Sheetfed Offset

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.

KBA North America is introducing VariDry LED-UV technology, as an interchangeable curing platform, for use on its sheetfed printing presses.

In summer 2014, KBA will be offering demonstrations of the new VariDry LED-UV curing technology at its customer centre in Radebeul, Germany, on presses like the Rapida 75, 105, 106 and thereafter on the 145.

KBA points to the following advantages of its VariDry technology, including: A savings up to 50 percent in power consumption and energy costs versus conventional UV dryers; no heat on the printed sheet (eliminating distortion of plastic substrates); no spray powders or other chemicals; yields of more than 15 times the lifespan of conventional lamps; and the flexibility to move LED-UV lamps interchangeably on press depending on job printing applications.

“We are the only large-format press manufacturer that can offer LED hybrid presses using both traditional UV and LED-UV processes,” stated Chris Travis, KBA Director of Technology. “At Drupa 2012, we demonstrated LED-UV drying on a Rapida 106 41-inch press – the first and only press manufacturer to do so. Today, we can offer LED-UV presses on all formats with or without traditional UV capability. We also offer traditional UV presses that are LED-UV-ready.

“This means that when a printer wants to switch to LED or complement a traditional UV press,” continued Travis. “It can be easily accomplished with a few modifications since all KBA UV presses are LED-UV ready.”

Heidelberg announced the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor is now commercially available in North America. The 29-inch format press went into series production in February 2013 at Heidelberg’s Wiesloch-Walldorf plant in Germany. The XL 75 Anicolor made its debut at drupa 2012.

Heidelberg describes the XL 75 Anicolor as holding a run-length crossover of 250 sheets, largely based on the short, zone-less Anicolor inking unit with dampening system, which also helps the press reach sellable quality in a few as 10 sheets. Anicolor inking relies on an engraved screen roller located between the ink chamber blade and the ink form roller.

The 23 x 29-inch XL 75 Anicolor is available in four- to 10-colour straight and perfecting configurations, handling stocks of up to 32 point, as well as with inline and double coating. The press can be used for producing CMYK process, extended gamut printing, as well as with PMS spot colours.

Heidelberg announced it will phase out production of its Printmaster GTO 52 presses and instead focus on its Speedmaster SX and SM 52 presses, as well as digital Linoprint machines. The Printmaster GTO 52 will end production in March 2014.

“We are adapting to the new requirements in the small-format segment and are optimizing our portfolio for this market," stated Stephan Plenz, member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment. "Because our portfolio for this segment comprises offset and digital printing technologies, customers benefit from the close interlinking of both worlds and can boost their competitive edge even further."

In describing the Printmaster GTO 52, Heidelberg explains it has been a workhorse of the 52-cm format printer since its introduction in 1972. As of 2012, it has sold over 106,000 units worldwide. The GTO, which stands for Grosser Tiegel Offset (large platen offset), received several major updates over the years which increased its capabilities, including options of one to five colours, new dampening systems, and computer remote control for inking and register. Last year the company introduced four models to celebrate the platform’s 40th anniversary.

The company launched its Speedmaster SM 52 press in 1995 and has since sold more than 25,000 units. Heidelberg’s latest SX platform was launched in 2012 in time for drupa, which also saw the company promote its Linoprint C901 and C751 machines (a result of its partnership with Ricoh) as toner options for printers.

K-North Services Inc., which is the Komori printing press representative for Ontario and Western Canada, announced it is now offering service on all types of equipment, which is to include various press brands and parts.

“We have many Komori customers that operate other manufacturer’s equipment in their plants that we service,” said Peter Boyle, Service Manager at K-North Services. “Based on that and our staff’s expertise on other equipment, we have decided to offer our service team to all printers in Canada.”

K-North Services also recently announced that this November it plans to also begin selling a Komori press that is new to the Canadian market. The Komori Lithrone 32 is a 24 X 32 inch sheet size machine. The company describes the press as unique in that it provides for the same level of automation found in both the higher end GL and LS series presses.

The Lithrone 32 press is available in 2- to 8-colour architectures, with or without tower coaters. The press can also be fitted with Komori’s H-UV drying system. “The new machine gives a larger sheet size than a conventional 24 x 29 machine but in the same price range,” says Boyle.

Ryobi displayed its new 928P perfector press at the Japan Graphic Arts Show, which concluded this past weekend. The press was equipped with Panasonic’s LED-UV cure technology and features the company's new simultaneous plate changers that cut changeover time to as little as eight minutes.

The press, and the entire 920 line (available from four to ten colours), will make its way to Canadian shores via Graphic Systems North America, the recently appointed supplier of Ryobi printing presses in the region. In Eastern Canada, Ryobi will be represented by KBR Graphics while in Western Canada, it will be represented by Canadian Printing Equipment.

