Sheetfed Offset

Mississauga-based K-North Inc., a Canadian sales and distribution agent for press maker Komori, has introduced a new service system called REMOTE-ACCESS, which is designed to reduce machine downtime for its customers.

REMOTE-ACCESS is a tool that enables K-North technicians to remotely diagnose equipment installed at a Komori user’s facility via the Internet. The technology allows for 24/7 online connectivity between the press equipment and the K-North Service Team.

K-North points out that the new service is of particular importance in Canada with its varied time zones. The initiative is being led by Peter Boyle, Manager of National Service for K-North.

In addition to its partnership announcement with Konica Minolta, Komori also disclosed what it plans to exhibit in its Hall 15 booth this May in Dusseldorf. Under the theme of "Komori OnDemand" the company will show its technology under seven sub-themes:

1. OffsetOnDemand
2. Package Print
3. Efficient and Multi-flexible Print
4. DigitalOnDemand
5. KOMORI Assistance
6. KOMORI Ecology
7. KOMORI Web, Chambon and Security Printing

Komori will show two new offset presses as well as two new configurations of existing presses. World debuts include the Komori Lithrone GX40 Carton press, shown as a six-colour, H-UV and coater configuration. The company will also show a new press called the Lithrone A37, a four-colour, 37-inch sheetfed offset press, designed for the Chinese market.

New configurations on hand will include an 8-colour G40 H-UV equipped convertible perfecting press, as well as the 5-colour Enthrone 29 convertible perfecting sheetfed offset press.

Of course, as previously announced, the company will show three new "digital machines" that are the result of its collaboration with Konica Minolta: two inkjet machines, both webfed and sheetfed, as well as a toner-based machine based on Konica Minolta's bizhub PRESS C8000.

New press technologies shown will include Komori's K-ColorSimulator, which made its debut at IGAS 2011. The system matches the colour output of an offset press to that of a print-on-demand system.

The company will also show off its Asynchronous Automatic Plate Changing system (A-APC), which changes all plates in approximately 75 seconds.

Komori will demonstrate its PDC-SX Spectral Density Controller, which measures colour densities and register control based on colour bars that can be located anywhere on a sheet.  

Using technology from its security printing division, Komori-Chambon, Komori's Print Quality Assessment System for Sheetfed (PQA-S) uses cameras to check both sides of every sheet printed on the company's long perfector presses. The system, to be fitted on the company's Lithrone GX40 Carton press, also measures colour density in real time.

At a press event promoting the upcoming drupa show, Heidelberg announced plans to debut a new line of presses at the quadrennial trade show. The new Heidelberg Speedmaster SX is intended to slot between the existing SM and XL series,

Heidelberg CEO Bernhard Schrier made a presentation to journalists worldwide along with management board member Stephan Plenz. According to the two, the company will show 60 pieces of equipment in its Hall 1 booth.

Among the new announcements was also the news that Heidelberg plans to rebrand offerings from Ricoh into its Linoprint series: it will be offered as Linoprint C series. An internally developed packaging printing line, containing technologies from its acquisition of CSAT GmbH and Gallus, will be known as the Linoprint L series. Existing Linoprint models will be discontinued.

At drupa, Heidelberg will be showing the Linoprint C901 and Linoprint C751 machines. A Linoprint L model based on the CSAT 600 will also be shown.

The newly announced Speedmaster SX line will be small (35x50 cm to 70x100 cm) format and contain technologies seen in the recently introduced Speedmaster CX series, itself a technology transfer from Heidelberg’s XL flagship line.

A final new announcement to journalists is the increased focus on carbon neutrality through its HEI Eco banner. According to Plenz, all Heidelberg machines can be ordered CO2-neutralized, with all Anicolor presses delivered that way.

Plenz and Schreier announced that more announcements will be in store for drupa visitors this May.

“There are indications that investment in our sector is once again picking up in the USA,” announced Schreier. “The investment bottleneck is finally starting to clear. That is why we expect our customers to increase their investment levels and thereby boost our order books considerably.”

Fifty years since it first participated in Drupa 1962 with a letterpress, Sakurai Graphic Systems Corp. will present its lineup of offset and screen cylinder presses in Hall 3 at the Düsseldorf trade show this May.

