Rapida 106 X

Koenig & Bauer has taken the wraps off its new top-of-the-range B1 press – the Rapida 106 X – which has a radical new look and is billed as setting “a new benchmark” for the industry.

The manufacturer unveiled the new press at its Koenig & Bauer Live online event, which has been running over what would have been the Drupa 2020 timeframe.

It showcased a Rapida 106 X installed at its huge new Customer Experience Centre in Radebeul. The press has a seven-colour double coater plus one-colour configuration targeted at packaging customers.

“This configuration is becoming more and more standard in the packaging market, because it gives you full flexibility,” said head of product management Sascha Fischer.

The press can run at up to 20,000sph, with K&B billing it as “the fastest packaging sheetfed press on the market”, with the manufacturing going back to the drawing board to develop the new model “from scratch”.

“This will be the benchmark in our industry, I am 100% certain,” stated sheetfed segment director Ralf Sammeck.

K&B said the Rapida 106 X had been developed from scratch. 

Enhancements include a new touchscreen operating panel and press status display at the delivery end.

The accompanying Rapida app details the job that is running, and the job that is coming.

A new software tool, Job Optimiser, is described as being a bridge between a customer’s MIS and the Logotronic press management system.

“Just when we and everybody else thought the potential of makeready savings was exhausted already, Koenig & Bauer comes around and is presenting totally new features inside our MIS system,” stated Dirk Winkler, head of printing technology.

K&B claimed that by optimised production according to job lists and job specifications, it could deliver time savings of 25 minutes.

“This is a new masterpiece. We listened carefully to how we can tune the press for higher production with less maintenance,” Fischer added. “As part of this analysis we also looked at indirect processes.”

The new-look Rapida’s black and grey livery and illuminated panels shares some design touches with the firm’s RotaJet digital press range.

The press can handle unbent plates, removing the need for a separate plate bending step in pre-press. Simultaneous roller wash now also works on UV applications.

The feeder has been optimised for high-speed operation.

There is a new cold foil module, and the foiling unit has additional indexing for material saving. Revamped ink ducts mean that ink colour can be changed “in under two minutes”.

Blanket tension is now motorised, “so there is always the same gripper margin”.

For a six-colour press, lubrication points have been slashed by 200, while gripper bars have long-life lubing.

K&B UK sales director Chris Scully said the key benefits for customers were automated, autonomous production, and said the new press “had the look and feel of a machine for the future – it looks high-tech”.

“To run a machine of that complexity at 20,000sph is incredible,” he said.

A number of UK customers have been privy to details of the new Rapida under NDA. “Who knows? Hopefully it won’t be long until we have one in the UK,” he added. 

In addition, a new B2-format Rapida 76 targeted at packaging “will have all the USPs of the 106 X”.

K&B will showcase a commercial printing configuration of the new Rapida on Thursday (25 June), the final day of its Koen