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     Çarşamba, 21 Mart 2018
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Q. I. Press Control  

Rapida 185/205 | Feeder and infeed | Printing unit | Coating systems | Delivery | Optional features | R185 specifications | R205 specifications

In recent years, KBA's acknowledged competence in large format has prompted calls from many players in the global graphic arts industry for a new generation of superlarge-format presses - and that not only from poster companies, but also from book and packaging printers and from publishers.

The last innovations in this format class date back to the 60s and 70s and are no longer able to keep pace with the ever-increasing demands of the users. The economic justifications for such a press are not simply a product of the sheer format - they are as much an expression of the level of automation and the ensuing flexibility benefits.

With this in mind, the KBA design engineers took the proven automation and user-friendly features of the latest large- and medium-format Rapida models as their yardstick.

The new Rapida 185/205 is nevertheless not just a “blown-up” Rapida 162. The laws of physics alone already necessitated a totally new press design for the KBA giants.


Still a unique feature in sheetfed offset and an enormous advantage for VLF users: the four-drive feeder:

  • feed table drive with sheet deceleration at the front lays
  • drive for the feeder head
  • drive for the main pile with intelligent continuous pile lift
  • drive for the auxiliary pile (for non-stop operation) with intelligent continuous pile lift

The AC drives function without the previously indispensable mechanical link to the drive of the press itself. They ensure a constant pile height relative to the feeder head with no differences due to stepping intervals. The pile lift, at the same time, is much smoother - also at the point of pile reunion in both standard and fully automatic non-stop operation. Numerous components prone to wear, such as timing gears, cardan shafts, belt drives, etc., are rendered superfluous.

Sheet sensors

The Rapida 185 and 205 presses can be equipped with two different double-sheet sensors. The ultrasonic double-sheet detector is an ideal choice for practically the whole range of substrates from paper to board, and even metallised stocks. A capacitive sensor is preferred for thicker substrates such as multiply board.

Sheet infeed

Options for central setting of the front lay cover height, motorised skew correction of the infeed line and parallel variation of the gripper margin enhance the ease of operation at the infeed. Motorised positioning of the front and side lays is a standard feature. Guide rollers can be added to optimise the handling of stiff materials such as heavy board or even corrugated stock. A timed-action guide shaft, furthermore, assists precise transfer of the sheets into the press.

Gentle acceleration

Feed table with two wide suction belts  The infeed maintains the widely proven principle of a swing arm operating from below, combined with timed pneumatic and mechanical sheet guiding elements for reliable and scratch-free feeding of the sheets to the feed drum.

Dust extraction

An optional dust extractor can be used to remove paper dust or powder from the substrate surface. Conventional vacuum extraction technologies are combined with dedicated sheet guiding elements to ensure effective dust removal over a wide range of print substrates.

The ink keys of the Colortronic ink ducts each cover a 30 mm zone. The tips of these ink keys are carbide blades. In combination with the ceramic-coated duct roller, they ensure that the whole metering system is able to operate free of wear. The function principle of the ink keys guarantees exact, bleed-free separation of the individual zones and renders equalisation software superfluous. The fact that the duct roller is driven synchronously with the press provides for a fast ink transfer from the metering point to the vibrator roller.

Requested ink metering corrections are realised quickly and without fluctuation. The special locking mechanism at the ink duct ensures that it is always closed to the duct roller with uniform pressure and contributes similarly to a high degree of reproducibility.

Process stability and quality

The open inking unit geometry provides for optimum heat dissipation and avoids unwanted heat build-up in the inking unit. This design detail improves the ink flow characteristics by maintaining a highly constant viscosity. A further positive effect is faster attainment of a correct ink-water balance. The outstanding process stability this brings ensures that the printed products satisfy the highest quality demands. An absolute minimum of maintenance and adjustment, as well as fast removal and replacement of the rollers, are similarly clear illustrations of the user-friendly design.

Dampening unit

The Varidamp film-type dampening unit is a four-roller unit with an additional oscillating bridge roller which can be set to various operating positions. The speed of the dampening unit is automatically matched to the press speed to ensure a uniform application of dampening solution. A switchable differential drive serves to remove unwanted hickeys.

Inking unit temperature control

Temperature fluctuations influence process stability. The superlarge-format Rapida presses are thus already prepared for the installation of inking unit temperature control in their standard versions. This means that the duct roller and the three distributor rollers already possess the necessary bores for coolant circulation, which minimises the financial outlay for retrofitting of the full system.

