Lithographic Printing: ‘Heavy Iron’ Comes Up Light

There were only four offset presses actually running at GRAPH EXPO last month, but the leading vendors still had booths on the show floor. Video presentations, interactive displays, print samples, and standalone press consoles or press units were instead used to showcase new developments, enhanced maintenance offerings and press monitoring services.

Even the five-color SM 52 Anicolor was just one component in the workflow presentation of a cross-media promotion Heidelberg developed for a fictional clothing store called belle&beau. The marketing services campaign included a custom Prinect online storefront, short-run brochures printed on the Anicolor, letters and catalogs with variable data output using a Heidelberg-branded Linoprint C901 color digital press, and in-store posters and displays produced on an EFI Rastek H652 UV flatbed inkjet printer. Prinect Color Toolbox ensured color matching across the three (offset, digital, wide-format) output platforms.

Heidelberg also demonstrated the new generation of its Prinect Image Control spectrophotometric color management system. The latest iteration is specifically designed for printers seeking to comply with G7 methods and ISO standards for printing according to grey balance control.

The Systemservice area of Heidelberg’s booth featured Remote Monitoring, which enables early detection of machine system failures before problems occur, based on continuous data capture from the press. Also of interest was the new, cloud-based Prinect Performance Benchmarking service.

KBA North America devoted a dedicated area within its booth to educate attendees about the new Service Select EA (Efficiency Analysis) program for its sheetfed customers. A video also highlighted the company’s presence at drupa in Germany this past May. Featured was KBA’s entry into high-volume digital printing with the RotaJET 76 inkjet web press, which will be at a beta site in early 2013. Applications include books, commercial work, direct mail and magazines.

Other attention-getters at drupa were the new 57˝ Rapida 145 equipped with a new coater concept, and KBA’s 41˝ Rapida 106, which can now print at speeds up to 20,000 sheets/hr. And, for flexible packaging, the new Varius 80 variable-format web offset press is still in alpha stage.

On the second day of the show, Meredith-Webb Printing, of Burlington, NC, ordered a 64˝, seven-color KBA Rapida 162a press with coater and UV capabilities. Its second KBA, the large-format Rapida 162a will be delivered early next year.

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