Koenig & Bauer has been the established market and technology leader in large-format sheetfed offset printing for many years. Almost 50 years of experience in the building of large-format presses in unit design have flowed into the current Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 models. With up to 14 printing and inline finishing units, the most comprehensive large-format installations in the world carry the Koenig & Bauer badge. Packaging printing, in particular, has long since been the absolute domain of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed.
Top performance and perfect automation
Incorporating a whole host of trendsetting innovations, the Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 series are unique in their format classes. As typical run lengths are also decreasing in large formats, the automation and operating philosophy is geared to reducing makeready times to the levels which are already standard for modern medium-format presses. At the same time, the high production speeds of up to 18,000 sheets/h cater admirably for users with long runs. A diversity of inline measurement and control systems, right up to a full-scale inspection system for inline production monitoring, help to ensure constant and top-class print quality.
Innovative solutions on the Rapida 145 / Rapida 164:
Sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS
Simultaneous plate changing with DriveTronic SPC
Pre-registration and plate identification
Simultaneous coating forme changes with DriveTronic SFC
The large-format Rapidas are the ideal choice where high performance is required, but space is at a premium. For an equal or marginally larger print format, they occupy significantly less floor space than competitor presses. That reduces space and production costs. The Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 are also well positioned for installation in printshops with low ceiling heights.
Another important aspect is that KBA large-format presses eliminate all unnecessary weight. That reduces the necessary construction outlay. Depending on the configuration, a Rapida may weigh up to a third less than other comparable presses.
With regard to energy consumption, too, the Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 stand above the crowd with significantly lower connected loads both for the press itself and for the IR/hot air drying. This is especially true when using the VariDryBlue technology. Koenig & Bauer is furthermore the first manufacturer to offer LED-UV dryers in large formats. In other words, the large-format Rapidas also place cutting-edge ecological technology at your fingertips.
Wherever possible, individual makeready steps are integrated into the essentially automated simultaneous job changeover process. Washing, for example, runs parallel to the plate and coating forme change. CleanTronic Synchro possesses two separate washing beams, enabling impression cylinders and blankets to be washed simultaneously. Alternatively, the washing time can be reduced by 50 per cent if both washing beams are applied to the blanket.
With DriveTronic SPC, the time required for plate changes is reduced to a minimum. Plate changes are performed simultaneously in all units, and furthermore parallel to other makeready processes; they thus have no influence whatsoever on overall makeready time. DriveTronic PlateIdent detects the plates mounted for a new job, takes care of pre-registration, and checks whether the plate is at the correct position on the press.
DriveTronic SFC enables also coating forme changes to be performed parallel to plate change and the selected washing functions. If, on a double-coating press, only one coater is required for a particular job, makeready can even be completed on the second tower while production is running. With the AniSleeve system, anilox roller replacement could hardly be easier – the whole process can be handled by a single person, and that simultaneously with other processes.
Notwithstanding a considerable number of installations with commercial, book and magazine printers, large-format Rapidas are most commonly employed in packaging applications. Raised press foundations, automatic non-stop pile changing, pile logistics, inline coating and appropriate dryer installations are typical features of a packaging press. Facilities for single and multiple coatings, if necessary also before the actual printing, as well as cold foil application and perfecting, permit highly individual product refinement.
Thanks to the high level of automation, which provides a basis for economical production even with short runs, the large-format Rapidas are a no less interesting means of production for books, magazines and the full spectrum of commercial products. Similarly for standardised commercial printing with gang formes, as practised by Internet printers. This is a field in which perfector models come into their own, including configurations for 4-over-4 production.
Various special applications enable offset printing on less conventional substrates such as beer mats or metal sheets. The MetalStar presses offered by KBA MetalPrint, for example, also incorporate printing units and other press assemblies of the large-format Rapidas.