- Newest Rapida 106 X press offers fastest 20,000 sph, exceptional productivity, and excellent print quality for label production
- Outstanding 50% productivity gains are derived from the complete label workflow production--from printing and die-cutting—paired with the exceptional new Koenig & Bauer CutPRO X 106 rotary die cutter
- In-mold label printers rely on Koenig & Bauer presses as demand increases
As brand manufacturers increasingly demand all types of highly-creative and informative offset printed labels, label printers are turning to Koenig & Bauer for the fastest press speeds, excellent print quality, and proven substrate packages to deliver eye-catching, brand consistent labels for their customers.
“With the growing demand for labels, we’re accelerating our leading role in this very important market,” says Chris Travis, Koenig & Bauer director of technology. “This market is one of our main pillars along with commercial and packaging and we’re deeply committed to developing the latest innovations specifically for each market segment.”
While the U.S. demand for labels is forecast to rise 3.3% per year to $20.6 billion in 2025, Koenig & Bauer is seeing “significant growth”, especially here in North America as well as worldwide. What is drawing leading label printers to invest in Koenig & Bauer? Travis says that overwhelmingly it has been due to the firm’s superior technology that has convinced label printers to transition to Koenig & Bauer. “Our presses are producing labels at 20,000 sph unlike any other press on the market,” he says. “We have label customers breaking production records all of the time on our presses.”
What sets Koenig & Bauer apart is its unique complete process from substrate-in to label-out. This starts with the launch of the newly designed Rapida 106 X, a high speed 20,000 sph. The press, which bears an eye-catching black and grey body with illuminated glass side panels, offers the highest productivity and optimized production and efficiency for label producers. Its popular Koenig & Bauer innovations, such as DriveTronic SIS, a unique side lay free system that allows for accurate registration of the thinnest substrates at max speed which is part of the important label sheet travel package, QualiTronic PDFCheck, an inline image inspection system that compares every printed sheet with the PDF data from prepress, and QualiTronic ColorControl, an inline color control system measuring every sheet, are extremely important for label production, in which each label must be consistent and include specific pertinent information.
“All of our label printers have their Rapida presses equipped with our superior quality and color control systems,” says Travis. “Brands are very aware that their labels must look the same on the store shelf. Consistency is key and our Rapida presses deliver.”
Travis says that Koenig & Bauer equipment is significantly more productive due to the label’s path through the press and delivered to the rotary die cutter. Its engineers have developed a more productive system to produce more labels due to this swift system. Unlike commercial or packaging printers, label manufacturers require specific substrates and Koenig & Bauer has developed an array of substrate packages developed for sophisticated label production. These include lightweight, plastic, and paper, depending on the type of label to be produced.
The dynamic growth of in-mold labels is another important segment for Koenig & Bauer. “In-mold label printing is produced on thin plastic, down to 50 microns, and presents its own set of challenges. Due to our unique concept of sheet travel, from roll to sheet to delivery, which is unique to Koenig & Bauer, we’re able to efficiently and successfully print in-mold labels at the highest production speeds,” says Travis. “We’re also a leader in the LED-UV drying market, which significantly impacts the IML label market, if the label allows for energy curing. Since this type of label is printed on such thin substrates, it can be prone to distortion when subjected to the drying process. LED-UV emits no heat so it provides better control over the production process, allows improved registration, and provides higher quality while addressing the need for faster drying times and the ability to run a full pile in the delivery.”
Koenig & Bauer has placed so much emphasis on the label market that it has dedicated an individual area known as the Label Center in addition to its new Customer Experience Center in Germany. Visitors can witness the entire label production process on the new Rapida 106 X seven color with coater through to the new CutPRO X rotary die cutter. This new machine is equipped with the DriveTronic feeder, SIS (Sensoric Infeed System), label sheet guiding system, and AirTronic delivery and provides fast automation for job changeovers and an intuitive operating concept.
“Our North American Koenig & Bauer in-mold label customers are reaping the rewards and enjoying the huge benefits of their complete label workflow being carried out on the Rapida 106 X and CutPRO X 106 with up to a 50% improvement in production from roll to sheet, to print, to cut, to stripe, and blanking,” says Travis