Highlighting the Sakurai exhibit will be its new 580SDC press, which is a 23 5/8 x 31 1/8 five-colour machine with coater and extended delivery; as well as the new MS-80SD Maestro Servo-Driven cylinder screen press (31 5/8 x 21 3/4 inches); and the MS-102AII cylinder screen press with a 29 1/2 x 41 5/16-inch sheet size.

Sakurai’s new 80SD Series sheetfed offset press is available in four through six colour configurations, plus coating and perfecting. The automated 80 SD Series operates at 15,000 impressions per hour, while featuring a double-diameter, 7-o’clock cylinder configuration. Automation features include plate changers, sheet size presets (feeder, delivery and impression), automatic, programmable blanket and ink roller washers with water rinsing, CIP 3-4 with JDF compatibility, QSS (Quick Standby System) with pre-inking and de-inking.

The Maestro Servo Driven MS-80SD features an optical camera registration system and monitor. It operates at speeds of up to 2,000 impressions per hour and accepts stock from .001 to .0031 inches. The Maestro prints on a range of substrates such as plastic film for electronic applications, membrane switches, display panels and touch screens, as well as paper, board and foil.  The MS-80SD will be operating in-line with a Natgraph combination dryer and stacker.

manroland has been awarded the 2011 Harold W. Gegenheimer Corporate Award for Industry Service from NPES, the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies. The award, named after one of technology innovators who helped printing become widespread in the 20th century, was presented to manroland “in recognition of [its] industry leadership through participation in NPES and industry activities, civic leadership and technical innovation.”

The press manufacturer was also cited for being a top developer of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) for over a decade. “Despite our industry challenges, manroland still manages impressive technological innovations and leadership in support of our industry,” said Ralph Nappi, President of NPES. “This was a key reason for manroland receiving the [Gegenheimer Award].”

The award is named after former NPES President and Baldwin Technology Company Chairman Emeritus, Harold W. Gegenheimer, who invented the convertible offset perfecting press.

“manroland is honoured to receive this prestigious award from NPES," stated Vince Lapinski, CEO of manroland North America. "Mr. Gegenheimer provided an example to all of us — giving us a vision, not only what print is capable of, but also where we can take print if we can imagine the possibilities. We hope to continue in his footsteps as industry supporters and innovators in print.”

On September 28, 2011, Heidelberg celebrated the official opening of the third construction phase at its Qingpu site near Shanghai in China. The completion of this phase extends the plant's production area to 45,000 square meters - a threefold increase in the space of just four years. This expansion will let Heidelberg fulfill the increasing demand from Chinese shops as well as export machines to neighbouring countries.

"China is now our number one individual sales market and plays an important role in our business development. The demand for print products is growing all the time in China and has more than tripled over the past ten years. Every third machine sold by Heidelberg in China now comes from Qingpu. Offering locally produced machines has enabled us to tap into additional customer segments in our industry's most important future market. Our strategy of taking full advantage of the potential in emerging markets is thus paying off," said Heidelberg CEO Bernhard Schreier at the opening ceremony.

The Qingpu plant has 400 employees and has been manufacturing small- and medium-format presses and folding machines for the Chinese market since 2005. The company is now also producing presses in the 27.56 x 39.37 -inch segment at Qingpu.

Heidelberg claims to be the only press manufacturer based in either Europe or Japan to have a production facility in China. "Our customers can always rely on products from Heidelberg being of the highest quality, irrespective of whether a machine originates from Germany or China," said Stephan Plenz, member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment and thus for the Qingpu site. "This is confirmed by the more than 1,000 presses and folding machines already supplied from Qingpu. To ensure high quality standards, we train our staff with support from Germany and approve all our suppliers in accordance with very strict standardized criteria."

manroland, in cooperation with a consulting firm called ClimatePartner, introduces new software for printers to calculate and compensate for CO2 emissions, and ultimately claim climate-neutral printing status.

manroland and ClimatePartner have been working together on the project since early 2011, with the goal of allowing its printers to move toward climate-neutral production. The resulting IT-based solution will enable CO2 emissions from print jobs to be calculated and offset online through manroland’s Website.

According to manroland, after entering their emissions-relevant data, including information like power, heating, and vehicle fleet, printing companies are advised of their personal carbon footprint. The press maker explains that printing companies can use this calculator to ascertain all CO2 emissions for every job, from paper grade through printing and up to and including transport.

This allows a printing company to then offset the calculated results with the support of recognized climate protection projects. manroland will then supply companies with a ClimatePartner logo, allowing them to claim “climate-neutral printing” with an individual certificate number for each job.

Heidelberg plans to preview its Prinect Business Manager, described as the company’s new Management Information System (MIS), at Graph Expo, being held this September in Chicago.
Heidelberg’s Prinect Business Manager system employs what the company calls an intuitive interface to guide users through steps for costing and to ensure their equipment is running at full capacity, while also providing an overview of materials they have in stock.

Based on existing scheduling systems, Prinect Business Manager is designed to allow a printer to pick the most cost-effective and profitable press, and indicate where it will cost the least to manufacture a job, based on the user’s equipment mix and the specifications of the job.

This includes the ability to calculate for toner-based presses for identifying the break point between offset- and toner-based production.

Prinect Business Manager is scalable from single-seat job estimating up to multiple-user integration with estimating, production, and materials management, as well as accounting, logistics and delivery.

Komori America Corporation has launched a new 40-inch press (720 x 1,030-mm sheet size) called the Lithrone G40. Based on technologies used by both the Lithrone SX40 and S40 machines, the new press employs Komori’s KHS-AI technology and reaches a maximum printing speed of 16,500 sheets per hour.
“We are very excited that we can now take the KHS-AI-equipped Lithrone G40 and marry it with our newly introduced H-UV system,” said Doug Schardt, Product Manager for Komori. “The entire system is very efficient. With KHS-AI, you can make your first pull at 20 sheets, dramatically reducing make-ready waste, then print the job on the H-UV equipped Lithrone G40, and literally produce a high quality, bindery-ready job in minutes.”

Komori’s H-UV curing system, which last month won a 2011 InterTech Technology Award, is designed with a single lamp mounted in the delivery. 

The Lithrone G40 includes a suction-tape feeder board equipped with one belt in the centre and no brushers or rollers, which, according to Komori, provides for more accurate feeding regardless of paper weight. The new press uses a pre-soaked-cloth technique for blanket and impression washer cleaning. It also features a new, fully automatic plate changing system that employs a bender-less clamp.

The Lithrone G40 is being positioned as “the backbone of Komori's innovative Offset-on-Demand concept.”

Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, Komori Corp. last week announced that normal production has resumed at its Tsukuba and Yamagata factories.

“We are very pleased at the news coming from our factories in Japan,” said Kosh Miyao, President and COO of Komori America Corporation. “I also want to express my appreciation and gratitude for the many kind thoughts and wishes we have received from our customers and the printing community. The support has been overwhelming and is much appreciated.”

While Komori expects minor delays in press shipments through mid-April 2011, the Tokyo-based company announced marked improvements in both fuel and power restrictions. 

manroland has introduced a Lightweight Paper Performance Package (LPPP) for its ROLAND 700 series of sheetfed presses. LPPP is described as having technical enhancements within the feeder, infeed, delivery, and antistatic equipment employed by the company’s offset presses.

LPPP is designed for printers who consistently produce work, such as mailings, inserts, and forms, on substrates that are less stable than the typical commercial printing stock of between 0.1 and 0.3 millimeters thick. Traditionally, production with lightweight papers can result in dog-eared corners, creasing, and small tears when trying to run at higher speeds.

manroland states that its LPPP testing illustrates how speeds of 15,000 sheets per hour, and above, are achievable with paper in the 60 to 60 GSM range. The company points to the following primary factors for the efficient printing of lightweight paper: Room temperature (ideal 18 until 22 °C), air humidity (ideal 55 until 60 percent), pile humidity (ideal 45 until 55 percent), pile storage (separate, not stacked), and pile acclimatization time in the pressroom (ideal at least 48 hours). 

According to manroland, LPPP can increase production output by 25 percent or more, based on a higher average printing speed, while also reducing or press stoppages in the feeder or infeed area.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen's Qingpu assembly site near Shanghai, China has just produced its 1,000th machine: a Speedmaster CD 102 with four printing units. The machine is destined for the print shop of Jinangxi Jinrui Printing Co, in Nangchang. The Qingpu plant was opened in 2005, originally to produce folding machines.

