KBA Sheetfed Solutions, a business unit of the Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA), and Xerox have announced a partnership to develop an industrial digital sheetfed press for the folding carton market.Wide format cartons, for items like cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical products, until now has relied on traditional analog offset production printing.

The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox integrates Xerox Impika inkjet technology into the KBA Rapida 106 press platform. The press, in the final stages of development, will print 4 500 B1 750 x 1060 millimeters (29,5 x 41,7 inches) sheets per hour. Its modular concept enables the combination of digital inkjet printing with optional in-line capabilities such as coating, cold foil application, rotary die-cutting, creasing and perforating.

Digitally printed packaging worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 16 percent between 2015 and 2020. Within that, digitally printed folding cartons will see a CAGR of 40%. The KBA VariJET 106 Press brings the benefits of digital printing such as running multiple versions of the same carton as well as customize cartons, opening up new business opportunities for industrial production printers.

“As a leader in package printing our customers are confirming that this is exactly the product they need for the market opportunity that exists,” says Ralf Sammeck, CEO of KBA-Sheetfed Solutions. “Xerox’s inkjet technology coupled with our packaging expertise combines proven technologies to bring the right product to market at the right time.”

“By combining digital capabilities like cross media marketing, digital storefronts, and automated workflows with those of classic offset printing, our customers will be able to offer new products not seen in the traditional packaging market to their customers,” says Robert Stabler, general manager, Graphic Communications Business Group, Xerox. “The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox will have the flexibility, format and speed to help print providers capture this growing market opportunity.”

KBA and Xerox will share additional details on the new press concept during presentations at their respective stands at drupa, the world’s largest print exhibition and trade show held every three years in Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 31 to June 10, 2016.