“Think about it: world-class print quality, mere minutes of makeready and instant drying in 8-colour, 8-up, 16-page signature print—all at the cost of a traditional 6-colour, 40-inch press with coater,” said Chris Manley, a co-founder of GSNA and owner of Graphco, Cleveland. “It’s no overstatement. Ryobi is restructuring the economics of offset printing today.”

According to Canadian Printing Equipment Vice President and GSNA co-founder Wes McCallum, the 920 series press cuts consumables usage by 25 percent and energy use by 35 percent all while requiring 35 percent less floor space than a standard 8-up press. “Combine that with highly competitive pricing, plus extreme reliability that assures continuous uptime, and you get the lowest total cost of ownership of any press on the market today.”

The GSNA will host a grand opening at its showroom in Atlanta on October 28 and 29th. 

KBA has announced a new addition to its Rapida line, a press it calls the big sister of the Rapida 145 launched at drupa: the Rapida 164, a format VIIIb (120.5 x 164 cm) press.

The new press incorporates the same DriveTronic components as the Rapida 106 and Rapida 135 presses. DriveTronic aims for maximum operational convenience and fast makeready and job changes. A new feature unique to the Rapida 164 press is the sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS, which aside from avoiding marking issues with sensitive substrates, is said to eliminate all need for operator intervention.

The press has a maximum production speed of 15,000 sheets per hour, aided by Venturi sheet guiding. The Rapida 164 can be equipped with two different coater tower options as well as semi-automatic and fully automatic plate change options (with change times of 110 seconds and three minutes, respectively, for all units). When equipped with DriveTronic SPC, blankets and impression cylinders can both be washed parallel to the plate changing.

The new Rapida 164 will be replacing the Rapida 162 and 162a presses, popular choices in the book printing and packaging markets for nearly 20 years.

Langley Holdings, in its annual financial results announcement gave insight on the progress of manroland’s restructuring. The company took control of manroland’s sheetfed division in February of last year.

“In 2013 the manroland Sheetfed Group, which includes some 40 subsidiaries worldwide, is now structured to break even on revenue of €350 million,” writes Anthony Langley, Chairman of Langley Holdings. “At this level the production facilities in Germany would be operating at around one third of capacity and at 80 percent utilization with current manning levels. Considering demand for printing presses remains depressed and there is currently significant overcapacity in the market, this is a satisfactory situation. As the business achieved slightly over this volume in a year which saw much upheaval, I would expect to see something of an improvement in 2013.”

While manroland’s financials are not yet incorporated into its parent company’s, Langley has published unaudited figures as part of its annual report. manroland Sheetfed generated revenues of €358 million in 2012, but due to some non-recurring costs, posted a loss of €2.55 million. manroland Sheetfed has 1,740 employees, which brings Langley Holding’s total to 4,004.

“2012 was a remarkably successful year for our Group. Our businesses, with only minor exceptions, have performed ahead of expectation and much credit is due to our divisional management for this achievement,” continued Langley. “At the group level much of our attention in 2012 has been focused on re-aligning the manroland business in readiness to become a part of the Group. Looking to 2013, the outlook is positive for our businesses although I do not expect to reach the 2012 heights, or for manroland Sheetfed to make a substantial contribution; that will come later.”

Komori America has announced it will be launching the digital presses it showed at drupa as early as 2013. The two prototype devices, the Impremia IS29 and the IW20, are collaborations with Konica Minolta, who will be supplying the inkjet printhead technology.

“Komori has been working on this new product line for the past several years, and we are very pleased that we are able to bring these cutting edge new technologies to market,” said Jacki Hudmon, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Komori America. “We listened to our customers, and are bringing what we believe is the best solution for the changing printing landscape.”

The IS29 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 IW20 is a 20-inch webfed machine which 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.

Being UV devices, the company says they will be able to print on a variety of stocks, as a precoating is not required.

“We are excited about this introduction because we know these Impremia presses are truly game changing,” said Hudmon. “We have taken what Komori knows best—precision manufacturing—and married it with inkjet technology. No one knows sheet path better than Komori, and quite frankly, the quality of our inkjet output was far superior to any other sheets shown at drupa."

At drupa, Heidelberg unveiled the Speedmaster XL 75 (19.69 x 27.56 inches) with an Anicolor inking unit, following the 2006 introduction of its smaller 13.78 x 19.69-inch Speedmaster with the same Anicolor technology. Heidelberg states that more than 1,000 13.78 x 19.69-inch Anicolor printing units have been installed worldwide.

