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First KBA Karat 74s for Australia

Friday, 24 October 2003
By Print 21 Online Article

Industry sources point to Wayne Sidwell’s Wellcom, in conjunction with its print management company, iPrint, as the most likely purchaser of the two half-size, automatic DI offset presses reportedly on their way to Australia. The prepress company, which is in Melbourne and Sydney, is already into digital printing through the use of HP Indigo technology. A company representative refused to confirm or deny that it was interested in the Karat presses.

The installation of two Karat 74s would represent a massive increase in the company’s print capacity and herald a new era in short-run offset printing in Australia. It would also mean a more proactive role for iPrint in the provision of printing.

The Karat 74 has long been considered the most sophisticated of the sealed DI offset presses, suitable for installation outside traditional printing environments. It was originally promoted as ‘push-button offset’ with little opportunity for operator interference in its operation. Makeready for four-colour process in 15 minutes from run to run within one job.

The Karat 74 uses a Creo laser to image Presstek PEARLdry aluminium plates with 20 plates per cassette, which due to the imaging configuration is sufficient for 10 jobs. The single impression cylinder consists of three segments, each with its own gripper. The press prints a four-colour image in two revolutions of the impression cylinder, thereby eliminating sheet transfer during printing and assuring exact registration.

The arrival of the first Karat 74 presents KBA in Australia with the opportunity to develop service and maintenance support for the technology. Given the success of the press in the USA it is unlikely the first Australian Karat 74s will be on their own for very long.

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