Koenig and Bauer launch new flexo press

Koenig and Bauer has announced a new wide web central impression flexo press, the XD Pro, which will eventually replace the existing XD press. 

The new press, which is built at Koenig and Bauer’s Wurzburg factory, has a print width from 1 to 1.4m wide. It can produce up to 500mpm. It boasts a repeat ranging from 330 to 850mm. It’s mainly designed to take water- and solvent-based inks but can be configured on request to run UV inks. 

The standard design is for eight colour printing decks but there’s an option to increase this to ten. It can also be set up with additional units for coating, laminating or patterned lacquering in a single pass. It’s designed to handle materials such as film, breathable, stretchable, shrinkable, laminates and paper up to 180 gsm. 

Christoph Müller, CEO of Koenig & Bauer’s Digital & Webfed division, commented: “With the trend towards packaging recyclability gathering speed, the focus is on the design and production of the original package in a more sustainable way with thinner and more easily recyclable materials.”

Giovanni Scatena, CI-Flexo Product Manager says that it can print on film with very low tension, adding: “For recycled materials whether paper, cardboard or film which often have variable surface and chemical characteristics, we have experience and we apply idle roller with correct surface or dedicated nip rollers, pistons, load cell, in-feeder inspection controls such as video cameras for checking the surface before printing, checking printing repeat, web cleaner.”

Koenig and Bauer has added some more automation, such as having the plate and anilox cups openings lock automatically to reduce the risk of damage over time.  Also, the Inking and washing system is now integrated to the printing units. This reduces the length of the tubes leading to better inking and improved flow rate rate of the pumps so that they don’t run out of ink at higher speeds. It also makes the press more compact and improves access for maintenance. 

Scatena says: “We are seeing a high demand for automation due to shortage of specialist machines of this type. We have a system for automatic impression and semi-automatic registering. Washing can be done automatically on demand. This means that the printer only needs to push a button and the washing will automatically be done.”

There are a number of other improvements overall including a newly engineered doctor blade chamber for better printing. There have been improvements to the ventilation system to increase the air speed from 40 m/s to 50 m/s, which in turn allows for faster printing as well as allowing for more uniform drying across the print width. 

The new press should also be easier to work with thanks to a number of ergonomic improvements. Thus the deck is now horizontal rather than inclined to give easier access to the drum on colours 1 and 8/10 for cleaning the drum. Equally, it’s no longer necessary to use a ladder to change the plates and sleeves. 

Oliver Baar, director of commercial product management for Koenig & Bauer’s Digital & Webfed division, noted: “This is an ideal press conceived to meet just-in-time market requirements for more production agility of short runs, as it features unrivalled ergonomic design with easier accessibility to the print units, plus advanced automation for fast changeover times with minimum waste. The modular design of the new generation, fully automatic, flexographic central impression press allows the combination in-line of different product printing and finishing as well as converting modules incorporating special applications and complementary printing techniques such as rotogravure, offset or digital.”

The XD Pro is available to order now though with a nine to 12 month lead time. You can find further details from koenig-bauer.com.


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