Darren Crane, Production Manager, Cambrian Printers

Me and My… KBA Rapida 106-10 with QualiTronic Professional

What does the KBA Rapida 106 do? We were the first mainland UK operation to install the new KBA Rapida 106 with the record-breaking DriveTronic Simultaneous Platechanging System (SPC) in a long perfecting 10 unit configuration. The investment was also our first KBA press installation. The 106 features quality assurance delivering software QualiTronic, DensiTronic and LogoTronic. Combined these ensure that every page is right every time. Should any errors occur the sheets and tagged and removed quickly and simply without any reduction to press speeds.

Why did you choose this particular press?

To improve efficiency, quality and ultimately to be more productive and thus be more competitive and profitable.

As an award winning family owned business, with a strong presence in the journals and magazine sector, the environmental performance of any press was paramount. We operate an integrated system of processes in which environmental management is given equal status to quality control, and Health and Safety practice so it was important that the new press complied with its commitment to the environment.

We shortlisted four manufacturers and put each of their presses through the same series of tests; they were all based on live work we do - there were no tricks. When we analysed the results the Rapida was clearly ahead.

We wanted to run the 106 alcohol-free from day one and KBA is an organisation which shares our values in that respect and the manufacturer's support is vital in making these things work on the factory floor.

Cambrian Printers Production Manager Darren Crane and the ten-unit Rapida 106 with SPC

Did you look at any other similar options? (specify make, model)

Yes, equivalent presses from Komori, Roland and the Heidelberg XL 105-10 colour with Inpress control.

Why did you make the purchase? (eg: moving into new sectors, boosting capacity, replacing existing machine)

Cambrian has always invested in the latest technology and state of the art machinery, this was the next and necessary step that will continue to move the business forward in these challenging times.

What features do you particularly like?

It has to be the Synchronised Plate Change and the SIS infeed system. They are a must-have on anyone’s shopping list.

Is there anything that you dislike?

Oh yes….. the Maximum speed of 15,000 IPH, 20,000 IPH would be much better.

Is there anything that you wish it had that it doesn’t?

An espresso machine would be really handy.

How reliable is it?

Mechanically excellent, it’s German. Electrically it’s good, but room for improvement.

What’s the quality like?

Errrrrrr it’s German, what do you think?

How easy is it to use?

If you can print then you can run the Rapida 106, it prints beautifully.

How much time or money has it saved?

Put it like this, we removed three presses and replaced it with one, the KBA Rapida 106.

Has it won you any new work? (if yes then expand upon your answer)

For sure, weekly titles that require a 12hr turnaround that previously would have been impossible.

Would you say that it offers value for money?

Long-term for sure, but short-term like any large investment you don’t always see the benefits immediately.

Were there any difficulties experienced during the installation or after?

Installation went like a dream. We planned well ahead and working with KBA we process mapped the whole installation procedure from start to finish covering all the hurdles well in advance.

What about the pre and after-sale service?

I won’t lie I did have my doubts especially because of where Cambrian is located geographically. But I have to say that the service support post installation has been superb.

Who do you think the machine is right for?

Any business that prints on both side of the sheet in the B1 market. Simple as that.

Under what circumstances would you buy another? Factfile:

Watch this space.

Star rating – marks out of five 5


Speed -5


Quality -5


Ease of Use -4


Value for Money -4

Supplier’s Response

Christian Knapp KBA UK Managing director: “Cambrian has opted for the quickest make-ready machine available on the market today with SPC, SIS and the super-responsive Qualitronic CC (colour-control) system which allows Cambrian to extend the litho boundaries to economic production of low to very low runs. KBA believes that high productivity presses should provide for the occasional high volume job but essentially must allow the user to produce economically with the quickest job-to-job change-over. The RA106 does exactly this.”


Price: Sterling 3.0 million

Contact KBA 01923 819922