100th KBA Rapida 106 with dedicated plate cylinder drives

KBA DriveTronic SPC fast becoming a routine feature

(PresseBox) (Würzburg, ) At the beginning of October KBA booked its 100th order for a Rapida 106 B1 (41in) press with DriveTronic SPC dedicated plate-cylinder drives for simultaneous plate changes. Belgian playing-card printer Cartamundi is slated to take delivery in March next year.

KBA unveiled this innovative drive system in September 2007 following exhaustive shopfloor testing, and demonstrated it to the trade public at Drupa 2008 on the newly launched KBA Rapida 106. Since then the superfast plate and job changes possible with dedicated drives have enabled the 106 to claim and defend the title of makeready world champion in medium format. Various configurations of Rapida 106 presses with DriveTronic SPC have become an established feature of printing plants the world over. Since the plates are changed during washing sequences and other makeready processes, the actual plate-changing time is effectively zero (cf. photo 2). DriveTronic SPC also supports the flying job-change capability in litho that is also unique to KBA. A lot of printers use it for short runs or co-edition work.

In action the world over

More than half the 100 medium-format Rapidas incorporating dedicated drives are eight- or ten-colour perfectors - or even longer - with inline coaters. But DriveTronic SPC drives are also fitted in a lot of shorter presses, for four or five colours with and without perfecting and coating, and in both commercial and packaging presses.

There are Rapidas with DriveTronic SPC in 19 countries inside and outside Europe, including Kuwait, Indonesia, the USA, Kazakhstan and China. Some 40 per cent of new Rapida 106 contracts specify these drives. Installations in Germany include Ellerhold in Witten, STI in Lauterbach, Mensing Druck und Verpackung in Norderstedt and Mugler-Druck in Hohenstein-Ernstthal.

Innovative drive concept

While DriveTronic SPC is a key feature, it is just one of many modules in the DriveTronic system. Demand for some of the other components is even stronger. For example, three-quarters of all Rapida 106 press lines have DriveTronic SIS no-sidelay infeed - a unique feature that is ideal for high-output 18,000sph press lines because it allows more time for sheet alignment.Another feature that is unique to KBA and standard on all medium- to large-format Rapidas is DriveTronic Feeder. It is the only feeder on the market with no main shaft connection to the press and no abrasion-prone gears: electronically controlled dedicated drives assume all movement functions. With DriveTronic Feeder it is possible to convey sheets back onto the pile from the feed board in the event of a stoppage. This is not possible with a conventional feeder. And, of course, dispensing with superfluous mechanical parts allows a wider range of presetting functions.

Another feature that is unique to KBA and standard on all medium- to large-format Rapidas is DriveTronic Feeder. It is the only feeder on the market with no main shaft connection to the press and no abrasion-prone gears: electronically controlled dedicated drives assume all movement functions. With DriveTronic Feeder it is possible to convey sheets back onto the pile from the feed board in the event of a stoppage. This is not possible with a conventional feeder. And, of course, dispensing with superfluous mechanical parts allows a wider range of presetting functions.

In other words: KBA is way ahead of the field when it comes to dedicated drives in sheetfed. The same applies to web, but that is another story.

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