Sheetfed Offset
Komori Corporation has added a new press to its Lithrone G Series, the Lithrone GX44RP offset press, describing the system as the ultimate in one-pass double-sided printing. The 44-inch Lithrone GX44RP is equipped with H-UV technology to deliver high quality, high productivity and short turnaround stability for double-sided printing.

Komori describes the press as being well suited for applications like publication printing, magazines and books, and duplex package printing. Key features of the new press include single-edge gripping, which makes the margin on the tail edge of the sheets unnecessary. This enables paper costs to be cut by minimizing the sheet size.

The Lithrone GX44RP also employs four double-size transfer cylinders, which eliminates sheet reversal and to help provide stable sheet transport for handling either light or heavy stocks through. Additionally, front/back plate imaging is in the same direction, (just as with single-sided presses) increasing efficiency in prepress.

Supported by the KHS-AI integrated control system, benderless Full-APC and the H-UV curing system, the Lithrone GX44RP provides short makeready and powderless instant drying to accommodate fast turnarounds. Options that can be included with the press are the A-APC Asynchronous Automatic Plate Changer, the PDC-SX Spectral Print Density Control SX ,odel and the PQA-S Print Quality Assessment System.
Flint Group is introducing a new UV lamp retrofit conversion program called VANTAGE LED aimed at sheetfed printers. The full suite of products and services included in the retrofit program consists of pre-conversion consulting and training, LED inks and coatings, matching pressroom chemicals and blankets, as well as service support during and after conversion.

At the heart of the VANTAGE LED program, according to Flint, are EcoLUX LED lamps supplied by Air Motion Systems, which develops LED UV technology often applied in the sheetfed offset industry.

Flint explains VANTAGE LED is geared toward users of legacy UV methods and for those printers who have had no exposure to UV curing methods but are now investigating LED technologies.

“LED curing technology will change sheetfed offset printing forever – there is no doubt,” said Jim Buchanan, Global UV Business Development Director for Flint Group Packaging & Narrow Web. “VANTAGE LED has been developed to ensure those wishing to convert to LED curing can do so with confidence in a very short space of time. Our expert print technicians will audit an operation in the first instance and a full cost-benefit analysis will follow – a press can be converted in as little as one day.

“We have seen a staggering increase in factory-fitted LED presses, but the process of converting existing presses to LED, with retro-fitted lamp systems, allows printers a fast track to the benefits this technology brings.”
KBA is introducing a new double-pile delivery system for its Rapida 145 sheetfed press, which will be shown at drupa in a six-colour configuration with coater and automated pile logistics. The double-pile delivery option is now also available in medium format for the Rapida 106 press.

The new double-pile delivery for the Rapida 145 is designed to optimize production at packaging companies with high throughput. A waste-free delivery pile which stands next to a smaller pile of waste, explains KBA, can be sent straight to a die-cutter or laminating machine to be converted. Productivity is increased as manually sorting through a pile for waste is now no longer necessary.

KBA explains both piles can be embedded in substrate logistics. Waste can be ejected at full speed, i.e. at 18,000 sheets per hour (Rapida 145) and 20,000 sph (Rapida 106). This allows for start-up and run-up waste to be removed automatically. Further applications are planned in the future, explains KBA, which adds that double-pile delivery makes nonstop pile change at maximum speed safer. Production with two piles is possible in both manual and automatic mode.
At drupa 2016, running from May 31 to June 10 in Germany, Heidelberg plans to present three key new innovations for its Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2 short inking technology, applied to both commercial and packaging printing.

Heidelberg explains its Anicolor advantages are summarized with the formula 90-50-50: “Around 90 percent less waste thanks to fast and constant inking. It takes just 20 to 30 start-up sheets to reach the correct ink levels for a new order. The result is a 50 percent reduction in setup times combined with a 50 percent increase in productivity.”

“We presented the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor as prototypes at drupa 2012. We have sold over 200 printing units since then – split down the middle between commercial and packaging printers,” said Stephan Plenz, member of the management board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment. “At the next drupa we will be showing how easy it can be to complete short production runs quickly, flexibly, and economically using offset printing with the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2.”

The first of three Anicolor 2 innovations highlighted by Heidelberg is the Anicolor Booster, which can be activated at the push of a button on the Prinect Press Center and permits a wider use of inks based on a new setting range for ink density on different printing stocks.

