Tried & tested: KBA Rapida 75

Simon Creasey
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unveiled at Drupa 2008, the Rapida was the first B2 press that used performance features and innovations found on the manufacturer's larger presses. The 75 essentially evolved out of the predecessor series, the Performa 74 and the Rapida 74, and according to Malcolm Riddle, senior technical sales support manager at KBA, it incorporated the best of both of them.

"It’s fast, it’s easy to operate and has the smallest possible printroom footprint. In contrast, there is a generous print format," he says.

It’s this small footprint that proved highly attractive to printers who were looking to install a B2 press in a limited workspace – the machine has already racked up more than 50 sales worldwide.   

Available in two to eight colours and in two sheet size formats – 530x750mm and 605x750mm – the 75 features end-to-end automated functions, user-friendly operation, fast makereadies and high production speeds using up to half the power of many comparable machines, claims Riddle.

It boasts a host of attractive functions ranging from very flat sheet travel, which allows it to handle heavier stocks, through to KBA’s self-cleaning gripper pads with zero elevation above the cylinder surface.

New arrivals
Two new versions of the Rapida 75 were unveiled at Ipex this year – the 75E and the 75C. The 75E features KBA’s new high-performance feeder that allows it to handle a greater range of substrates, a new sheet separator and a new design with soundproofing to reduce noise emissions. The "more affordable" 75C has electronically controlled sheet deceleration by 70% to ensure optimum sheet arrival speed at the front lays and electropneumatic overshoot blocking for double or skewed sheets. In addition to the different options on existing models, fully automatic perfecting with no stick thickness or speed limitation will be available at the end of this year.

"The various models of the Rapida 75 have something to offer every customer whether they require a perfectly priced workhorse or a system that offers environmental accountability to produce high-quality competitive products," says Riddle.

To underscore the machine’s ‘workhorse’ description he points to its "record-breaking" achievement of completing 11 different jobs in 90 minutes as part of a print test for a German company at KBA’s customer centre in Radebeul. A five-colour version of the press with coater and extended delivery took just 55 minutes to print seven 300-sheet jobs – 30 minutes later four more postcard and business card forms had been completed.

A new five-colour Rapida 75 plus coater costs around £520,000 with an equivalent specification secondhand model from 2008 costing circa £400,000. The company will take secondhand models as part-exchange and it sells used equipment directly to customers. There’s good availability of spares from KBA’s manufacturing plants throughout Europe with 20 engineers on call to address any issues – service contracts are also available.

All in all, the 75 is a popular model and according to Riddle it’s the perfect follow-on press for digital printers who are looking to "increase sheet size and capability with a user-friendly and small carbon footprint press".

Max sheet size 530x750mm/605x750mm  
Pile height Feeder: 840mm, Delivery: 920mm
Footprint 12.4x2.3m
Weight 31 tonnes
Max speed 15,000sph
New five-colour model plus coater: £520,000
2008 five-colour model plus coater circa: £400,000
What to look for
  • General wear and tear


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