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Heidelberg Introduces Push to Stop Operating Philosophy


May 31, 2016
By PrintAction Staff

At drupa 2016, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG unveiled a new operating philosophy called Push to Stop, also referred to by the press maker as autonomous printing, which basically applies a true manufacturing approach to printing in that operators only push a button to stop the press, rather than the traditional approach of an operater pushing a button to active jobs.

The concept is to have the press initiate a series of print jobs that are properly queued up by Heidelberg’s Prinect software, which also relies on the company’s new-generation press console, called Prinect Press Center XL 2 with Intellistart 2 user software and its assistance systems such as Intelliguide.

“Automation on its own is not enough to exploit the potential for greater productivity on a lasting basis. Here, ease of operation and the stability of the overall system are what count,” explained Stephan Plenz, member of the Management Board responsible for Equipment at Heidelberg. “Therefore, we needed to rethink the operating philosophy of the printing press, and the handling of the digital information generated by the workflow.

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“It quickly became clear that we were on the verge of a paradigm shift. We are evolving from a Push to Start approach to a Push to Stop philosophy. Whereas today the operator must actively start processes on the machine, in future the machine will, wherever possible, do this itself. It will automatically work through the queue of print jobs. And it will do this using the ideal, shortest makeready operation, with maximum net productivity as the result. The operator then only has to intervene if the process needs correcting.”

Heidelberg explains this approach raises the effectiveness of print production to previously unattainable levels, enables better planning of processes, and continuous process monitoring lowers the error rate.

With Push to Stop, several print jobs are properly queued up by Printect software, depending on ink layout down and imposition, and then run consistently without operator intervention. Ultimately, the technology platform can also leverage colour management tools to reach pre-specified Delta levels and a tagging system in the press delivery.

Heidelberg expects Push to Stop will double the productivity of print production in the years to come. Much of the technology needed for Push to Stop exists today, but various pieces need to be tied together to execute.

The Push to Stop concept is available for the new generation Speedmaster, covering the series XL 75, CX/SX 102, XL 106 and XL 145/162, which are equipped with the Prinect Press Center XL 2, the Wallscreen XL, and AutoPlate Pro or AutoPlate XL 2 and Inpress Control 2 automation components. “With “Push to Stop”, industrialized offset printing with maximum net productivity becomes possible,” said Plenz. “This operating philosophy will also be used in digital printing on the Primefire 106, making highly industrialized digital printing achievable for the first time.”