WKS, manroland Web Systems Unveil 160-page Press

AUGSBURG, GERMANY—At drupa in May 2012, WKS Druckholding and manroland web systems set up a joint project to create the “world’s largest heatset commercial press.” Around 18 months later, on Nov. 13, the idea has become reality: the two-web 80-page LITHOMAN demonstrated its performance to customers, suppliers, media, and guests invited from the worlds of politics and business at Kraft-Schlötels in Wassenberg.

Dr. Ralph Dittmann, manager of WKS, was impressed by the 160-page LITHOMAN press at its official start of production. “For this project, we approached the press technology purely from the perspective of our customers,” he said. “We intensively analyzed our customers’ needs regarding the flexibility of page numbers, formats and product design, and tried to implement them as far as possible. As a result, a press was developed, which, on the one hand, consists of conventional press components that have never before (been) combined in this way (two-web 80-page press). On the other hand, we also devised our own conceptions on folding technology that have given rise to extensive new designs at press supplier companies. Our new LITHOMAN press design now reflects our technological concepts regarding flexible and economic production.”

Eckhard Hoerner-Marass, managing director of manroland web systems, emphasized the cooperation with the WKS specialists. “WKS had very clear ideas on production diversity and the resulting demands on the production process. Our colleagues from sales and design collaborated with WKS in a creative process to draft the press concept. The result: a unique LITHOMAN press with customized technology.”

WKS now produces at sites in Wassenberg and Essen with eight manroland web systems commercial web offset presses ranging from 32 to 80 pages. As part of the current investment, several older systems were decommissioned. The two-web 80-page LITHOMAN, with a total of web width of 4.5 meters, is the equivalent of a 160-page press. It produces up to 50,000 revolutions per hour. In addition to the fully-automatic AutomaticPlateLoading APL, the ClosedLoop systems developed by manroland to control inline fanout, color and cut-off registers have also been integrated. These features optimize machine operation and reduce waste.

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