Heidelberg explains, in most cases, Anicolor Booster does away with the need to change the ink chamber as was previously required with very absorbent printing stocks, adding this shortens the setup time in commercial printing since both coated and uncoated paper can now be processed with the same ink series. Heidelberg states this benefit is even more pronounced in packaging printing, with its ever-changing spot colours – up to 15 minutes can be saved here by not having to change the screen roller, which is mostly only required for orders involving the application of opaque white, gold, or silver.

The second innovation of Anicolor 2 highlighted by Heidelberg is a faster washup program that provides for faster ink changes and, therefore, shorter setup times based on 9,000 revolutions per hour instead of the previous 7,000. As a result, Heidelberg explains the changing colour shades can now be achieved up to a minute faster.

The third innovation of Anicolor 2 highlighted by Heidelberg is a new function allowing the operator to choose between “standard,” “short,” or “none” for the ink shut-off time, depending on the colour assignment from one job to the next. The shortened ink shut-off, according to Heidelberg, saves another 20 seconds, while eliminating it altogether reduces the setup time by 40 seconds. The option of “none” is suited for successive orders of the same type.

Anicolor 2 with a new design, new feeder, and the new Prinect Press Center XL 2 will be available as standard from November 2016. A number of technical functions such as the new Anicolor Booster and the faster washup programs will be available earlier from July 2016.
IST METZ GmbH of Nürtingen, Germany, is repositioning itself to take advantage of the growing business in LED UV systems. In May 2015, the company acquired the majority interest of Integration Technology Ltd., which develops such systems, and IST METZ has now reorganized its management board.

The UV market is changing: Besides the classic UV medium pressure lamps, in recent years the curing of inks and varnishes by means of UV LEDs has been established. This has even opened up whole new business areas, e.g. in the industrial joining technology. Offering both types of UV systems, IST METZ GmbH has even further expanded the LED business this year. Apart from the successful market launch of its own high-performance LED products, the acquisition of the majority interest in the British UV systems manufacturer Integration Technology Ltd. in May brought an additional gain in expertise in this field.

Christian-Marius Metz, grandson of deceased company founder Gerhard Metz and previous Head of the Central Area Operations & Services, becomes Chief Executive Officer of IST METZ.

Holger Kühn was named Managing Director Sales. He has been part of the company for 17 years in various functions in sales, most recently as Head of the Central Area Sales. Dr. Robert Sänger will complete the management board at the beginning of next year as Managing Director Technology. Having been Head of Development at the subsidiary eta plus electronic GmbH, he will now join the parent company. Dirk Jägers, previous Managing Director of IST METZ GmbH, left the company.

“We are looking forward to running the company in the spirit of my grandfather”, said Christian-Marius Metz. “We are leading in the industry in terms of know-how in UV technology, and we will know how to make the most of it.”
Komori, at Graph Expo 2015 in Chicago, plans to focus on its recently introduced Lithrone GLX sheetfed press, IS 29 inkjet press and the PQA-S system for offset printing.

Launched worldwide at the beginning of 2015, the Komori Lithrone GLX sheetfed press features a fully automatic, non-stop feeder and delivery, camera inspection and inline colour control. The GLX’ A-APC plate changers can change plates in one minute regardless of number of printing units. The company also points toward how the press runs on vegetable-based greases and oils. The new Komori GLX is rated at 18,000 impressions per hour, and although focused for the carton market, is described as a versatile machine is also suitable for the high-end or ultra-quick make-ready commercial market, as well as printers with long runs.

Scheduled for a launch after Graph Expo 2015, the Komori IS 29 is a B2-format sheetfed UV inkjet press that can operate in perfecting or straight mode, printing on up to 18 point board substrates. It runs at 3,300 sheets per hour in straight mode. The IS 29 is a 20-inch web-fed machine that prints at up to 150 meters per second. According to Komori, this machine will be available as a roll-to-roll, roll-to-sheet, roll-to-saddle stitching or roll-to-perfecting binding configurations.

PQA-S, introduced in 2014 for Komori press integration, is an external camera inspection system designed to detect defects like hickies, scratches, dry-up, lost image, oil drops, that can occur during printing. In addition to detecting colour changes, PQA-S automatically corrects them. The system is focused through a narrow slit in the catwalk to the last impression cylinder. It photographs each sheet at press speed for comparing to master sheet.
KBA, at Graph Expo, will focus on the new Rapida 105 PRO press, as well as the growth in LED-UV printing with VariDry technology, and the RotaJET series of inkjet printing presses.

