- Six-colour Rapida 105 PRO with coater and UV capabilities
- High substrate flexibility and fast job changes
- Sheet inspection and PDF comparison
In July 2019, a new six-colour Rapida 105 PRO with coating and UV capabilities went into production at Grafičar d.d. Ludbreg in Croatia. This installation has secured an important competitive edge for the company on the packaging market, and at the same time opens the door to a whole new realm of quality, facilitating expansion into further market segments and offering interesting export opportunities.
The Grafičar group counts over 450 employees and is one of the leading packaging companies in Croatia. With an extremely diverse product portfolio, ranging from folding cartons via labels of the most varied types to bags and sacks for fillings from 0.5 to 50 kg, it has established itself as a competent partner in all matters relating to packaging production. Since the incorporation of publishing house Znanje d.o.o. and its printing facility, it has furthermore ventured into book production and is in the meantime also offering its services as a supplier of commercial print products.
Broad spectrum of substrates
To cater for this wide range of products and the ensuing diversity of paper, board and film substrates, Grafičar uses both the offset and flexo printing processes. “It is this combination which makes the difference and places us in a unique position on the Croatian market,” says director Franjo Beser, who manages the company together with his sons Siniša as sales director, Dalibor as technical director and Ivan as head of research and development.
Dalibor Beser explains the background to the investment decision: “Today’s markets place increasing performance demands on offset printers when it comes to speeds, quality and production reliability, and that made it simply necessary to purchase a modern press.” Offset printing technology from Koenig & Bauer has already played an important role in expansion plans at Grafičar in the past. “The Rapida 104 is one of the kingpins of our press room and that naturally gave Koenig & Bauer a certain initial advantage over other manufacturers. But once we had analysed all the features, there was absolutely no doubt in our minds that an investment in the Rapida 105 PRO was the right choice,” says Ivan Beser. The service and support offered by Koenig & Bauer, with local service technicians to ensure smooth commissioning and training and to safeguard the availability of the press in three-shift operation, was an equally decisive factor. Furthermore, any minor issues can already be solved in advance via the remote maintenance module PressSupport24.
FAPC: Plate changes in two minutes
In response to the growing demand for high-quality finishing, Grafičar configured its six-colour press with an inline coating tower. Thanks to the fully automatic FAPC plate changing systems, moreover, all six plates can be changed within just two minutes, and that across all jobs. Two minutes is also sufficient for simple makeready on the coater. Further important contributions to makeready savings are derived from the DriveTronic technology. All format and air settings for the full spectrum of substrates used by Grafičar are in the meantime stored on the ErgoTronic console. That accelerates job changeover significantly and makes work so much easier for the press operators.
CleanTronic Multi washing systems, with their separate solvent circuits for use with conventional and UV inks, simplify switching between the two processes and provide for cost-effective hybrid production on the Rapida 105 PRO. “The high level of automation, in combination with an outstanding maximum speed, has boosted our productivity significantly and enables us to compensate the market trend towards ever shorter runs,” says Dalibor Beser. But also in terms of quality, the technical director could not be more satisfied with the results obtained with the coater – results which convince not only the printers, but also the customers.
Maximum colour stability from the first sheet to the last
It is one thing to attain high quality at a given moment, but quite a different matter to maintain this quality over time. Accordingly, Grafičar has deliberately configured the Rapida 105 PRO with a number of cutting-edge quality control modules. Inline colour control is handled by QualiTronic ColorControl. A 4K camera system installed after the coater automatically scans a colour bar to determine the optical densities. If any deviations are detected, countermeasures are initiated to achieve the maximum possible colour stability over the entire length of a run. This quality monitoring and control system has been expanded further with the option QualiTronic PDFCheck, which adds two additional quality functions: Sheet inspection and comparison with a pre-press PDF. “Especially in packaging printing, this form of quality control is enormously important, and that is all the more true when you are working – as we do – in the ultimate discipline of pharmaceuticals packaging. The system spots flaws in even the smallest font sizes,” says a delighted Ivan Beser. Each sheet is numbered by the Sheet Ident inkjet system already before it enters the press. With the error report generated by the quality control system, it is then a simple matter to localise any imperfect sheets in the pile and to remove them before further processing.
The future can come
“With the installation of the Rapida 105 PRO, we have taken a giant step forward and can now offer our customers even better service in terms of quality, reliability and availability. At the same time, the Rapida 105 PRO helps us to further develop our product portfolio and opens up additional opportunities in export business,” says director Franjo Beser in summing up the experience gained to date.