Hubei Guangcai Printing recently ordered a nine-colour Rapida 106 with coater and kit for UV mixed operation from Koenig & Bauer. It will be delivered to the company in Guangshui in the central Chinese province of Hubei in January and will go into operation in April. The press will mainly be used for the production of folding carton and cigarette packaging.
Hubei Guangcai has been using Koenig & Bauer technology since 1997. Haifeng Xing, general manager of Hubei Guangcai explains: “In 1997 we actively expanded our operations in the field of cigarette packaging production. At that time it was imperative to import a state-of-the-art sheetfed offset press. We decided in favour of Koenig & Bauer after comparing and testing the various models on the market and conducting rigorous negotiations with the manufacturers. Koenig & Bauer‘s dynamic team and excellent service won us over. We opted for a five-colour Rapida 104 with coater. The Rapida 104 was the most popular press in Central China at the time.”
Hubei Huawen is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hubei Guangcai and the two companies have jointly purchased six Rapida sheetfed offset presses since the start of their cooperation with Koenig & Bauer. Hubei Guangcai has developed rapidly with its new technology. General manager Haifeng Xing remembers: “Our investment in Koenig & Bauer presses not only has increased production capacity, but has also driven technological innovation within our company. In line with market requirements, we have developed and introduced new technologies to protect our packaging against counterfeiting, e.g. by using special inks that react thermally or effect coatings that are difficult to copy. Our Rapida presses have allowed us to expand our cigarette packaging business.”
The new Hubei Guangcai plant built in 2014 alone covers an area of more than 120 hectares. A high-end Rapida 106 with UV mixed operation joins two sheetfed offset presses at the site, a seven-colour Rapida 105 coater press and a six-colour Rapida 105 coater press (both with UV curing). The plant generates sales of around 260 million CNY (approx. €33m) annually. Like its predecessors, the nine-colour Rapida 106 is tailored precisely to Hubei Guangcai’s needs for sustainable packaging production. Provisions have also been made for the future addition of a cold-foil module.
The company intends to implement energy savings and improve its green credentials with more cost-effective cold-foil processes and the development of new finishing technologies. These measures, plus streamlining production, are essential for Hubei Guangcai to counter rising labour costs. Rapida presses offer every opportunity to boost production efficiency through comprehensive process automation.