Will arrive in December

Qualvis orders mystery Koenig & Bauer press

Left to right: Scully, Smith and Short by the Omega Alius at Drupa
Left to right: Scully, Smith and Short by the Omega Alius at Drupa

Qualvis Print & Packaging has signed for a brand-new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 press, in a mysterious new “one of a kind” configuration.

Remaining tight-lipped about the purchase – made alongside an order for a new Omega Alius 90 folder-gluer to be supplied by Friedheim, the bespoke packaging firm simply said it would round out an investment round begun two years ago that has seen the firm buy a number of finishing machines, a solar array, and new software.

The Rapida 106 will be installed in December 2024 alongside Qualvis’ existing seven-colour Rapida 106 press, and will likely be commissioned in January 2025, with the Omega Alius 90 going in in July 2024.

“We’re very excited to be installing a unique Koenig & Bauer press configuration,” said Qualvis joint managing directors Lisa Smith and Marcus Short in a statement.

“It has been a true collaboration to get to this point, and we can't wait to showcase our new offering. Koenig & Bauer truly aligns with our ethos of innovation and is looking to push the market forward in both sustainability and printing effects. Watch this space.”

Chris Scully, managing director of Koenig & Bauer UK, said: “All I can reveal about the new press is that it is quite unique. 

“Our product designers have worked closely with Qualvis under strict non-disclosure, to develop a one-of-its-kind capability that will give Qualvis a jump on the market.”

The 90cm Omega Alius, unveiled by Koenig & Bauer at Drupa, is capable of belt speeds of up to 600m/min, and upgraded automation from previous models with “intelligent automatic setup” using calculations from carton drawings. Qualvis will take the version with optional crash lock and 4&6 corner boxes, with single-finger servo backfold system.

Smith and Short added that the investments, including the installation of 1,290 solar panels at the company’s Leicester headquarters, have completed the second phase of the firm’s long-term investment strategy.

“[It] allows us to continue to focus on sustainable cutting-edge innovation and first-to-market solutions, which is our passion, whilst increasing capacity to allow for growth which has been exponential over recent years,” they said.

Emma Seville, head of commercial and marketing at Qualvis, told Printweek: “We’re really excited about January, it’s going to be interesting.

“It’ll be very good for our [printing] capacity, but good for new offerings as well – we’re quite heavily focused here on innovative printing techniques and packaging design, as well as sustainability.

“We’re always looking to improve on those fronts, and that’s what the new machine will enable us to do.”

Qualvis employs around 70, turning over around £12m.