Launched in June 2015, the Rapida 105 PRO is a new medium-format sheetfed offset press. At 17,000 sph, the press delivers a slightly higher level of performance in terms of production, a larger standard sheet format of 740 x 1,050 mm, shorter makeready times based on more automation and a new operating concept. KBA explains it also offers more equipment flexibility and greater scope for customization. One of the Rapida 105 PRO’s key features, according to KBA, is the full preset capabilities from the feeder through the printing units to delivery. All of the settings at the feeder and delivery can be stored according to job type, which can be leveraged with repeat jobs or orders printed on the same substrate.

The interest in LED-UV technology has grown substantially over the past couple years, particularly for the its use on sheetfed offset perfecting presses. Introduced in summer 2014, KBA’s VariDry LED-UV system is designed for commercial and packaging printers from small to large format. The instant cure-to-print system offers low energy costs to power LED-UV, flexibility to easily move LED-UV lamps interchangeably on press, as well as environmental and safety benefits.

Introduced in January 2015, the RotaJET L and VL inkjet presses serve a range of applications for book, advertising and publications printing as well as additional industrial application fields, like decorative and packaging printing. At Graph Expo the company will be focused on its RotaJET 130 L and RotaJET 168 VL digital inkjet models.

RotaJET presses, explains KBA, feature a web guidance system over two large cylinders without turner bars, which result in optimum web tension and a high print and register quality even on thin paper. The modular RotaJET L platform is available in five different web widths from 35.2 to 51.1 inches and can be upgraded to the maximum printing width and colour content or configured to suit all fundamental application areas in the high-volume digital printing segment. Retrofitting future generations of printing heads is also possible allowing users to react quickly and economically to changing demands.
German press maker KBA, during last week’s Print China show, unveiled a new medium-format sheetfed offset press model, called the Rapida 105 PRO, scheduled for launch this June. The Rapida 105 PRO, KBA explains, is to be positioned in its top-performance segment between the Rapida 105 and the flagship Rapida 106.

Compared to the Rapida 105, which is still available, at 17,000 sph the new press delivers a slightly higher level of performance in terms of production, a larger standard sheet format of 740 x 1,050 mm, shorter makeready times based on more automation and a new operating concept. KBA explains it also offers more equipment flexibility and greater scope for customization.

One of the Rapida 105 PRO’s key features, according to KBA, is the full preset capabilities from the feeder through the printing units to delivery. All of the settings at the feeder and delivery can be stored according to job type, which can be leveraged with repeat jobs or orders printed on the same substrate.

The Rapida 105 PRO is also available with semi-automatic plate change (change in every printing unit) and automatic plate change (fully automatic change in all units in 2.8 minutes). Optional features include DriveTronic SRW (simultaneous roller wash), CleanTronic Multi (ink changes) and CleanTronic UV. KBA explains its Fast Clean feature enables the high-speed washing of rollers and cuts washing times from four to two minutes.

The EasyClean ink duct’s non-stick coating shortens cleaning times when changing inks. In addition, the ink ducts do not have any expendable parts, which need to be replaced frequently. As it is not equipped with a film liner, KBA explains deviations when setting to zero are prevented and ensures that the ink zone settings can be reproduced precisely.

In terms of flexibility, the Rapida 105 PRO is available with up to 10 printing units, perfecting, as well as single and multiple coating applications. In addition to its potential position in commercial printing, the press is equipped with a range of features suited to packaging printing. This includes what KBA describes as coating unit function valued by packaging printers when changing coating plates, setting the register at the console and the coater and when automatically cleaning the coating circuit or the hydro-pneumatic adjustable doctor-blade chamber. This is in addition to the option of non-stop systems in the feeder and delivery up to the integration in fully automated pile logistics.

Microflute, film and lightweight paper packages or kit for in-mould film are available for special applications. The Rapida 105 PRO covers a range of substrate thicknesses from 0.04 mm to 1.6 mm. KBA explains the press’ gripper systems do not need adjusting even when making extreme substrate changes. It can also be integrated with special components like a reel-to-sheet unit, perforation and numbering unit, iris printing device, or the KBA ColdFoiler.

KBA explains a new, intuitive operating concept for the Rapida 105 PRO allows all functions to be controlled via touchscreen with a maximum of two touches of a button. The Rapida 105 PRO’s ErgoTronic console no longer features a data entry keyboard. Icons allow operators to change systems.

The new JobAccess program facilitates savings in makeready times of up to 50 percent, according to KBA, and new tools for setting up ink profiles reduce start-up waste. A job list with preview images and optimization functions for determining the sequence of jobs is also featured to speed up production changes. HR and LED drying are also available with the Rapida 105 PRO, including the VariDry Blue drying system.