"Our strategy of establishing our own production facilities for standard equipment in China is paying dividends. It has enabled us to strengthen our position on the local market, and we now assemble around a third of all Heidelberg machines sold in China at our site in Qingpu," says Heidelberg CEO Bernhard Schreier.

The plant employs 310 staff and is currently undergoing a third construction phase, to be completed by mid-2011. This will expand the plant size to 66,000 square metres. The plant started producing small-format presses in 2006, with a second construction phase in 2007, after which the plant started producing medium-format presses.

"For years now, we have been seeing an increase in quality requirements on the Chinese printing market and among our customers. To be able to deliver this quality with the requisite reliability, we rely on the equipment and services from Heidelberg," says Zhu Kailin, General Manager of Jinangxi Jinrui Printing, at acceptance testing of the new press in Qingpu.

According to Heidelberg, one out of every three Heidelberg machines in China is now produced locally. 


On November 18, manroland's AutomaticPlateLoading (APL) took first prize in the Print Technology category of the German Printing Industry Innovation Awards, held in Stuttgart.

manroland states that a key push behind the development of its APL system was to help newspaper printers deal with the growing trend of split runs, which naturally creates a production environment in need of fast plate changing.

"We oriented our features totally on market and customer needs," said manroland CEO Gerd Finkbeiner. "Receiving this award from industry specialists shows that our products meet printing companies' requirements exactly."

The APL system uses a 4-axis robotic arm built by the KUKA Robot Group, which has a positioning accuracy of 0.01 millimeters. The robot was co-developed by the KUKA Robot Group and integrated by manroland in the APL system. Today, more than a dozen autoprint newspaper presses with well over 150 APL robots have been ordered.

Presstek has relaunched an E-Commerce portal for its Canadian customers. The new site features a new loyalty program and additional functionality which will allow Canadians to place online orders for supplies, parts and small hardware items.

“The new site design and functionality, coupled with our Presstek Awards loyalty program, will make doing business with Presstek in Canada even easier,” said Scott McGowan, Marketing Product Manager for Consumables. “In addition, customers who have registered for the Presstek Awards program at will automatically accrue points for orders placed online, as well as normal telephone orders.” McGowan points out that orders placed online are eligible for bonus Presstek Awards points. Points can be redeemed for a number of awards, ranging from trips and appliances to electronics and selected Presstek offerings.

The company has also released its third quarter numbers this week which showed the company's revenue decline 5 percent over the same period in 2009, however, and improved adjusted EBITDA of $1.3 million, an improvement of $2.4 million compared to the third quarter of 2009.

"We continued to see sluggish sales results in the third quarter as the increase in our equipment revenue was more than offset by declines in our 'traditional' consumables and service revenue," said Presstek Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Cook. "A contributing factor to our overall consumables decline is a shift in buying patterns within the distributor channel, which negatively impacted the current quarter. Despite continued market softness we have maintained our positive adjusted EBITDA levels for the fourth consecutive quarter and reduced our debt net of cash position in the quarter by $1.9 million, to a relatively low $6.9 million."

The company has also announced it has received its initial order for the new 75DI digital press, which was shown at Graph Expo this year.

"We are extremely pleased with the success of our 75DI press at Graph Expo," said Presstek Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Jacobson. "This is exciting not only because of the interest generated for all of our products at that show, but also because of the way the 75DI is elevating the perception of Presstek within the graphics industry. We have long believed that the 75DI with its revolutionary 6-minute job-to-job turnaround, high quality output and expanded sheet size fits perfectly within our up-market strategy. It was extremely gratifying to see that play out with high profile customers and industry experts at Graph Expo."

Komori Corporation will be revealing what it refers to as a budget-friendly 29-inch press, called the Enthrone, at IPEX this year. The press will come in 2-, 4-, or 5-colour configurations and run at speeds of up to 13,000 sheets per hour.

Komori says it has extracted the core features of its Lithrone S29 series machines and consolidated them into a "budget-conscious, compact design."

The machine features a semi-automatic plate-changing system, which employs a bender-less plate clamp (removing the need for plate bending). The Enthrone will also have an automatic cleaning system which both shortens blanket cleaning time and improves the machine's ecological footprint.

IPEX will also see the launch of Komori's H-UV system, which the company touts as an innovative UV printing solution involving its in-house developed UV lamps (which have a CO2 footprint one-quarter of traditional UV lamp systems) and high-sensitivity UV inks.

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