KBA and Xerox combine for B1 inkjet press


The B1 digital space has a new entrant – KBA and Xerox have partnered on a sheetfed inkjet press, the VariJet 106.

The press is based on KBA’s Rapida platform combined with inkjet technology from Xerox’s Impika division, and is targeted at the folding cartons market.

The two firms cited research from Smithers Pira that predicted growth of 40% in the digitally printed folded cartons market.  

Print speed of the VariJet 106 is 4,500sph at a format of 750x1,060mm, on substrates from 0.2mm to 0.6mm in thickness.

The concept is described as modular, allowing the press to include a variety of additional in-line features that are attractive to packaging printers, such as coating, cold foiling, rotary die-cutting, and creasing and perforating.

Additional colours are also an option: “The VariJet can be configured with seven colours to achieve wide colour gamut,” said Maik Laubin, sales director digital solutions at KBA Sheetfed Solutions.

The press is still in the final stages of development and will not be shown at Drupa, but information including videos will be on both manufacturers’ booths at the show. Its official name is the KBA VariJet 106 Powered by Xerox. 

powered-by-xerox

KBA is in hall 16 (C47) and Xerox is in hall 8 (A62).

However, KBA is likely to be the main sales channel for the device when it goes on sale next year, according to marketing director Klaus Schmidt: “We expect KBA to be the primary go-to-market channel globally, given the high-end positioning of this press and the profile of customers KBA already serves in this industry,” he said.

Xerox may become a re-seller in certain geographies.

Schmidt also said the two manufacturers had set a goal that the quality level of the press “should be comparable to offset”.

Pricing for the VariJet is still to be confirmed. “We know, we have to meet the market price for comparable equipment wherever it is,” Schmidt added.

Robert Stabler, general manager at Xerox’s Graphic Communications Group, said the combination of technologies would create new prospects for printers. “Our customers will be able to offer new products and opportunities for their customers not seen in the traditional packaging market,” he said.

KBA already has an existing co-operation with HP, on the T1100S web press for producing corrugated top liner, which uses HP PageWide inkjet technology and a KBA transport system.

Separately, KBA coding and marking subsidiary KBA-Metronic, has formed a new strategic partnership with DataLase, which makes laser marking systems used for ‘inkless’ digital printing. A KBA-Metronic UdaFormaxx system will be combined with a DataLase LaserSystem K CO2 laser, and shown at Drupa producing addressing and late-stage packaging printing a high speed.

The UdaFormaxx will be shown on both the KBA and DataLase (Hall 6, A19) stands at the show. 

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