company’s modernisation plans. Halina Samotik, production manager and member of the board at BZGraf: “At the moment, we work with presses from two manufacturers, including 12 printing units from Koenig & Bauer. The new press not only adds another four units to our capabilities, it also brings numerous other benefits: High print quality, fast makeready and extremely simple handling. At the end of the day, we are looking to boost our productivity by over 40%.”  

At the commissioning of the eight-colour Rapida 106 (left to right): Grzegorz Szymczykowski, Jan Korenc (both KBA CEE), Antonina Kuchlewska, Halina Samotik (both BZGraf) and Jacek Nieszczerzewicz (KBA CEE) (2)

The Rapida 106 went into production in July after an installation period of barely three weeks. It prints at 18,000 sheets per hour in straight production and 15,000 sheets per hour in perfecting mode. Accessories for lightweight substrates, fully automatic plate changers, an SIS sidelay-free infeed, facilities to disengage inking units which are not in use, CleanTronic cloth-based washing systems for the blankets and impression cylinders, and colour measurement and control systems are just a few of the configuration highlights.  

The new press is used above all for the 4/4-colour jobs which account for the majority of production at BZGraf. Founded over 70 years ago, the company has been a member of the Kompap group since 2011. It specialises in full-colour hardcover books, but naturally produces even single-colour jobs where this is requested by customers. The whole finishing process, including adhesive and stitched bindings, is handled in-house. The final products are mainly books, albums, catalogues and comics. “In most cases, these are complex multi-colour jobs which demand the highest production quality. The purchase of a perfector press which guarantees us flawless results was thus imperative,” says Halina Samotik.  

Białostockie Zakłady Graficzne owns two medium-format Rapidas (3)

Rapidas have a good reputation

Most of BZGraf’s customers are based in Poland itself, though the share of exports has recently increased by 20%. Halina Samotik: “Demand is currently rather sluggish on the domestic market, and so we are targeting more and more export business.”  

As in 2015, the whole management team at BZGraf was involved in the selection process for the new press. The final decision in favour of the Rapida 106 can be attributed not least to the many years of positive experience with presses from Koenig & Bauer. Halina Samotik: “We have already worked with Planeta P44, Rapida 72 and Rapida 105 presses. For our operators, there are thus no problems moving across to the Rapida 106. The Rapidas are very popular here. They are robust and stable. And the new Rapida 106 also incorporates numerous innovative solutions which provide for high print quality on the most varied papers.”  

Jan Korenc, managing director of KBA CEE: “We view it as a great success that BZGraf is already investing in Rapida technology for the fourth time – especially as this eight-colour press is being installed just two years after the last Rapida. BZGraf operates in a challenging market segment. We are thus all the more pleased about this decision to invest. And we are confident that the two Rapidas will make a valuable contribution to the further development of BZGraf.”  


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