One concept for controlled dissipation of the heat arising from the press and its peripherals is a closed-circuit glycol cooling installation. The use of water-cooled peripherals in conjunction with a central recooling system is able to reduce heat emissions in the printshop by up to 50%.

The following press components can be integrated into an autonomous circuit:

  • Inking unit and dampening solution cooling (cooling and combi-cooling units)
  • Air cabinets
  • UV dryers

Anilox coating technology has been a focal point of our R&D activities for many years. The new superlarge-format coater is designed for easy operation and a superior coating quality.

The altered position of the anilox roller results in significantly improved handling for the operator. For example, it is no longer necessary to adjust the anilox roller to compensate substrate thickness changes.

Fast coating plate changes

The varnish plate is inserted in the direction of printing. With semi-automatic plate clamping, this eliminates the previously necessary manual tightening of the tensioning screws.

The makeready time for the semi-automatic system has thus been reduced to just a couple of minutes.

The anilox roller is 355 mm in diameter. The advantage of such a torsionally rigid roller is a more even varnish application across the whole sheet width. Each coating tower is fitted with a hoist to facilitate exchanging of the anilox rollers. The rollers can be placed on a special rest on the top of the coating tower, or else lowered into a transport box on the floor by slewing the hoist beam.

The LithoCoat system brings a number of decisive design changes and significant benefits with regard to ease of operation and quality. With this system, the blade chamber is applied to the anilox roller and automatically compensated by way of a hydro-pneumatic blade pressure control feature. The extremely low contact pressure ensures a considerably longer service life of both the blade and the anilox roller.

Constant varnish application

The positioning of the blade chamber against the anilox roller is a linear action. This means that the angle of the blade and consequently also the volume of varnish applied is always constant. With six actuating cylinders distributed evenly across the whole width of the chamber, possible flexing of the chamber can be prevented effectively.

For maintenance and cleaning purposes the blade chamber can be swung out by 90° for removal, without the need for tools. The surfaces of the chamber itself have been given a special coating known as "Ceramic Coat", which provides for simple cleaning.

To reduce setting up times, the coating tower can be combined with an optional varnish supply and cleaning system, the so-called LithoCoat Circulator. This system can be used for both water-based and UV varnishes, and includes a warm water tank and a recirculation tank for the cleaning solution. The need for additional manual cleaning is practically eliminated. The printer operates the system simply and conveniently by selecting different programs via a touchscreen controller.

The benefits at a glance:

  • Less load placed on the anilox roller and thus reduced wear
  • Automatic compensation of blade wear ensures constant application pressure
  • Long blade life
  • Linear action and even pressure distribution for constant varnishing quality
  • Fast, automatic cleaning of all components which come into contact with varnish, with no need for additional manual cleaning
  • Short makeready times thanks to fully automatic supply and cleaning system for water-based and UV varnishes

The operating concept at the delivery is focused on ease of handling. All important production program and status indicators, such as impression on/off, overdampening, air controls and sheet counters, are presented on a graphic display panel.

Precise sheet travel is achieved by a large radius of curvature and adjustable air cushions. Pile accuracy is supported by a combination of fans and blower pipes and by speed-compensated adjustment of the gripper opening cam. All fan settings are stored on the console computer and can be recalled for repeat jobs. The optimised aerodynamic design of the gripper carriages serves to reduce turbulence to a minimum.

Air Clean System (ACS)

Press operators are exposed to particularly high levels of emissions at the delivery. This is therefore a zone which demands the closest scrutiny and effective action to safeguard a healthy environment. Despite the aerodynamic design of the gripper carriages, VOCs, odours, heat and powder dust are nevertheless transported in their wake. The situation is exacerbated if the sheets are coated, as drying releases odorous substances which, though not hazardous to health, are still far from pleasant for the press operator. The ACS system was developed as an option to reduce VOC levels. An ACS delivery features a main extraction facility with an acrylic baffle under the viewing window in front of the delivery pile, and additional extraction ducts at the pile edges.

Multi-purpose washing system

The washing beam of the new system travels along a linear path, whereby a rack-and-pinion combination provides for the pivoting of the beam at the three different positions for plate, blanket and impression cylinder washing. The advantages are to be seen in the greater positioning accuracy and reduced wear to the system components.

In conjunction with the Impact washing system, blanket and roller washing can now be performed simultaneously. Cloth replacement is very simple and can be handled by a single operator. A further benefit of this system is the precisely controlled fabric advance by way of an electric motor, which provides for more effective utilisation of the cloth. The length of cloth used is measured during the winding onto the permanent spindle in the washing beam. The printer is informed as to the remaining cloth length and the corresponding number of washing cycles via the console monitor and can prepare the imminent replacement in good time.