Heidelberg announced its Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor press is now also available as a long perfecting press with UV capabilities.

At drupa 2012, Heidelberg unveiled the Speedmaster XL 75 with an Anicolor inking unit, following the 2006 introduction of its smaller 13.78 x 19.69-inch Speedmaster with the same Anicolor technology. The Speedmaster SX 52 Anicolor has been available as a perfecting press since 2008 and as a UV press since 2010.

The Speedmaster XL 75, running a maximum sheet size of 530 x 750 mm (20.87 x 29.53 inches), reaches production speeds of up to 15,000 sheets per hour.

 

manroland Sheetfed’s new Evolution 700 printing press, introduced in November 2014, was named as one of the 2015 winners of the Red Dot Award for Product Design. The German-based product design competition has existed since 1954 and is regarded today as one of the world's leading competitions.

This year’s Red Dot Awards program attracted nearly 5,000 entries from 56 countries. Founder and President of Singapore-based Red Dot, Professor Peter Zec, said manroland had showed “uncompromising competency and considerable courage.”

The competition’s jury was made up of designers, academics and journalists from 25 countries. manroland’s CEO, Rafael Penuela, said: “We are naturally thrilled to have won this award. Printing presses are not usually recognized for their design. It’s a tribute to our team here in Germany who conceived, developed and launched the Evolution in just two years.”

Evolution press design
Manroland explains the Roland 700 Evolution press is designed from the ground up and incorporates what the company describes as a futuristic look and new technological developments. Its newly designed central console, for example, replaces buttons with touchscreen panels that provide detailed graphical information – with options for left- and right-handed operation, as well as customization for different operator body heights.

The Evolution press’ new feeder pile transport is designed to provide an upward motion of the pile-carrying plate and improved sheet travel from the feeder to delivery. This leads to fewer interruptions, according to Manroland, less start-up waste and reduced walking distances to the feeder. The company also explains solid fixing of the suction head reduces vibration and wear, while ensuring safer sheet separation and higher average printing speeds.

The press also includes completely redesigned cylinder-roller bearings, while separate bearings for radial and axial rotation provide better absorption of vibrations with fewer doubling effects and, Manroland explains, longer bearing life and significant improvements in print quality.

All-new dampening units in the Evolution press bring greater solidity with fewer roller vibrations during passing of the plate cylinder channel and fewer stripes. Manroland also points to new software for practice-oriented roller washing cycles to further reduce downtime with more precise dosage of the dampening solution over the entire width, reducing the possibility of skewing the dampening dosage roller.

In terms of environmentally progressive design, the press includes a new three-phase AC motor designed to provide high power output with lower energy consumption.

The new press also features a new chambered doctor blade system for producing gloss effects. Manroland explains this system, with additional profile, provides higher solidity over the entire width of the doctor blade, and a more even varnish application. The company states it also features better absorption of vibrations of the Anilox roller and doctor blade caused by passing the coating form cylinder, while also resulting in fewer stripes, especially in combination with pigmented varnish.

Newly developed suction belt sheet brake technology offers higher printing speeds combined with improved sheet alignment and tail edge stabilization. Manroland explains this provides a more even pile contour and reduces the risk of misaligned sheets in the delivery pile.

For more on the new Evolution 700, read Victoria Gaitskell’s feature article, Evolution of the 700, from PrintAction December 2014.

 

Beginning on December 1, 2014, K-North Services Inc., which distributes and services printing technologies, primarily Komori presses, is to operate under the new name of KOMCAN Inc.

KOMCAN states its rebrand is a move that will allow the market to better identify with the authorized agent for Komori printing presses and auxiliary equipment, including factory approved service, parts and consumable products, in Ontario and Western Canada.

“We felt that with the changing times in the printing industry and our close relationship with Komori it was a good time to rebrand,” said Steve Ranson, President of KOMCAN. “Komori is diversifying into many different print markets such as printed electronics and digital equipment that present new opportunities for our company and for our customers.”

More than 450 guests attended the launch of Manroland Sheetfed’s new Roland 700 Evolution press in Offenbach, Germany, where CEO Rafael Penuela announced Samson Druck GmbH, represented by Gerhard Aichhorn, as the first press owner.

“Throughout our company's history we have been known for bringing innovative new technology to the printing industry,” said Manroland Sheetfed CEO, Rafael Penuela. “The Roland 700 Evolution press is the latest ground-breaking new press which we believe will be yet another milestone in the evolution of print technology.”

