Following the termination of its joint venture with Scitex, Karat Digital Press has merged with its parent company, Koenig & Bauer. The former subsidiary has been integrated into the group’s sheet-fed offset plant in Radebeul as a small format and digital print division headed by Jens Junker.

The new division will also handle service activities for the 46 Karat (OEM Presstek) and the ultra compact five colour KBA Genius 52 developed jointly by Metronic. The Genius 52, like the 74 Karat, has waterless short-train inking units, but unlike the Karat it does not feature on-press imaging.

KBA took over all development and sales activities for the 74 Karat DI offset press last year and increased its interest in the company to 99 per cent early this year. It is confident the merger and the group’s incursion into smaller formats will enable it to carve out a sizeable share of the high growth market for short run colour.

Since the B2 74 Karat was launched on the market, more than 60 presses – including the coater version that made its debut at Ipex 2002 – have come on stream in Europe and the USA. The first presses will shortly ship to Algeria and the Middle East. Initial orders from the Far East and Latin America are also in the pipeline.

More information from Claus Schmidt, Koenig & Bauer-Albert Group – TEL: +49 931 9090. EMAIL: