drupa 2012: Offsetting Digital’s Advance
Digital printing wasn't the only game in town at drupa 2012. The show featured a host of new lithographic presses.June 2012 By Mark Michelson
Digital inkjet printers on display seemingly everywhere, let alone all the buzz surrounding Benny Landa and his Nanographic Printing process, may have captured many of the headlines during drupa 2012, but that doesn't mean there weren't a host of new lithographic press introductions, technology demonstrations and productivity enhancements shown within the stands of traditional press manufacturers.
For example, several Heidelberg offset printing press models debuted in Hall 1. A new eight-color, 41˝, "Peak Performance Class" Speedmaster XL 106 perfector ran substrates up to 0.039˝ thick at 18,000 sph in both straight and perfecting modes. Its straightforward operation and the interplay between preset functions, ink presettings, simultaneous plate changing with AutoPlate XL and Prinect Inpress Control make the press up to 30 percent more productive than the Speedmaster XL 105 and reduce washup times by 30 percent.
For short- and very-short-run color offset jobs, Heidelberg unveiled its Anicolor zoneless short inking unit in a larger press size, by showcasing a five-color, 29˝ Speedmaster XL 75 with Anicolor inking unit. Advantages include 90 percent less paper waste, 50 percent shorter makeready times and 50 percent higher productivity. Also new was an eight-color Speedmaster SX 102 series perfector.
Center stage in Hall 1—which incorporated 3,500 printing plates hung throughout as design elements for a stunning visual effect—was Heidelberg's Performance Services Center. Among the new options offered are Energy Efficiency management consulting services and Remote Monitoring that provides continuous, Web-based preventative monitoring and analysis of equipment.
"We were very pleased with the outstanding sales success across our entire product portfolio, including sales of our newly launched XL 106 press to many U.S. customers, several who have converted from competitive brands," noted Harald Weimer, president of Heidelberg USA. "We were also happy to see our customers demonstrating their understanding of the value of a sharp focus on overall shop productivity. Together, we take this as proof of a significantly improved momentum in the North American market."
KBA's 37,700-square-foot stand also featured several new presses, including the 57˝ Rapida 145 running at speeds to 17,000 sph (15,000 sph perfecting). The six-color with coater drupa model featured DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed; DriveTronic SPC dedicated drives that support simultaneous plate changes in 60 seconds; the CleanTronic Synchro system that simultaneously washes inking rollers, blankets and impression cylinders during plate changing; and several other quick-makeready enhancements. The Rapida 145 is targeted toward commercial, book, Internet and package printers.
KBA's 41˝ Rapida 106 also received a productivity boost with maximum speeds to 20,000 sph in straight mode (18,000 sph perfecting). New features include DriveTronic SFC simultaneous coating form change, AniloxLoader automatic screen roller change, an optimized AirTronic delivery, and the new ErgoTronic console with a wall screen and new quality control modules.