Sheetfed Offset

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.

This May for IPEX 2010 in Birmingham, UK, Heidelberg will be introducing a new press in the 40-inch segment called the Speedmaster CX 102. The press will have a production speed of 16,500 sheets per hour, which means it will slot into the company's lineup just under the flagship Speedmaster XL 105 press, which runs at 18,000 sheets per hour and above the company's CD102, which has a speed of 15,000 sph.

The company has said that many technologies from the XL series will be making its way to the CX press, including the fully-automated Preset Plus Feeder and Delivery, dynamic sheet brake, and the gripper system.

"With the introduction of the Speedmaster XL 105, we have successfully established a completely new performance class in the last few years. Right from the start, the Speedmaster SM 102 and CD 102 series have benefited from the achievements we made in XL development," said Stephan Plenz, Member of the Heidelberg Management Board and responsible for the equipment sector. "Thanks to the host of innovations and new maximum speed of 16,500 sheets per hour, the Speedmaster CX 102 is an interesting option for anyone who is impressed with the XL technology and wants to combine it with the benefits of the CD 102 platform."

The press will be offered in various configurations, including UV, dual coating and foiling, however the CX 102 is not a perfecting press.

Presstek Inc. plans to demonstrate its new 75DI offset press at the May 2010 IPEX tradeshow in Birmingham, UK. The first North American showing of the press is scheduled to take place later this year in Chicago, during Graph Expo.

Presstek states the 75DI, with its on-press-imaging architecture, has the ability to hit 300-lpi (stochastic) quality, as well as an 8-minute job-to-job turnover. Presstek also states that press uses “next-generation imaging technology,” employing a single-lens imaging structure to hold all diodes.

The press has a maximum print speed of 16,000 sheets per hour, as well as a maximum paper size of 788 x 600 mm (31.02 x 23.62 inches), a minimum paper size of 279 x 200 mm (10.98 x 7.87 inches), and a maximum print area of 760 x 580 mm (29.53 x 22.83 inches). The press can print on stocks ranging from 0.04 to 0.6 mm (0.0016 to 0.024 inches) in thickness.

After its beta program, which is set to begin in June 2010, the press is to be launched in 4-, 5- and 6-colour configurations, plus an optional coater. Commercial availability of the 75DI is expected prior to the end of 2010.

Mississauga-based K-North Inc., which manages the sales and service of Komori products in Ontario and Western Canada, has enhanced its pressroom-service program under the new name of Komori-Kare Plus.

The original Komori-Kare program, introduced in 2006, is described by K-North as a customized package of preventive maintenance, service inspections and a variety of Komori integration services – designed to maximize pressroom efficiency. 

The new Komori-Kare Plus program also includes new services like a Technology Audit, Press Wellness Program and Customer Loyalty Program.

“We, at K-North, recognize that by choosing Komori, our customers have put tremendous faith in our ability to offer quality service and support for their equipment. Our customers want to know that we’ll be here when they need us,” stated Romeo D’Agostini, K-North’s Customer Care Manager, in a press release. “K-North and Komori want to reassure our customers that we are committed to providing the best service and parts support possible for their printing equipment.”

Chinese press maker Hans Gronhi held the grand opening of its first North American showroom in Mississauga today, which featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony with company officials and Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion. Following the ribbon cutting was a traditional Chinese opening ceremony featuring two dancing dragons.

Hans Gronhi was established in November 2006 with the combination of Shenzhen Han's Laser Technology Co., Yingkou Gronhi Offset Printing Machine Co., Yingkou Gronhi Industry Co., and Shenzhen Han’s CTP Equipment Co. Earlier this year, the company acquired its rival Sanxin, giving it 70 percent of China's domestic B3 press market. The company also made an appearance at Graphics Canada last week – one of only two companies, along with Presstek, to exhibit an offset press on its booth. Hans Gronhi sold its first press in Canada at the Print World trade show, last year.

In addition to presses, Hans Gronhi will demonstrate its line of CTP devices and bindery equipment in its showroom. Hans Gronhi is set to open a £100 million, 385,000-square-metre factory in China by the end of the year.

