Offset printing and packaging in the UK K&B first

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The high-quality board maker Offset Print & Packaging has become the first UK customer to purchase the new generation Koenig & Bauer Rapida 145.

The Aylesford, Kent-based company will take delivery of the wide-format sheetfed offset press in early 2023.

Capable of handling sheet sizes up to 1060 x 1450 mm, the next-generation model includes numerous automation feature upgrades and the ability to handle a wider range of substrates, while offering the Same performance as the latest medium format presses, but for twice the print size.

Vince Brearey, general manager of offset printing and packaging operations, said Print week the investment is in the ‘multi-million pound’ bracket.

“We are growing year on year, so it is part of our strategic investment plan to continue to grow to meet customer demand,” he said.

“We have a long history with Koenig & Bauer, for printing machines, die-cutting and creasing machines and gluing machines; Koenig & Bauer is a key strategic partner.

The company’s existing Rapida 142 is expected to initially work alongside the new 145, although the older press may be retired later.

“We are growing and growing, we have so much work that we had to buy a faster machine to meet the demand. We plan to employ more people and we are always investing to stay ahead of the game and be a shepherd, not a sheep,” Brearey said.

Koenig & Bauer UK Sales Director Chris Scully said Print week“Offset has been a long-time customer of Koenig & Bauer and from our perspective this shows that the level of investment from independent packaging companies is still on the rise, and companies like Offset are definitely in the Premiership .

“And it’s such a progressive setup that they’re looking at. With what they’re trying to do and the products they’re going to be able to offer, they’re really raising the bar.

Scully said the press would have “six printing units, then a varnishing unit, two drying units, another printing unit, then [another] coating unit.

Two years ago, Offset Print & Packaging purchased an Ipress 144 K large format die-cut and creasing machine from Koenig & Bauer Iberica and an Omega Allpro 145 folder-gluer from Koenig & Bauer Duran, the latter purchased through Friedheim International.

Offset Print & Packaging employs 100 people at its approximately 10,700m² site and had sales of £15.5m last year. It serves clients in the home entertainment, food and beauty industries, among others.

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