Eight printing units, perfecting unit for 4-over-4 production, coater and reel-to-sheet feeder: the Rapida 106 X is the new centrepiece in the printshop in Linz

Rapida 106 X – A record-breaking press for more efficiency

The purchase of a sheetfed offset press from the Rapida 106 X series is an investment in the future for the Austrian print company Gutenberg. It is not only the key to a new, record-breaking performance, but also lends a further boost to production efficiency at the company’s print centre in Linz.

Technology & Innovation
Read time: approx. 3 minutes

On 13 October 2021, the new Rapida 106 X at Gutenberg demonstrated its maximum speed of 20,000 sheets per hour for the very first time. "No sheetfed offset press in Austria has ever run faster in perfecting mode. And that with paper fed from a reel-to-sheet feeder," says managing director Markus Birnkas-Frick with understandable pride. Records, however, are fleeting moments. The prime objective of the €4 million investment was, in fact, to raise efficiency across the entire production process.

After all, the production speed is just one of the benefits that the eight-colour press provides. A range of new features – for example in the area of plate logistics – also make makeready times shorter. A whole host of measuring and control systems has made production even more stable and reliable. Integrated quality control is the domain of the QualiTronic ColorControl module. Birnkas-Frick: "It’s really impressive what the press delivers from the word ‘go’ in terms of performance."

To understand the full significance, it helps to look back to the time before installation of the new press. An ageing five-colour Rapida had just been dismantled, and an eight-colour Rapida dating from 2012 was running at full capacity in three-shift operation. "We needed to defuse this situation," as managing director Birnkas-Frick explains. "This said, the press had played an important part in enabling positive economic growth for our business."

  • On 13 October 2021, the Rapida 106 X at Gutenberg set a national record: no perfector press had ever run faster in Austria – and that in perfecting mode with a reel-to-sheet feeder
  • Are all the right materials available in the right place at the right time? Comprehensive press automation has transformed working routines for the printers
  • New service: the online portal e-port simplifies the ordering process for recurring and what are essentially standardised print jobs

The project was a success in every respect: the company was able to eliminate a whole shift while maintaining the same production volume. The tasks for the press operators have also changed: "The accelerated production process means that properly trained printers are by no means superfluous on the Rapida 106 X – though they will have more logistics tasks in future. They must pay even more attention to ensure that the right materials are available in the right place at the right time."

In the sales office, increased efficiency has been paired with employee development. The team has received training on not exclusively basing the sale on price, but instead by addressing issues that reflect the individual needs of the customers. "The art of selling, after all, is to show the customers that you are genuinely interested in them and that you can offer them something which, first of all, caters to their particular requirements and, secondly, shows that we are the right partner for each other," says Markus Birnkas-Frick. Above all, it has long-standing relationships with customers in industry, art and culture, and local government. Over the last few years, the company’s social media presence has also proved to be a valuable foundation for sales activities.

One brand new service is the online portal e-port. As part of an election campaign in the state of Upper Austria, a closed portal was set up for one of the political parties. The portal serves as a tailored access point for recurring and what are essentially standardised print jobs. Content personalisation and simplified ordering processes enable customers to implement fast and professional solutions.