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.