Koenig & Bauer’s Rapida 145 live at Print China 2023

Focus on digitization and Service 4.0

Koenig & Bauer has been an important exhibitor at Chinese trade fairs. An impression from China Print in 2021

Koenig & Bauer is showcasing a Rapida 145 with five printing units, inline coater and extended delivery at the 5th International Printing Technology Exhibition of China (Print China), being held in Guangdong from 11 to 15 April. It is the only sheetfed offset press for large formats up to 1,060 × 1,450 mm on show at the fair.

The Rapida 145 (production speed up to 15,500 sheets per hour) will be presented in live production with fast job changeovers several times a day. The many products on paper and board, for example, posters with Chinese and European images, a world map for children and various folding cartons, are sure to attract the same high level of interest from visitors as at previous trade fairs.

The press has been configured with packages for both board handling and non-stop production, and incorporates the key automation features – DriveTronic feeder with dedicated drives for all motion functions; sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS FAPC plate changers; DriveTronic SRW in the fourth printing unit; and LogoTronic with CIPLink.

Koenig & Bauer has been the market leader in large-format sheetfed offset for many decades, and the presses in the Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 series set the industry benchmark in their respective format classes. High production speeds, fast makeready, perfect automation and precise inline quality control systems form the basis for efficient and profitable production processes. Both series – and likewise many of the predecessor models – are in use in Chinese printing companies, with a particular focus on packaging production.

Digital folding carton printing

A Rapida 145 with five printing units, inline coater and extended delivery will be seen in live production on the Koenig & Bauer fair stand in Guangdong.

Also being showcased at Print China are digital folding carton printing on the hybrid inkjet press VariJET 106, rotary die-cutting on the CutPRO X 106, digitalization options and the extensive portfolio of digital services available from Koenig & Bauer, which are seeing the company evolve from a traditional machine manufacturer into an agile, fast-responding and flexible technology provider.

Koenig & Bauer is also a press manufacturer with the broadest product range in the industry. As examples, trade fair attendees will be able to learn more about the latest pioneering RotaJET systems for digital packaging printing or CI flexo and corrugated packaging presses from the group subsidiaries Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica and Koenig & Bauer Celmacch.

Global meeting place

Following on from China Print in 2021, Print China is already the second in-person trade fair in China to be held since the Covid pandemic. This time, sales and service specialists from the manufacturing plants in Germany will be present once again, and they are already looking forward to resuming face-to-face discussions with their fellow print professionals from Greater China. Industry representatives from other countries in the Asian region are also expected to attend.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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