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Largest ever sheetfed press for Australia

Friday, 10 October 2003
By Print 21 Online Article

The six-colour press with coater and intermediate driers is a behemoth, able to image a 1620 x 1200 printed sheet on substrates ranging from 80gsm paper up to 1.6mm fluted cardboard. Equipped with the latest in automation, it is designed to be able to change between such extremes without operator manual intervention.

The tight specifications that define the press reflect Wheelers’ requirements for it to be able to perform a large variety of tasks. The intermediate UV driers between the first and second and the fifth and six units allow such imaging techniques as printing gold on black while operating at full speed of 12,000 sheets per hour.

“It’s got everything on it. We knew what was required to do our type of work,” said Wheeler, managing director of Glamapak.

The decision to go with the Rapida lies with his appreciation of KBA’s experience in the format. “We already have a MAN Ultra [1600 x 1100] and a 700, but MAN Roland really vacated this large format in the late 80s/early 90s,” he said. “They’ve now started to get back into it but the KBA press has some function the others don’t.”

He mentions continuous feed as one area where the Rapida shines, “essential when you are printing fluted board.” The press is mounted on a platform to give the feeder extra height.

He is also enthusiastic about the edge-to-edge colour calibration, with the press’ densitometry able to suggest corrective action to the printer. “Very important in packaging where you are joining the sheets together.”

The addition of the Rapida 162 to Glamapak’s stable of presses will not only give it extra flexibility but a heap of new production capacity. Wheeler is not getting rid of any of the existing presses – but he is extending the factory to accommodate the largest sheetfed press in Australia.

David Lewis, general manager sheetfed KBA Australia, is particularly chuffed at the Glamapak sale. “This is only one of two or three of this type of press anywhere in the world. KBA is recognised as the large format specialist manufacturer and I’m certain we’ll see more going in to the local market before too long.”

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