The employees of KBA Japan moved into their new Tokyo office in September 2012 making it the first subsidiary in the 200-year-long history of Koenig & Bauer (KBA) to be based in the Land of the Rising Sun. The team in Tokyo is being led by Kenneth Hansen, managing director of KBA Korea in Seoul.
He has worked in the Asian graphic arts industry for over 30 years and is a valued expert on the Japanese printing industry with outstanding contacts. After only 15 months Kenneth’s efforts in Japan with KBA sheetfed offset presses have begun bearing fruit. Long and highly automated high-tech presses from KBA are proving particularly popular. So far four Rapidas have been installed in Japanese printing firms or are on their way there. Especially the world makeready champions Rapida 106 and Rapida 145 have generated a great deal of interest and can now be seen live in operation.
Long Rapida 106 at Taisei in Tokyo
Japan, which ranks among the top five printing press markets in the world, has long been a blank spot on the KBA map. In the past only publication rotogravure and web offset presses for telephone directories were delivered. Therefore Kenneth Hansen carefully planned KBA’s entry into this market. The Japanese team received comprehensive training before prominent packaging printer Taisei in Tokyo flipped the switch on the first Rapida 106 at the beginning of 2013. The press features eight printing units, simultaneous plate changing, packages for foil and board handling, capabilities for UV mixed operation and a cold-foil module. In addition, the employees in Japan are supported by their colleagues from Korea and Germany with regard to commissioning and service activities.
Rapida 145 for Kinsei Printing in Osaka
Following initial successes of the medium-format Rapida 106 with packaging printers, the first Japanese commercial printer recently opted for a large-format press. Kinsei Printing in Osaka ordered a Rapida 145 with six printing units, simultaneous plate changing (DriveTronic SPC) and a maximum output of 17,000sph. Kinsei Printing is a commercial printer specialising in large-format, high-quality printing of maps, books, brochures, calendars and posters. President Morikiyo Nosaki states that the KBA Rapida 145 with its combination of outstanding speed, quick turnaround times and high quality is a perfect match for his customers and his company. Morikiyo Nosaki: “After a series of print tests we had no doubt that this machine will carry us well into the future and make Kinsei able to meet the demands of the market segments it is in, in addition to supporting our expansion. None of the other manufacturers came close to meeting our ambitious demands, but KBA’s Rapida 145 exceeded them. I now know why KBA is the undisputed world market leader in large format.” The Kinsei plant in Osaka only operates large-format presses and until now has had presses from Mitsubishi, Komori and Manroland. Installation of the new KBA Rapida 145 will begin in spring 2014.
Caption: President Yoshiro Ohno of Taisei Co. Ltd. in Tokyo (r) with Kenneth Hansen, managing director of KBA Japan, during a visit to Radebeul.