Koenig & Bauer has drawn wholly positive conclusions at the end of its first entirely virtual fair. Under the banner ‘Koenig & Bauer Live’, the press manufacturer presented product innovations, digital applications, and new service solutions for the print industry through a series of online events between 16th and 25th June. Daily streams enabled partners, customers, and all other interested print professionals to learn more about the innovations which Koenig & Bauer has developed for the industry.
The chosen dates were no coincidence. “These were precisely the two weeks which we were all planning to spend at drupa,” as Claus Bolza-Schünemann, chief executive officer and president of Koenig & Bauer, explains. Like so many other major events this year, the world’s biggest trade fair for the printing and graphics industry also fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic. New dates have already been found. The next drupa will now take place in April 2021. Koenig & Bauer didn’t want to leave this extra time unused. “Our preparations were close to completion when the news broke that drupa would be postponed,” says Dagmar Ringel, head of corporate communication and marketing at Koenig & Bauer. “But we didn’t want to wait another year before revealing our latest innovations to the printing world.”
Presentation of the new Rapida generation
The highlight of Koenig & Bauer Live was the unveiling of the new Rapida generation. Redesigned from the ground up, with additional features and a new modern appearance, the flagship in the sheetfed offset segment was proudly presented by group board member Ralf Sammeck and his team. The medium-format Rapida 106, with production speeds of up to 20,000 sheets per hour in perfecting, flying job changes, and highly automated plate logistics, is the most powerful Rapida the market has ever seen. The Rapida 76, too, boasts all the features of its larger sister press and has set a new milestone in the B2 format.
Post-press – From print to the finished packaging
In the field of post-press solutions, Koenig & Bauer introduced its new CutPRO family of die-cutters – the flat-bed die-cutter CutPRO Q 106 from Spanish subsidiary Koenig & Bauer Iberica and the rotary die-cutter CutPRO X 106. During the Live session, sheets printed on the previous day were embossed, creased, die-cut, and stripped on the CutPRO X 106. The Omega Allpro 110 folder-gluer from Koenig & Bauer Duran then converted the blanks into a finished product as part of a similarly Live demonstration.
Digital solutions for the packaging market
Robert Stabler, managing director of the joint venture Koenig & Bauer Durst, gave an insight into the innovations for the digital packaging market. Alongside enhancements to the Delta SPC 130 and CorruJET 170 machines, it was above all the development of the new VariJET 106 which stole the limelight. This innovative press integrates inkjet technology into the high-performance sheetfed offset platform of the Rapida 106.
Digital services – Valuable applications in times of crisis
Against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, the virtual fair also turned attention to the value of digital services. When the lockdown suddenly rendered technician assignments and customer visits impossible, necessary exchanges were shifted into other formats. Koenig & Bauer has already been using video-based service tools such as Visual Press Support for a number of years. Already existing augmented reality solutions and possibilities for preventive maintenance also helped customers to overcome restrictions imposed by the coronavirus. In addition, Koenig & Bauer has developed various industry-specific service packages.
Insights into digital print and web offset
On behalf of the Digital & Webfed segment, board member Christoph Müller and his team described the possibilities for use of the RotaJET press in digital web printing, for example for décor or packaging production. They also reported on the return to the market for corrugated board processing with the machines CorruCUT and CorruFLEX. Here, the company is responding to the fast-growing demand for packaging solutions, for example from brand owners and food producers. Luigi Magliocchi, the new managing director of Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica, presented the Evo XC directly from the factory in Tavazzano in Italy. The ultra-compact 8-color press builds upon the success of the established Evo series. It is available in two different versions with maximum repeat lengths of up to 850 mm and production speeds of up to 400 m per minute.
Diversity of print products from the Koenig & Bauer world
Short clips shown during the Live sessions shone a light on the many other fields covered by Koenig & Bauer’s broad product portfolio. For example, the responsible specialist subsidiaries presented solutions for the decoration and finishing of metal substrates, glass, and hollow containers. The audience also learned how an AI application can be integrated into coding applications, and why banknotes remain a safe and indispensable means of payment even in today’s day and age.