Presstek will be running a 52DI press on its Graphics Canada booth next week, in addition to the DPM Pro 400 and Vector FL52 platesetters. The 52DI is a 4-colour press with the ability to hit 300 lpi and FM screening on substrates with a thicknesses of up to 20 point. The 52DI has a maximum sheet size of 520 x 375 mm (20.47 x 14.76 inches) and, according to the company, can produce up to 20,000 letter-size pages per hour.

Presstek’s Vector FL52 CTP device will be running the company’s environmentally progressive Freedom Pro plates, which are water rinsed in the Vector’s integrated plate washer and rated to support up to 25,000 impressions. The DPM Pro 400 is described as a high-resolution polyester plate system that is designed for small-format presses, supporting plate widths up to 414 mm (16.31 inches). 

In the software arena, the company also plans to showcase its modular PathWay Web-to-print application, as well as the Momentum Pro RIP and PDF-based Presstek Latitude workflow, which is JDF enabled. 

KBA North America claims it has solidified “its long-time market lead in the large-format segment” based on the completion of the 1,000th ‘big” Rapida press model at its factory in Radebeul, Germany.

"KBA continues to set the pace in large-format presses," says John Raithel, Senior VP of sheetfed sales in the U.S. "We're proud to announce that we've assembled the 1,000th large-format press. Large-format presses are complex products and our 90 years of experience has enabled us to continually introduce new innovations.” Most recently, KBA introduced new advances into its Rapida 162a perfectors, including what the company calls “special post-perfector drum shells” with an anti-marking coat, new Windows-based console software with job-change program, and remote Internet-based maintenance.

Around 15 percent of all Rapida large-format presses built today, according to the company, have a perfecting capability. KBA expects this trend to continue, based on changing technology adoption in specific sectors, such as new 8-colour perfectors being placed in the commercial and magazine sectors. There are around 30 such KBA presses in operation worldwide today. KBA states it has captured a global market share of 60 percent in the large-format press arena.

Presstek announced today at PRINT 09 that its aqueous coating-enabled DI press will be available immediately. According to company representatives, the aqueous option is a hotly anticipated feature for DI. The sale of the first 52DI-AC has gone to Quad Graphics.

Jeff Jacobson, president of Presstek, spoke to journalists about the company's direction in the near future, including the development of a 75-format DI press, which would not share the traditional DI's central-impression design, instead moving onto a conventional modular tower layout. The 75DI is scheduled for deployment by IPEX in May 2010.

Jacobson also announced a new low-chemistry plate called the Aeon, which features run lengths of 200,000 and up to 1 million if baked. The Aeon is a positive writing plate that can be imaged on 830nm CTP systems and can hold 1-99% dot at 200lpi.

The company also announced the immediate availability of its UV option, which can be equipped either on new presses or as a field upgrade for 52DI or 34DI owners. The upgrade supports hybrid rollers, allowing users to switch between UV and conventional inks, even though the company claims the majority of its users will go exclusively UV.
Roland 700 DirectDrive
Unveiled at drupa 2008 last year in Germany, manroland's 40-inch ROLAND 700 DirectDrive press will receive much of the company's attention this weekend at PRINT 09. The DirectDrive integration into manroland’s 40-inch press is naturally geared for commercial printers completing numerous shot-run jobs per shift. manroland suggests the technology is also well suited for companies regularly using long perfectors.

Pertaining to its name, directly driven plate cylinders permit all printing plates to be changed simultaneously, as each printing unit is equipped with a fully automated plate changing system. The company also provides optional QuickChange tools, such as QuickChange Job that begins a makeready sequence, while QuickChange Air stores the press' air settings.

manroland will also continue its focus on large-format sheetfed presses, particularly around the ROLAND 900 XXL that is available in four formats: 7 (1,120 x 1,620 millimeters), 7B (1,200 x 1,620), 7B-plus (1,260 x 1,620 ) and 8 (1,300 x 1,850). The press can reach speeds of up to 12,000 sheets per hour in its largest format size, while the format 7B-plus format hits a maximum speed of 13,000 sheets per hour. Given its size, the machine relies heavily on the company’s QuickChange makeready features, such as the QuickChange Coating system for changing from UV to dispersion coating. The company also points to its QuickChange Clamp and QuickChange Surface technologies as being particularly suitable for its 900 XXL press.

