K&B Durst reveals VariJet 106 pricing model

Jo Francis
Friday, October 15, 2021

Two beta customers will take delivery of Koenig & Bauer Durst’s B1 inkjet press early next year, with commercial shipments slated for the second half of 2022.

The VariJet 106 at its world premiere
The VariJet 106 at its world premiere

The firm switched up its original plans for beta testing due to restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and carried out an internal beta testing process instead.

Managing director Robert Stabler said the two beta sites were traditional folding carton converters – the key target market for the press, which K&B Durst believes offers users “the best of both worlds”. 

Commenting during the VIP launch event and world premiere, he said: “We had a really good turnout of customers. We showed the press running live and it ran extremely well. We ran about 12 jobs, people are still blown away when they see something that looks like an offset press and one different sheet after another being printed.”

He described the quality as “outstanding”.  

“Even compared to offset, the flat tints are outstanding and the colour gamut is good even in four colours.”

The VariJet 106 has an analogue priming station that applies a flood primer to the entire sheet prior to printing, and an over print varnish station post-printing for scuff resistance.

Stabler said the 5,500sph press was ideal for large converting groups dealing with a lot of different run lengths, and its B1 format fitted into existing workflows. 

“They can really look at the total cost of supply chain for customers, and optimise their litho presses, by looking at the 10% of jobs that have the lowest run lengths and doing them in a different way,” he explained.

The target price for the press is sub-€4m (£3.4m), subject to current cost inflation pressures around raw materials and shipping.

The running costs pricing model involves ink, supplied in 200 litre barrels, and a service contract with a monthly fixed fee that covers “everything including printheads”, with K&B Durst aiming to offer a “highly competitive” total cost of ownership.

“It’s a pretty simple business model, we really wanted to take the risk away from customers. It’s much more akin to traditional offset, there is no click model.”

The press will compete with Landa’s S10 and Komori’s Impremia NS40, which uses Landa technology. 

Stabler said Koenig & Bauer Durst aimed to capitalise on the joint venture partners’ established infrastructure and product heritage. 

“We have an existing sales and service infrastructure that’s global. And everything in that press is a tried and tested component – all the inkjet components are proven. 

“It’s direct-to-paper inkjet, non-impact printing. We really expect to get extremely high levels of productivity and uptime from the press.”

He also said the VariJet 106 would open up new business models, allowing brands to reduce wastage in their supply chains. 

“A lot of converters print so much that goes into inventory and a lot of that ends up going to waste. Brand owners are under huge pressure from consumers to report on sustainability and the packaging industry has a huge amount of obsolescence,” he noted. 

“Being more agile and more flexible resonates with some of the brands who are thinking about their total costs. Increasingly, people are thinking about how they can be smarter around how they order at different times of the product lifecycle.” 

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