FLYERALARM operates makeready world championEight-colour Rapida 106 in operation in Marktheidenfeld since spring

  • High production output and minimal job changeover times
  • Focus on set-up times, availability and performance
  • LED-UV for ultra-short throughput times
  • Low waste thanks to intelligent job sequencing
  • Eight locations in Mainfranken and Saxony  

A Rapida 106 with eight printing units and perfecting for 4-over-4 production has been in operation at FLYERALARM at Druckhaus Mainfranken in Marktheidenfeld, near Wurzburg, since April 2018 .

After extensive market evaluation, the high-speed press for printing speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour was ordered at the end of 2017. It is raised by 225mm and tailored exactly to the needs of the online printing service provider in terms of print spectrum and plate formats. All eight printing plates on the Rapida 106 are changed simultaneously in less than 40 seconds. DriveTronic SPC not only ensures fast plate changes but, together with CleanTronic Syncro, also the simultaneous washing of impression cylinders, blankets and rollers. It is also equipped with PlateIdent for extremely short job changeover times including register setting. The press not only offers high production outputs, but is also the perfect production tool for frequent and fast job changes, which are commonplace in the web-to-print business, a business driven by shorter runs, high quality and very short delivery times.

December 2017: (l-r) Rolf Possekel, Koenig & Bauer (DE), Ulrich Stetter, managing director Druckhaus Mainfranken, Reinhard Marschall, managing director Koenig & Bauer (DE), and Christofer Hugel, Koenig & Bauer (DE), jointly sign the purchase contract for the eight-colour Rapida 106 (1)

For print jobs ranging from 100 to approx. 5,000 sheets, the number of sheets printed in the first months of operation was relatively unspectacular. Nevertheless, FLYERALARM Industrial Print's management was impressed by how quickly the press achieved good performance figures after installation and how quickly the staff, a few of whom only had limited previous Rapida knowledge, got used to working with the new press. 9-10,000 plate changes per month, on the other hand, clearly show the market segment in which the Rapida 106 is at home and shows off its strengths. Job changes account for 60 to 70 percent of production time. “Makeready, makeready, makeready,” is how Ulrich Stetter, managing director of Druckhaus Mainfranken, describes his demands placed on the press. “Availability and performance,” adds Michael Deml, managing director of FLYERALARM Industrial Print.

A year later: The Rapida 106 has been in operation at Druckhaus Mainfranken for more than half a year now. Ulrich Stetter (l), managing director of Druckhaus Mainfranken, and Michael Deml, managing director of FLYERALARM Industrial Print, here with Christofer Hugel (r), Koenig & Bauer (DE), are very satisfied with the new press (2)

LED-UV printing for minimal production times

What is more, the new press is equipped with the latest generation of LED UV dryers. The 4/4-colour printed sheets can be processed immediately when they come out of the machine. The need for storage space is eliminated, throughput times are slashed and customers receive their products faster. The significantly reduced use of powder in printing also reduces cleaning cycles on the finishing machines. FLYERALARM’s production specialists have many years of experience with UV printing in all its forms: from classic processes to HR and LED UV. They ensure that dry products are processed and delivered - without the need for any coating. There is no abrasion or set-off during transport.

50 percent of production on the Rapida 106 is on uncoated and recycled paper. Other products include matt image papers, critical substrates and uncoated board. These are all demanding substrates that are in high demand on the market. Depending on the job and delivery time, production planning decides whether production is to be carried out using conventional or LED UV processes. Thanks to coordinated colour profiles, the company achieves almost identical print products regardless of process, press operator and weekday - even with repeat jobs using different processes.

Despite all the automation: Press operator Karl-Josef Christ checks the register before starting the new job (3)

Highly automated production

Fast measurement and control technology monitors production. QualiTronic ColorControl measures and controls the ink densities on the front and back of the sheet. Intelligent job sequencing, depending on substrate and colour, also helps to shorten makeready times and reduce waste. The particularly small measuring strips (only 3mm high) allow the substrate area to be optimally used for marketable products. There is hardly any cutting waste. In addition, there are functions such as LiveView and inline register control. The Rapida 106 also features LogoTronic Professional production planning and control software with an integrated JDF interface for data exchange with MIS and prepress.

Automatic ink supply frees up the operator from further routine tasks. Coated ink duct change plates (EasyClean) simplify the cleaning of the ink ducts should ink changes be necessary.

Makeready, makeready, makeready: Karl-Josef Christ and Sofie Hetzer load the eight plate-loading cartridges with the printing plates for the next job (4)

Printing in medium and large format

Reduced workloads: fully automatic ink supply to the printing units (5)
Medium-format systems are rather an exception in FLYERALARM’s production fleet. “Paper can be printed most efficiently with large-format eight-colour presses,” explains Ulrich Stetter.

However: “If you look at the entire process, medium format offers clear advantages for some products.“ That’s why the Rapida 106 came into the company. Druckhaus Mainfranken now has the right technology for every product and can decide in the context of the overall process which format is most economical for production. For example, it can make sense to switch to B3 for complex finishing processes.

Ulrich Stetter and Michael Deml are certain that Web-to-Print will continue to grow in the coming years. FLYERALARM, too, is showing signs of growth. This is achieved primarily through the expansion of its product portfolio to include cross-media products, new digital services and offerings in the field of advertising technology and promotional items. In addition, the online printing service provider invests in solid support during the purchasing process. FLYERALARM is one of the first to take on a product whenever it is necessary to produce small runs efficiently and particularly quickly.

The eight-colour Rapida 106 is in operation day and night. Pile logistics can be added at a later date as the press is raised (6)


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