Rapida 106 X configured for maximum inline finishing options – including double coating, a printing unit after the first coater and cold foil application

Complete solutions for folding carton production

When it comes to sheetfed offset, Koenig & Bauer is one of the major equipment suppliers to the packaging industry. Most companies operating in this industry are working with either medium-format or – especially frequently – large-format Rapida offset presses. There’s a reason why the company is attracting ever greater attention in this segment at the moment: over the past few years, Koenig & Bauer has transitioned from being purely a printing press manufacturer to become a full-service provider for folding carton production. Die-cutters, folder-gluers and corresponding workflow solutions have been added to its product portfolio. Reason enough to take a closer look at the range of solutions on offer.

Technology & Innovation
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What is immediately apparent is that, for most production steps, Koenig & Bauer supplies both ‘traditional’ and innovative technical solutions – and that over the full scope of folding carton production.

Sheetfed offset presses for high-end applications in medium format

Beyond a shadow of a doubt: the classic solution for all printing needs goes by the name ‘Rapida’. Sheetfed offset presses from the Rapida series can be configured with up to 19 printing and finishing units, and can handle a particularly broad spectrum of substrates right up to corrugated and heavy solid board. 

Companies working in medium formats up to 720 (740) × 1,050 (1,060) mm can choose between three different models. The Rapida 105 is packed with practical automation features and permits production speeds of up to 16,000 sheets/h. The high-end medium-format press Rapida 106 raises the maximum production speed to 18,000 sheets/h and provides an exceptional automation concept that leaves practically no wishes unanswered. The Rapida 106 X – the most prolific press generation to date with production speeds up to 20,000 sheets/h – stands out due to its future-oriented automation and networking solutions.

Large-format Rapidas: performance on a par with modern medium-format presses

The two large-format series Rapida 145 (max. sheet format 1,060 × 1,450 mm) and Rapida 164 (max. sheet format 1,205 × 1,640 mm) boast performance parameters and automation features that are otherwise only associated with medium-format presses. The innovations of the latest press generation launched in 2022 include production speeds of up to 17,000 (Rapida 164) and 18,000 sheets/h (Rapida 145).

Thanks to their high degree of flexibility in terms of the number of printing and finishing units, compatible ink and drying systems, a substrate range stretching well into the sphere of heavy boards, automation solutions for plate, coating forme and anilox roller changing, fast parallel makeready processes, and integration into fully automatic logistics systems for both substrates and printing plates, they are the ideal means of production for all folding carton, display and packaging companies – from independent specialists to international packaging groups. Rapida printing units are also used for the metal decorating presses in the MetalStar series made by Koenig & Bauer MetalPrint.


Digital folding carton printing with the VariJET 106

Where short and medium runs of personalised and individualised print products stand in the foreground, the VariJET 106 from Koenig & Bauer Durst offers a digital alternative. It integrates inkjet technology into the platform of the Rapida 106. A consistently modular concept allows digital inkjet printing to be combined with printing and inline finishing options from the offset world.

The VariJET 106 is the perfect choice for companies invested in the packaging of the future. That could involve personalised and individualised print products, or short and medium run lengths as well. Thanks to the modular system, users can configure the VariJET 106 to cater to their specific applications. Inline product refinement with coatings and coating effects is just one example of what is possible.

Flatbed die-cutters – the traditional approach

The situation is similar when it comes to the die-cutting of folding cartons: for users who prefer a classic flatbed die-cutter, the CutPRO Q 106, Optima and IPress series offer modern, flexible and high-performance machines for the processing of a broad range of substrates.

The entry-level Optima for the 106 cm format handles a wide spectrum of substrates, including paper, plastics, carton and corrugated board. A comprehensive portfolio of optional accessories allows the machine to be tailored to individual requirements. 

With their extensive electronics, the IPress models are among the fastest and most productive flatbed die-cutters on the market. They can be equipped with an OPMR system (Optical Print Mark Register) to facilitate sheet alignment at the front and side edges. The fully automatic non-stop feeder and a complete pile logistics solution replace the otherwise typically manual handling of incoming and outgoing sheet piles. The system can be rounded off with an automatic blanker, featuring an innovative tool technology to ensure that whole sheets are processed especially rapidly and straightforwardly.

The top-of-the-range machine is the CutPRO Q 106 SB. It stands out due to its extremely compact design and combines the process steps of die-cutting, stripping and blanking into a single pass. Fast makeready at job changeovers and die-cutting speeds up to 9,000 sheets per hour lay the foundations for maximum performance. The CutPRO Q handles a full spectrum of substrates from 90 g/m² paper through to solid board with a thickness of 1.5 mm or corrugated board up to 3 mm. Outstanding quality and ultimate register accuracy are guaranteed by features such as Cut2Print registration. State-of-the-art touchscreens and an intuitive operating concept make work on the CutPRO Q a particularly ergonomic pleasure.

Rotary die-cutting for higher output

With production speeds up to 15,000 sheets/h, the rotary die-cutter CutPRO X 106 has no trouble keeping up with the pace of modern sheetfed offset presses. The printing press output is handled with ease – a workload that required two die-cutters in the past. What’s more, the machine is modular in design, with three segments for up to five technologies: embossing, creasing, die-cutting, stripping and blanking.

Register accuracy down to 15 µm and individual adjustment of the die-cutting pressure in 1 µm increments form the basis for exceptionally precise die-cutting quality. The CutPRO X 106 processes a broad spectrum of substrates from ultra-thin inmould films up to 0.6 mm board. Various configuration and performance packages cater to individual expectations and the special requirements of particular market segments and applications. A full job changeover is completed in less than 20 minutes. In addition, because all job-specific setting values can be saved, makeready for repeat jobs is faster.

High flexibility in carton folding and gluing

The final production step is carton folding and gluing. Machines from the Omega Allpro series are especially popular with users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They are suitable for all manner of complex end products – for example straight-line, double-wall and crash-lock packaging, telescope-style boxes, four- and six-corner collapsible cartons and other self-erecting designs. The Allpro 110 runs with belt speeds up to 400 m/min, the Allpro 130-145 at speeds up to 300 m/min. Nine different models are available, covering working widths from 35 to 185 cm.

Manufactured in Europe

Koenig & Bauer is probably the only company in the industry that supplies a complete product portfolio for folding carton production from manufacturing plants in Europe. Rapida sheetfed offset presses and the rotary die-cutter CutPRO X 106 are produced in Radebeul near Dresden, the flatbed die-cutters are products made by Koenig & Bauer Iberica in Barcelona, and Koenig & Bauer Duran in Istanbul is responsible for the folder-gluers.

Koenig & Bauer also provides solutions for folding carton printing on a web basis. Read more about the versatility of the RotaJET digital web press in this article.