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Smurfit Kappa expands in the Czech Republic

A new large format KBA Rapida 162a offset press with five printing units plus coater recently began production at Smurfit Kappa’s Czech operation in Olomouc. It has boosted capacity at the plant, which specialises in producing offset printed and laminated cartons – and enhanced the group’s flexibility in central and eastern Europe.

The 13,000sheets/hour Rapida 162a replaces another brand of press. Its 1,200 x 1,620mm sheet format is the biggest in the Czech Republic. Concentric screening in prepress is said to enhance quality and stability substantially while cutting ink consumption. KBA’s QualiTronic and DensiTronic Professional measuring and control systems maintain quality and stability during packaging production.

A camera between the coater and delivery monitors every sheet and uses the data for closed-loop remote adjustment. The press can also deliver high quality matt/gloss effects inline with drip-off coatings. The visual impact is said to be “close to UV quality”.

The Rapida 162a is run in three shifts, with two operators per shift. Smurfit Kappa’s European operations embrace 292 plants in 21 countries. Six of these are in the Czech Republic, where a total of 490 employees process 60,000 tonnes of solid board and 170 million m² of corrugated per year.

Group CEO Gary McGann says: “Olomouc supplies not only the Czech market but also Austria, Poland and Hungary. The initial challenge is to grow by 30% in volume. I have total confidence that this young Olomouc team will achieve its goals.”

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