Automated Plate Logistics Optimize Press Utilization


Staff member
Increasing numbers of commercial printers are equipping their Rapida sheetfed presses with fully automatic plate logistics systems. Web-to-print providers are particularly active when it comes to doing so. Several Koenig & Bauer systems are already in daily use & further installations are expected.

To date, both medium-format Rapida-106 X & large-format presses of the Rapida-145 series have been integrated into fully automatic plate logistics. Depending on the particular system & location, they deliver up to 1,280 printing plates to the changers in an 8-colour press/shift.

In commercial printing—with many short & medium runs & compressed makeready times in particular—fully automatic plate logistics helps operators harness the full potential of these highly automated presses. The transfer from the plate logistics module to the simultaneous plate changing system—DriveTronic-SPC—is precise & manual interventions become a thing of the past. The modular system enables individual solutions for a desired level of automation:
  • Separation of individual plates & transfer to the transport system,
  • Plate identification (data matrix),
  • Transport to the printing unit,
  • Plate changing,
  • Transport to a disposal station,
  • Disposal of used plates.
The automation of plate loading & removal to a disposal station permits optimum utilization of the press capabilities, especially where very short runs are involved. Here’s one amazing video showing all the action!

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