Koenig & Bauer (KBA) invited Italian printers to an Oktoberfest at its sheetfed offset plant in Radebeul, Saxony, admittedly a little later than the traditional Munich beer festival.
However, the atmosphere in the Bavarian-style pub located in Dresden's city centre rivalled that found in the beer tents of southern Germany. The two-day event was naturally not just about beer, but rather the focus was on cutting-edge sheetfed offset technology.
50 sheetfed offset printers from nearly all regions in Italy experienced cutting-edge technology in half and medium format live. For the first print demonstration a typical commercial job was produced on a Rapida 75 in three different finishes: first a full-solid UV coating, then after incorporating the fifth printing unit with an oil-based varnish hybrid matt and gloss effects were created, and finally partial spot coatings following a quick coating-forme change. The team from the KBA customer centre then treated visitors to drip-off coating effects on covers in two different designs at speeds of up to 18,000sph on a six-colour Rapida 106.
The printers were also shown how small print runs can be produced fast and more economically with the corresponding automation modules. Several catalogue signatures were printed one after the other on a ten-colour Rapida 106 perfector with DriveTronic SPC dedicated plate-cylinder drives. This was followed by a demonstration of the flying job change capability (KBA Flying JobChange) between the first and the last five printing units, which each produced 500 calendars. While half of the press was printing, the plates were changed simultaneously in the other five units. The next job was printed with the flying job change switching between the first five and last five units.
The next demo took place on an eight-colour Rapida 105 which printed the same design on both sides of the sheet - dried on one side with HR UV and on the other side with LED UV, and each with corresponding inks. The guests were able to compare the results of both processes on a single sheet of paper. Finally, the highly automated half-size Rapida 76 demonstrated its enormous performance potential in the production of small runs with DriveTronic SPC simultaneous plate changing and parallel makeready steps when often changing jobs.
Along with the practical part of the event, the KBA team provided information about fast makeready on the Rapidas delivered by various Tronic automation components, inline quality control as well as new energy-saving drying technology with UV. At the end of the event the participants agreed that efficient printing during the day and a cool beer in the evening go well together.