Xerox and KBA team up for B1 press

Xerox has partnered with KBA’s Sheetfed Solutions division to develop an industrial digital sheetfed press for the folding carton market.

The resultant press is the KBA VariJET 106, which combines inkjet technology from Xerox Impika with a KBA Rapida 106 press platform. It’s a modular design with optional in-line capabilities such as coating, cold foil application, rotary die-cutting, creasing and perforating. It should be capable of printing 4,500 B1sheets per hour. It can run multiple versions of the same carton as well as customizing cartons.

Xerox already has customers working in folding carton, notably with its iGen printers. But a B1 inkjet is a much bigger step and clearly shows Xerox’s intention to expand further into the packaging market.

Robert Stabler, general manager of Xerox’s Graphic Communications Business Group, explained: “By combining digital capabilities like cross media marketing, digital storefronts, and automated workflows with those of classic offset printing, our customers will be able to offer new products not seen in the traditional packaging market to their customers.”

For KBA this will be its second collaboration with an inkjet press for the packaging market. It has also worked with HP to develop the T1100 for printing to corrugated packaging. But this seems like an unusual strategy from KBA, since the VariJet will be competing directly against its own Rotajet series of inkjet presses.

The VariJet 106 press is still in development but both vendors will show it at this year’s Drupa and it should be available to customers beginning in 2017.


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