19 October 2015 Print Companies

Park places faith in KBA technology for press with high quality aims

Park Communications will be printing on a six-colour Rapida 106 next year as the press ideally suited to meet the needs of quality obsessed clients.

The first crates containing a KBA Rapida 106 will be shipped from Dresden to London's Beckton in December as Park Communications begins installation of the six-colour plus coater B1 press.

The press will replace an eight-colour perfecting Speedmaster SM102, but thanks to faster makeready and running speed, represents a doubling of productivity, says managing director Alison Branch. “As for most people, the runs we are handling are coming down and we have worked out that with the technology we will not loss capacity.”

The new press will sit alongside two ten-colour perfecting Speedmasters and will link to its Technotrans ink delivery and to the Tharstern MIS for real time data acquisition.

However, the key reasons for buying the press focus on its coating ability and quality systems. The company will be able to apply soft touch, high gloss and by using the fifth print unit to add a seal, to then apply a drip off effect varnish. “We will be able to enhance the look and feel of up market publications,” says Branch. “It enables us to add a some differentiation.

“What also attracted us was the QualiTronic quality control system which spots errors and blemishes on a sheet and then automatically tabs the affected sheets for further inspection or rejection.” As the press runs at 18,000sph, without such technology the company can accumulate hundreds of less than perfect sheets before the error is eliminated. The position of the defect is shown on the press control console,

Scheduling and delivery will be improved thanks to the levels of automation, which includes fully automated plate changing. Customers will spend less time passing on press for example thanks to the faster makeready.

“Our priority is not letting customers down,” says Branch. This will allow greater flexibility in scheduling and with less waste, fits the company’s environmental ethos.

She adds: “We are delighted to be able to enhance our service to customers by offering the full suite of creative finishes, speed up press passing, be even more environmentally friendly and support our customers by taking on more projects. The KBA Rapida 106+L is a tremendously exciting press.”

The decision came after extensive testing of candidate presses using a wide range of substrates and job types. The company’s No1 minders were involved in both the trials and the decision making. Also key were the maintenance and support packages that KBA UK was able to offer.

The investment comes at the end of a year in which the east London printer has already installed an HP Indigo 7800 and Kalmar C45 mailing system. It is now close to achieving ISO 27001, the certificate for data management.

“We only started with digital printing in March,” Branch continues, “and we have been nominated for a digital print quality award after just three months of operation.” This is testament to the quality attitude transferred from litho to digital.

Likewise its direct mail venture is proving a popular addition, reducing time to market for some campaigns and extending control of report and account production to mailing. “And doing this becomes important where customers are becoming concerned about security. We are handling a lot more data and this gives customers confidence that their data is secure.”

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Alison Branch

Alison Branch

Park Communications will end a year long investment programme with delivery of a KBA Rapida 106, its first machine from the German press maker. Park has also bought its first HP Indigo this year and brought mailing in house.

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