A few months ago the first 3/2 configuration of KBA's popular Colora press rolled into action at Gruppo Colasanto's subsidiary Editorial in Medicina, near Bologna. The customised four-high tower press is part of a Euros25m ($33.7m) investment package that includes a new printing centre and technology upgrade, with the aim of expanding market share in Italy and the rest of Europe. The Colora is the company's second KBA newspaper press and follows a Continent installed in 2005 at a production plant in Oricola-Carsoli, near Rome.
Expanding production options
Instead of the four plates across the cylinder width that is standard with the Colora, the new two-around press has just three, ie six per plate cylinder. It can print twelve broadsheet or 24 tabloid pages per tower, and as well as six single plates the cylinder also accepts two full-width plates. Like the KBA Continent, the floor-mounted, three-tower Colora with a folder superstructure, two formers and a KF 3 jaw folder has proved to be one of the most productive presses in Colasanto's fleet. It is primarily used to print tabloid products and has the 620mm (24.4in) cut-off favoured in Italy. The maximum web width is 1,350mm (53in), enabling it to deliver 75,000 copies per hour in straight production mode and 37,500cph collect.
Top names at home and abroad
Gruppo Colasanto - also known as Qualiprinters thanks to the high standard of its products and services - prints around one million copies a day of diverse daily, weekly and monthly titles on over 35 newspaper presses at home and abroad for leading regional, national and international publishers.
Twelve production locations print for Europe
Founded as a contract printer by Luca Colasanto, and upgraded on a regular basis, this company now operates ten production plants near major cities such as Milan, Bologna, Rome and Naples. Strategically located in the north, centre and south of Italy, they are conveniently close to domestic publishers' distribution areas. Colasanto also has two production plants in Brussels with good transport links to Paris and London.
High expectations again satisfied in full
Speaking of the reasons for the investment, the Colasanto family's personal adviser Maurizio Gregotti said: "Luca Colasanto and his son Michele, who now manages the group's operational business, chose this customised configuration because they wanted to combine the renowned quality, performance and reliability of KBA presses with a high degree of product flexibility in order to address customer demands with even greater precision."
He continued: "The group's positive experience with the Continent and when working alongside KBA and their Italian agency GAM International during planning, installation, commissioning and training, was repeated with the 3/2 Colora project. The press performs to a very high standard."
Technical director Cosimo Angelone is equally delighted with the KBA Colora's start-up: "The press is engineered to meet the challenges of the future. It incorporates cutting-edge console technology with online remote maintenance, and is easy to operate. It generally runs in collect mode at its maximum output of 37,500 copies per hour, and is very reliable. The 3/2 Colora replaced a 48-page press from another vendor and is far superior."
Angelone adds: "At present the press is in operation six days a week printing a daily, Il Giornale, in a run of 57,000 copies per night. We'll shortly be adding further titles with circulations of some 10,000 to 20,000 copies."