KBA Rapida 105-8 SW4PWVA vs Heidelberg Speedmaster

Discussion in 'KBA Printing Presses' started by AS IF, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. AS IF

    AS IF Member

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    Dear ColorPrintingForum,

    I am the publisher of a large format luxury, fashion, art, lifestyle magazine. We printed our first issue with great success in the states on a Man Roland offset printing machine. The quality was exceptional however the price of printing in the states led me to look into printing in Croatia where my family is from. Since we are a large format art publication - in line with a Tashen coffee-table style book - quality is of utmost important to us. We are very new to the publishing world and therefore lack the knowledge and experience in knowing the differences in offset printing machines. We have narrowed our search down to two printers located in Croatia - both have the expertise and experience in printing the type of product we are producing however both use different machines. One printer uses the KBA Rapida 105-8 SW4PWVA and the other uses a Heidelberg Speedmaster, which seems to be more quality standard here. Since our magazine is 95% photography and very visual it's important that we have a good range of colors and depth. Can anyone give us an overview and opinion of the differences between these two printers? We plan on being on press and overseeing the quality to push the limits to get the best possible quality but I am sure there are slight differences in what these machines can produce as a final product. Your help is greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  2. AS IF

    AS IF Member

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    What I realized that I failed to mention is that the Speedmaster printer cannot provide the size requirements we are looking for to match our first issue. There would be a slight difference (about 1/2 inch all around) in size -- quality is more important for us than size. Therefore, if the KBA printer is inferior in quality to the Speedmaster we would compromise on the size but if the KBA is comparable we would rather keep consistency of size.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  3. Meny

    Meny Senior Member

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    I will try & answer you best :)

    Your question is a good one , but over looks endless parameters that will have an impact on the final result.

    if you ask 10 Heidelberg printers what press is best , 9 will say Heidelberg and one will not be sure...
    If you ask 10 KBA printers , you will get a similar result.
    and if you ask a Komori or Mitsubishi printer(s) you will get a clear answer - none of them prints quality - only Japanies presses....

    But i am here to help , not turn the world against me :)

    When you look at the final result , you see a product made of paper , ink , water addetives , plates used , and , most important - knowledge of the operator who printed it.

    A good operator on an old shity press can get a better result then some young printers on a fancy new press - no matter what make it is.

    A KBA will give you a better dot then a Heidelberg , and if operated well , a sharper result.
    It will be better in perfecting mode unless the Heidelberg is a perfecting XL machine.

    A lot of ???????????? to ask - Alot of information is needed in order to answer you better.

    Feel free to call me - this will be faster
    Best regards & good luck

    Meny
    +44-79-24232341
     
  4. AS IF

    AS IF Member

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    Meny, I feel a weight has just been lifted from our shoulders! That's just the answer I was hoping for. Thank you for your wise advice. The Heidelberg is a SM-CD-102 not XL. I will certainly give you a call should we need additional advice. Best regards, Scott
     
  5. Meny

    Meny Senior Member

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    Happy to help

    good luck
     
  6. AS IF

    AS IF Member

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    In your opinion is there any major difference in final result from a 6 color machine (heildelberg) vs an 8 color machine (kba)?
     
  7. Meny

    Meny Senior Member

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    Answerring your short question is long :)

    If you keep all other parameters the same , and no change , you could have a better result on the KBA if you compair it to a SM 102-6 , and a smaller advantage if you use a CD 102-6.

    If you print in pefector mode on the 8 color KBA , one side may have a very small change due to being pressed wet to the other side cylinder , but if you print 6 color one side on the 8 color kba you will have no change in quality.
    As i said before - the full answer is very very long and subject to the press , the operator , the paper . the consumables and much more.

    If you want the top quality out of the 2 - make a hard test for both , let them struggle and then you know who is best...only you ned to keep an eye for ever to keep the high level of quality.

    BUT , when it comes to what the buyer of yur magazin will see ..... he will not notic the very fine details you may find on the test , as he will not be looking for it as you do.

    At the end of the day , if you get a good result for a good price - take it.
    Just like the enemy of the cheap is the cheaper , so the enemy of the best is the even better..... and no end to this.

    I had a customer to whom i sold a press 7 years ago (not Heidelberg nor KBA :), and he took the world Gold medal for printing quality at one of the bigest competitions (2007). The report of the judge said he never ever held a printed job as perfect as that one.....
    But when the printer came back from the medal ball , he knew what he could do to improve much more.....never ends...

    If you want more info and help with building a real test - feel free to contact me.

    menybor@yahoo.com
    +44-79-24232341
     
  8. offset005

    offset005 Member

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    Quality depends on operator not on machine.IF operator is good one he can handle old machine too for good quality.
    I am agree with MR Meny.
     
  9. Ade

    Ade Member

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    Hi

    I expect you have this sorted by now but the best thing to look for is the preventative maintenance schedule, if the presses are under strict maintenance program and the rollers are being checked/replaced, greasing up etc are being done at the correct intervals and printing to iso standards then you have some idea of how the company views its work, if on the other hand all they do is run the presses as fast as they can with little maintenance then the settings etc are going to be out and giving a poorer result,
    also speak to people doing the job ignore the salesman/mangers etc you will be surprised how helpful they are if you show interest in them and what they are doing and how you view your work.

    Ade
     

  10. turbotom1052

    turbotom1052 Senior Member

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    My money would be on the company standards instead of the machinery. A printing company that is overbooked with work, and not willing to take the time required for a good result, will be rushing the job through the pressroom, resulting in any machine or press operator to not produce its best quality. Of all of the things that will effect the quality of the final product, I would rate the manufacturer of the press as the last thing to worry about. My best suggestion of all of the variables would first and foremost be, to print the job on a high quality sheet of paper. As a former sheetfed press operator that has worked in the very market your referring to, there is nothing that screams "CHEAP" as much as a customer thats looking to make a silk purse from a pigs ear. A quality sheet of paper tells me, as a press operator, that the customer means business. In addition id also be looking at the company that has its pre press dept fine tuned to the press as much as possible. If your going through multiple rounds of color corrections during the proofing process, and wind up reluctantly signing off on a proof thats not quite where you want it to be, in hopes of "making it happen" on press then I would be concerned. The best results where this is concerned would come from a pre press dept thats able to output a satisfactory proof within a couple of rounds of proofing, and then have the the job print at "STANDARD" densities once it gets to press. The more the pressman needs to deviate from "standard" densities, the more you as the customer risk a job with inconsistent color, possible setoff, and other related problems.
     
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