New Press

17th February:

German engineers from Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) are putting the finishing touches on the new KBA 145 Rapida large format sheetfed offset press at Centrum Printing’s headquarters in Chipping Norton.
Centrum bought the six-colour KBA Rapida with UV coater and extended delivery at the drupa 2016 show in June and the massive press arrived in Sydney last month.
“We had a total of nine containers to unload and the local KBA engineers have put it together piece by piece like a giant jigsaw puzzle,” says Sandra Mascaro, Centrum MD. “The assembly and testing is all coming together nicely and, touch wood, the process has been very smooth so far. It’s just a great piece of engineering work and obviously, the Germans do it best.
“We’ve segregated one half of our factory to house the new machine so the installation hasn’t interfered at all with our existing production schedules and we’re still running three shifts, 24 hours a day, five days a week.
“KBA engineers and demonstrators will arrive from Germany in the new year and they’ll provide the finishing touches to make sure it’s operational and commission the entire press. We’re planning to begin running some sheets by the end of January or early February.”
The Rapida 145, with a sheet size of 106cm x 145cm, will sit alongside a large format KBA 162a installed four years ago as Centrum launched an expansion beyond commercial print into packaging and display. It will be fed by Fujifilm thermal plates imaged on a Screen PlateRite Ultima 2400 VLF CtP installed when the KBA 162a went in.
Mascaro says the Rapida 145 will boost the company’s capabilities in the growing packaging and point-of-sale sectors and make Centrum more competitive in the commercial printing.
Centrum CEO Percy Vij says: “We are here for the whole industry, not just Centrum. Our goal is to build Australian manufacturing, bring work back onshore and enable printers to extend their product offerings because of our extra-large format KBA presses.”
Centrum Printing, established 25 years ago, is a family owned and operated company.

Sample Post 1

17 February 2017:

Driven by the vision of owners, Centrum Printing is no ordinary printing company. The KBA VLF equipped business sees itself as a service centre to the whole industry and demonstrates this by actions, not just words.

Engaging with design college students, Centrum has recently added an apprentice to its approximately 30 staff complement and is seeking another two apprentices once a new KBA Rapida 145 is installed in February 2017. Centrum already operates a huge KBA Rapida 162a press with a plate size of up to 1260 x 1630mm at its 3,800 square metre site.

“They are our presses, but also belong to the whole industry,” says Percy Vij. “We do not engage in competitive bidding for end-user print business; all of our partner customers are resellers, trade printers and print managers.

“We like to promote a ‘we and us’ mindset and not ‘you and me.’ Other printers can really embrace Centrum as a true partner and we open our doors for site visits and inspections of our unique VLF capabilities. In this way we are supporting all Australian manufacturing and bringing jobs back onshore.”

Centrum’s journey as Australia’s pre-eminent VLF printer began over 25 years ago in Mascot, NSW with Percy Vij buying the business in 1999 before moving to ideal new premises next to the St George’s river in, 2014 where the six-colour plus UV coater KBA 162a was installed.

Upsizing its sheet size capabilities was part of a plan to attract more packaging and POP work to add to general commercial printing, with the UV coating being a distinct advantage.

The move to VLF of course necessitated a major make-over of the prepress department and Centrum turned to trusted partner Fujifilm for this. Fujifilm’s Superia range was embraced in its entirety, with XMF workflow delivering an all-PDF environment, Superia LH-PLE thermal plates, Screen PlateRite Ultima 2400S CtP and a Superia ZAC lo-chem processing line that constantly monitors the developer bath and delivers the exact amount of replenisher. Prepress Manager Sarko Seferian says: “The Superia lo-chem approach greatly reduces water and chemistry use, making it very environmentally-friendly with the added benefit of reduced maintenance – the bath is changed only three times a year on average.”

Interestingly, the foresight of installing a total Superia prepress environment has meant that no further investment apart from adjustments for the new 145 plate size, will be necessary to service both presses. “Everything will cope,” says Seferian, “we have a very simple but strong PDF workflow, Epson proofers supplied by Fujifilm and cloud-based ColorPath colour management/ink control which enables us to adjust curves up to ISO 12647-2 standards.”

General Manager Sandra Mascaro is enthusiastic about the future: “Most of the jobs going through Centrum are not ours – they belong to our re-sellers. We will not entertain direct dealing with a re-seller’s customer, despite being asked sometimes:- we don’t even have sales representatives. We do welcome press checks in the company of re-sellers. With the new KBA 145 press coming in, we plan to hold more open houses and show the industry that Centrum is a true partner ‘for’ the whole industry.”

Mascaro says that work is already coming in from Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand and that this is expected to increase once the new press is in production.

“The simplicity of our Superia XMF workflow, all PDF, makes it very easy to do business with Centrum,” says Mascaro, “with the colour quality standards assured by Superia ColorPath and Superia thermal plates and chemistry. The net result is cost savings in materials, labour, energy, water and the environment – savings which we pass on to our resellers.

With the slab already laid to accommodate the new KBA 145 press, Centrum’s all-Superia prepress department under Sarko Sefereian is primed and ready for the increase in business, feeding two of Australia’s largest format UV-equipped presses – for the benefit of the entire industry.