When comparing the technology to a press with conventional inking units, Heidelberg describes its Anicolor in a "90-50-50" principle: Anicolor inking results in 90 percent less paper waste, 50 percent shorter makeready times, and 50 percent higher productivity.

The Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor will initially be offered as a straight-printing press with up to six inking units (with or without coating unit) and with a print speed of up to 15,000 sheets per hour. It will be available from the end of 2013.

Heidelberg also announced the commercial release of a new flagship press in the Speedmaster XL 106, following the drupa 2004 debut of the Speedmaster XL 105 (now resulting in over 1,200 units installed). The Speedmaster XL 106, with a 29.53 x 41.73-inch sheet format, reaches speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour in both straight and perfecting modes. It works with substrates of up to 1.0 mm (0.039 inches) thick (in perfecting mode, up to 0.8 mm/0.031 inches thick). 

Depending on the job structure, the XL 106 can produce between 60 and 80 million sheets a year and change between 90,000 and 100,000 printing plates a year on an eight-colour press.

Heidelberg also introduced its new Speedmaster SX series, comprising the Speedmaster SX 52, Speedmaster SX 74, and Speedmaster SX 102, which build upon the recently introduced Speedmaster CX 102. The SX series combines features from both the Speedmaster XL and the Speedmaster SM platforms.

Presstek has announced new options to its flagship 75DI press. Automatic convertible perfecting and UV printing are now available options to the 29" direct imaging press.

“Adding automatic perfecting and UV printing options to the 75 DI press significantly expands the range of applications a 75DI owner can address,” said Stan Freimuth, Presstek’s Chairman, President & CEO. “Each 75DI press will be configured to meet the needs of its buyer, and we expect that there will be a great deal of interest in these new developments at drupa, especially from larger printers, specialty operations and the packaging industry.”

According to Presstek, the new perfecting option allows the 75DI to print at up to 15,000 sheets per hour, a number it claims is among the fastest in the industry. The UV system, with its interdeck dryer and coater, allows for the use of special substrates, such as metalized paper, film, and even lenticular.

“We will continue to investigate ways to add more value to the 75DI going forward,” added Friemuth. “We are excited about the progress we have already made in a relatively short time, and will be looking to our customers for insight and feedback on other capabilities they can utilize to grow their businesses with the 75DI.”

KBA, now self-described as the second-largest printing press manufacturer,  revealed what it will be demonstrating at drupa in May. Under the theme of "sprinting ahead," the company plans to launch several new products and upgrades, including a new 30.70-inch inkjet web press.

Called the RotaJET 76, the Würzburg-built machine features a production speed of 3,000 A4 pages per minute, or 85 million pages per month. It employs water-based pigment inks out of its two arrays of 56 inkjet heads each (a total of 112 piezo inkjet heads) and prints at a native resolution of 600-dpi. According to KBA, the machine is designed to produce four-colour books, brochures, commercial products, mailings and magazines.

According to KBA, the RotaJET is able to produce good copies even during its start-up phase. At drupa, it will be shown connected to Muller Martini's SigmaLine system, which allows it to produce hardcover and softcover books, as well as a variety of stitched products.

KBA will also be showing a new addition to its Rapida line, the Rapida 145. It is a large-format (41.34 x 57 inches) press which prints at speeds of up to 17,000 sheets per hour (15,000 sheets per hour in perfecting mode). At drupa, it will be shown in a six-colour plus coater configuration and include sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS and DriveTronic SPC for simultaneous plate changing. KBA attributes the fast speed of the press to its latest generation AirTronic delivery.

The company will also show the Rapida 105 with an inkjet printing system, which made its debut at the All in Print China fair last November. Based on the same platform as the Rapida 106, the 105 will feature KBA's new high-speed package, raising the production speed to 17,00 sheets per hour. At drupa, it will be shown as a hybrid offset/inkjet version, which sees the addition of an inkjet unit with two Delta 105iUV printing systems from Atlantic Zeiser. This allows for personalization options for pieces produced using a primarily offset process. The company claims it is a unique offering in the marketplace.

The Rapida 106, first introduced at drupa 2008, will also see a speed increase through an optional package, bringing the speed up to 20,000 sheets per hour (18,000 sph in perfecting mode). It will be shown in a 12-unit configuration to show four-colour print and inline coating for both sides of the sheet.

On the commercial web offset front, KBA will show off improvements to its C16 and Commander CL products to cut down on time between jobs.

KBA will also show off the new Varius 80, a variable-format (21 to 34 inches) web offset press that implements the same waterless technology as the Genius, aimed at the flexible packaging market. KBA claims the Varius produces market-ready print in as little as 100 metres of print, a savings of 80 percent compared to traditional flexo presses. Its plates are also less expensive than flexo sleeves.

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