KBA Rapida 75 at Collage Litho in South Africa
KBA's compact B2 (29in) press, the Rapida 75, is winning fans in South Africa. A five-colour coater version that came on stream a few months ago at Collage Litho Quality Printers in Johannesburg prints a broad spectrum of quality products for the domestic market, with the focus on Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Collage Litho Quality Printers was launched in 1994 and is part of the books and maps division of the Avusa group, a leading light in the media and entertainment sector. The Rapida 75, which joined a fleet of presses from various vendors, is the first KBA press to be installed at the company's 1,700m² (18,300ft²) site in City Deep Production Park.
This fast-expanding enterprise with 44 employees offers its customers a broad portfolio of products printed to the highest quality standards. These range from DVD/CD packaging inserts and promos for the entertainment industry to magazines and glossy brochures, posters, displays and folding cartons.
Clear vote for the compact Rapida
Bradley Frew, CEO of Collage Litho, says: "The Rapida 75 offers a complete package: it combines quality, performance and service, economy, productivity and energy efficiency, a small footprint and intelligent automation. This is what persuaded us to choose a KBA press in preference to a model from another vendor." Prior to signing the contract management contacted prominent KBA customer Ultra Litho in Johannesburg, where several medium-format Rapidas, among them the world's first 13-unit Rapida 105 for five-backing-five with perfect coating, have been in operation since 1997.
The new five-colour Rapida 75 at Collage Litho sports nonstop facilities at the infeed and delivery, remote diagonal register control, inking-unit cooling, washing systems for the inking rollers, blankets and impression cylinders, KBA DensiTronic and an ErgoTronic console with CIP3/JDF interface.
Performance and on-site service tip the scales
Bradley Frew says: "Despite the longstanding dominance of other vendors, KBA Rapidas have a fine image and reputation in South Africa. Alongside their high output and fast makereadies what we and other users most like about these presses are their quality monitoring and control systems. But the professional service provided by KBA's South African agency, Thunderbolt Solutions, is equally important. When the manufacturer is thousands of kilometres away, personal, on-site contacts promote confidence and trust."
CEO Bradley Frew and production director Allan Moolman have substantially increased their capacity and capabilities with the five-colour Rapida. Special colours, spot and solid coatings enable them to print even more attractive products. This is particularly true of packaging, which at present accounts for around 25 per cent of total output and is expected to grow still further. Collage Litho is targeting a big increase in sales and earnings in 2010.
Basis for further investment
Following the extensive training and commissioning phase associated with any switch to a new vendor the Rapida 75 quickly reached its full potential. Says Bradley Frew: "With KBA and Thunderbolt Solutions' support we soon resolved all the problems arising from the transition and are now totally satisfied. The Rapida 75 reliably handles stock weights ranging from 80 to 400 gsm, it is highly productive and delivers a good print quality in any run length. One of our priorities is to maintain a modern press fleet in which no press is more than seven years old. KBA will play a major role in our future investment plans."
The Rapida 75's successful premiere at Collage Litho in South Africa has generated a lot of interest. At the end of October Pro Print in Durban signed contracts for two E ("Economy & Ecology") versions of the Rapida 75. Further projects are being negotiated.