Manroland explains the Roland 700 Evolution press is designed from the ground up and incorporates what the company describes as a futuristic look and new technological developments. Its newly designed central console, for example, replaces buttons with touchscreen panels that provide detailed graphical information – with options for left- and right-handed operation, as well as customization for different operator body heights.

The Evolution press’ new feeder pile transport is designed to provide an upward motion of the pile-carrying plate and improved sheet travel from the feeder to delivery. This leads to fewer interruptions, according to Manroland, less start-up waste and reduced walking distances to the feeder. The company also explains solid fixing of the suction head reduces vibration and wear, while ensuring safer sheet separation and higher average printing speeds.

The press also includes completely redesigned cylinder-roller bearings, while separate bearings for radial and axial rotation provide better absorption of vibrations with fewer doubling effects and, Manroland explains, longer bearing life and significant improvements in print quality.

All-new dampening units in the Evolution press bring greater solidity with fewer roller vibrations during passing of the plate cylinder channel and fewer stripes. Manroland also points to new software for practice-oriented roller washing cycles to further reduce downtime with more precise dosage of the dampening solution over the entire width, reducing the possibility of skewing the dampening dosage roller.

In terms of environmentally progressive design, the press includes a new three-phase AC motor designed to provide high power output with lower energy consumption.

The new press also features a new chambered doctor blade system for producing gloss effects. Manroland explains this system, with additional profile, provides higher solidity over the entire width of the doctor blade, and a more even varnish application. The company states it also features better absorption of vibrations of the Anilox roller and doctor blade caused by passing the coating form cylinder, while also resulting in fewer stripes, especially in combination with pigmented varnish.

Newly developed suction belt sheet brake technology offers higher printing speeds combined with improved sheet alignment and tail edge stabilization. Manroland explains this provides a more even pile contour and reduces the risk of misaligned sheets in the delivery pile.

Folding-carton giant RockTenn has purchased the 100th Heidelberg Very Large Format (VLF) press, which will be installed at RockTenn’s Clinton, Iowa location. In recent years, RockTenn has invested in numerous Heidelberg VLF presses for both its folding-carton and merchandising-displays facilities.
 
Steve Voorhees, CEO of RockTenn, and Craig Gunckel, Executive VP of Merchandising Display and Folding Carton, were on hand at Heidelberg's Hall 11 assembly centre, part of the press maker's Wiesloch-Walldorf factory in Germany, to inspect the 100th VLF press. The XL VLF platform, rated for running 18,000 sheets per, was launched in 2008.
 
“Relationships with a strategic industry leader and partner like RockTenn, representing world-class manufacturing practices at the highest level, help Heidelberg perform at its best,” stated Heidelberg Management Board Member Harald Weimer. “Getting to know the RockTenn team and working closely with their plants has definitely moved our VLF product line to peak performance status.”
 
RockTenn has 27,000 employees at locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina.

Manroland Sheetfed this September plans to introduce an updated R700 HiPrint press. The first generation of the machine was introduced in the mid-1990s.

The company states the new changes to the press for September 2014 include an increased speed to 17,200 sheets per hour. Manroland Sheetfed is to also present an update for its InlineFoiler with indexing technology. Available for the HiPint and HiPrint HS (high speed) presses, this cold-foil process allows printing of any colour on the metal particles.

This September, Manroland Sheetfed will also introduce LEC-UV drying to the R700 HiPrint press. This is a UV module for low-energy curing. Manroland Sheetfed plans to install the updated R700 HiPrint into its Chicago-area demonstration centre before the end of September.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, during an event at its Wiesloch-Walldorf site, unveiled the Speedmaster XL 145 with a new top speed of 18,000 sheets per hour, as well as the Speedmaster XL 162 reaching 16,500 sheets per hour.

The Heidelberg Info Days event, with around 250 attendees, focused on folding-carton printing, where these higher speed Speedmaster XL 145 and XL 162 straight presses are being aimed. The speed boost of both the XL 145 and XL 162 comes from what Heidelberg calls the Packaging Speed Performance (PSP) configuration. The company states its PSP-enabled XL 145 press can produce upwards of 70 million sheets per year.

New features of the PSP presses include a high-speed suction head, optimized sheet travel, and a new chain guide in the delivery, coupled with new gripper bars and components such as the high-performance dryers.

Heidelberg reports that over 100 large-format presses in formats 6 and 7 have now been sold worldwide since the start of series production in 2009. Approximately 70 percent of these installations are being used for packaging printing.

For the first time, the Speedmaster XL 145 was shown at Info Days working alongside the new Dymatrix XL 145 CSB die cutter, which features a new Dyset XL optical feed system.

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