APC automatic plate changer

All Rapida 185/205 presses incorporate the fully automatic plate changing system APC as a standard feature, and are thus able to achieve plate changing times which have in the past only been known from smaller format classes. When they reach this size, the plates naturally call for a different form of handling. For this reason, the operator is offered an optional lifting facility for loading and unloading of the plate holders on the tower guards.

The Rapida presses are equipped with single holders rather than plate cassettes, so as not to place unnecessary limitations on flexibility. The new plates can already be placed in the holders in advance. The actual change process is then activated from the control console, whereby the first step of the process is automatic zeroing of the register settings in the selected printing units. To enable manual register corrections - which are by no means unusual on sheets of this size - the rear clamping bars are split into three sections. APC changes the plates in four cycles, taking just 3 minutes to do so - irrespective of the number of printing units involved.

Automatic Camera Register (ACR) Control

Automatic Camera Register Control (ACR Control) provides the operator with an extremely efficient system for fast colour registration even for this giant format.

ACR Control comprises a camera, an integrated PC and the corresponding software. The camera is used to determine any register differences, and calculated correction values are then transmitted to the lateral, circumferential and diagonal register systems on the individual printing units.

To be able to make proper use of the automatic function, it is necessary to overlay a special measuring patch when exposing the plates. In view of the required precision, the measuring patch can only be incorporated effectively using a CtF or CtP system. With its 50x magnification, the camera can also be used to inspect freely selected areas of the image.

Hybrid technology

The hybrid technology, which has been optimised for practical application by KBA together with a number of leading ink manufacturers, opens up new avenues for flexible inline product refinement at a favourable price. Configurations specially tailored to the hybrid system represent an alternative to traditional double-coating presses, offering enhanced quality, cost-efficiency and ecological compatibility for a reduced investment outlay.

The hybrid system combines the properties of mineral-oil-based and UV-reactive inks. The fast drying and the reliable compatibility of the binder systems with the UV varnish guarantees excellent high-gloss results. The deliberate combination of different ink and varnish systems, furthermore, provides for attractive spot varnishing options. Even in super-large formats, ultrafine spot finishes can be produced in full offset register quality. [return head]

R185 Formats 


Maximum sheet size1,300 x 1,850 mm
Minimum sheet size900 x 1,350 mm
Maximum image size1,290 x 1,850 mm
Gripper margin10+1 mm





Maximum rated speed (*) 


6 printing units or less11,000 sph



Substrate thickness 


Standard0.1 - 0.6 mm, 100 - 600 gsm
Board 1.2 mm, 600 gsm max.
Corrugated 1.6 mm max.



Pile height 


Feeder with/without nonstop capability (**)1,400/1,200 mm
Delivery with/without nonstop capability (**)1,100/1,020 mm



Plate/blanket dimensions 


Plate size1,425 x 1,860 mm
Plate cylinder packing0.7 mm
Blanket size1,600 x 1,890 mm
Blanket cylinder packing2.75 mm
Coating plate for semi-automatic plate change1,420 x 1,860 mm
Coating cylinder packing (coater)3.25 mm
Copy line71 mm

(*) Maximum possible; actual output depends on quality, ink and stock specified
(**) Special equipment and options not included in basic press price

Changes may be made without prior notice.

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R205 Formats (*)


Maximum sheet size1,510 x 2,050 mm
Minimum sheet size900 x 1,350 mm
Maximum image size1,490 x 2,050 mm
Gripper margin10+1 mm



Maximum rated speed (**)


6 printing units or less9,000 sph



Substrate thickness 


Standard 0.1 - 0.6 mm, 100 - 600 gsm
Board 1.2 mm or 600 gsm max.
Corrugated 1.6 mm max.



Pile height 


Feeder with/without nonstop capability (***)1,400/1,200 mm
Delivery with/without nonstop capability (***)1,100/1,020 mm



Plate/blanket dimensions 


Plate size (*)1,560 x 2,060 mm
Plate cylinder packing0.7 mm
Blanket size1,655 x 2,090 mm
Blanket cylinder packing2.75 mm
Coating plate for semi-automatic plate change1,555 x 2,060 mm
Coating cylinder packing (coater)3.25 mm
Copy line43 mm

(*) Print formats and plate sizes can be adapted to individual specifications
(**) Maximum possible; actual output depends on quality, ink and stock specified
(***) Special equipment and options not included in basic press price

Changes may be made without prior notice

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