KBA Introduces Compact Commander

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By: E&P Staff

Koenig & Bauer AG, Wuerzburg, Germany, expanded its compact platform with the Commander CT, a conventional wet offset press with improved roller-type inking, ink keys and spray dampeners. The pressmaker’s other compact model, the Cortina, uses waterless, keyless inking units and precise temperature control.

KBA said a Commander CT press line that has been running for several months at a German newspaper will be opened to observers next spring.

KBA incorporated some of what it calls Cortina’s “nonprocess-specific benefits” in the Commander CT, which is aimed at those “not yet willing or able to go waterless,” the company said, adding that new press’ compact design and high level of automation minimize but do not eliminate some process-specific drawbacks, such as fan-out.

KBA claims ergonomic and economic advantages for the Commander CT found elsewhere only in its waterless Cortina. Tower height under 13 feet enables a Commander CT to be installed in standard industrial buildings. In a high-rise press hall two compact of the four-highs may be stacked to create an eight-high tower. A tower can run a 4/4 full-color web or two 2/2 webs.

Commander CT printing couples incorporate improved conventional roller-type undershot inking with ink keys and three form rollers, along with triple-roller spray dampening.

An optional feature is KBA’s PlateTronic automatic plate changing for ultrashort edition changes. Semi-automatic plate changers are standard on the Commander CT, as are RollerTronic automatic roller locks to ensure optimum printing conditions with no manual adjustment, KBA’s new NipTronic bearing units for the remote adjustment of printing pressure between the plate and blanket cylinders (an advantage when printing on different weights of stock), oil-free StepIn towers that split to allow easy blanket change and cleaning, and dedicated cylinder drives.

KBA called its compact platform’s inclusion of conventional wet offset alongside waterless, keyless offset “a concession to the newspaper industry’s conservatism and a pragmatic response to the fact that, because of the long investment cycles involved, no new technology can storm the market overnight.” Further, it denied its work amounted to a rumored “Cortina with dampeners.” At this month’s Ifra Expo in Amseterdam, KBA Marketing Director Klaus Schmidt said his company has no plans for such a press, and that “promoting the adoption of waterless offset and optimizing the associated consumables … will remain a core focus.”

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