Print 09While at PRINT 09, manroland also plans to highlight its PRINTVALUE concept, which now encompasses software and services like printcom, printadvice, printservices and printnet.

Rapida 106
KBA will put much of its PRINT 09 focus on its flagship Rapida 106 sheetfed press, which is to be demonstrated in an 8-colour, 4-over-4 perfecting configuration. As the press maker plans to demonstrate “renewed proof of its status as makeready world champion during daily live shows,” the Rapida 106 on the show floor will be equipped with some of the press makers latest internal innovations like DriveTronic SPC for simultaneous plate changing, inline QualiTronic Color Control, and the sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS.

The Rapida 106 will also be operated in a simulated CIP4 workflow environment tied to the company’s LogoTronic management system. Also at PRINT 09, KBA is demonstrating a 20-inch Genius 52 UV sheetfed press.

In August of this year, KBA introduced a new service program with a customized approach “that meets the exact needs and budget of each and every customer – from a one-time press relocation to regularly scheduled, ongoing support.” The program includes various packages like statistical analysis, training, machine audits and remote maintenance.

While the company plans to break its 2008-tradeshow mark of running 11 200-sheet jobs inside of one hour, on a LSX29 press, at PRINT 09 much of Komori’s focus will be put toward the LSX40, which is its newest press line introduced in 2008. While the company claims the machine can start feeding at 12,000 sheets per hour, the LSX40 has a top running speed of 18,000 sheets per hour and is compatible with a sheet size of 29 17/32 x 41 11/32 inches. A standard feature of the press is the drupa-2008 introduced KHS-AI system.
KHS-AI is based on self-learning functions that memorize any changes that the operator makes to CIP4 information and uses that information for subsequent jobs. KHS-AI is continually learning the conditions of the press to keep it operating at peak efficiency. A console-integrated spectrophotometer informs the operator when colour deviates, as a scanner automatically updates the inking program to compensate for the next job.
Komori also plans to stress its recently introduced Print Quality Assessment technology, which the company describes as a full-sheet, on-press scanning instrument to detect, locate and report any defects during printing. The technology uses high-speed cameras to photograph every printed sheet as it is coming off the last cylinder in the press. The photograph is electronically compared to an okay sheet. Deviations are reported via a visual alarm and either a tab is inserted in the load or multiple deliveries are used to automatically sort the load.

The company also plans to highlight its Spica 29P, which is a convertible perfector now available with a fifth unit. As well, the press comes standard with an automation package applied to critical makeready mechanics like perfecting changeover, plate change, and roller and blanket wash, among other automated features.

Komori Corporation resolved at a Board of Directors’ meeting held on June 29, 2009 to call for voluntary retirements.

Komori says it is fully aware of the serious impact that the worldwide recession is having on corporate-sector earnings. Under these circumstances, the company has continued to implement emergency measures aimed at securing profit improvement to overcome current harsh operating conditions. Concerned that the markets in which it operates will remain entrenched in a prolonged downturn, Komori has decided to step up efforts "to reduce fixed expenses as an adjunct to timely and robust measures."

In order to achieve a conclusive performance recovery from the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, Komori has therefore called for employee interest in a newly established voluntary retirement scheme.
(1) Number: Approximately 130 persons
(2) Eligibility: Komori employees
(3) Application Period: July 17, 2009 to July 31, 2009
(4) Retirement Date: August 15, 2009
(5) Preferential Treatment: Payment of an additional predetermined extraordinary lump sum amount on retirement; support through an outplacement agency for those seeking reemployment
Komori Group subsidiaries in Japan also intend to offer voluntary retirement to their employees. As a result, the Group plans to reduce personnel by around 200 (including the approximate 130 Komori employees mentioned above).

Taking into consideration the extraordinary lump sum payments in connection with this call for voluntary retirements, Komori expects to incur an extraordinary loss. The amount and other details will be disclosed as and when determined.

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