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GRAPH EXPO & CONVERTING EXPO 2004 Offset Printing -- Perfector

November 2004
By Mark Michelson

Editor-in-Chief

Don't chalk up the sprint-speed pace of buying activity reported by many Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2004 exhibitors to the Chicago Marathon that just happened to coincide with the opening day of the show. More likely, credit the desire for printers to make capital expenditures again to signs that the U.S. economy and graphic arts industry are finally rebounding, as well as the fact that Graph Expo provided U.S. printers with the first chance to see state-of-the-art Drupa introductions in action.

Perhaps nowhere was this more apparent than within the booths of traditional sheetfed and web offset press manufacturers.

The buying frenzy can be credited to several reasons. First, many printers that have sat on the sidelines the past three to four years, waiting to see business pick up again before committing to any expenditures, are poised to upgrade their pressrooms with increased capacity or, more often, new iron that can replace several older, outdated presses. Buyers are also looking to further reduce head counts with more automated equipment and to install machinery that can fulfill customers' ever-tightening turnaround time demands.

And, finally, they're seeking pressroom capabilities such as the operating cost benefits of perfecting, increased color units, larger press size formats, running speeds to 18,000 sph, self-diagnostics for increased uptime, enhanced feeders and deliveries, JDF compatibility, as well as hybrid and dedicated UV printing and coating capabilities.

Take Komori America, for example. Visitors to its booth saw two new sheetfed perfector solutions that were introduced at Drupa: the new six-color Lithrone S40 perfector and the more entry-level, four-color Spica convertible perfector.

The LS640P couples features of the Lithrone S40 series with Komori's double-size, three cylinder perfecting mechanism. Capable of speeds to 15,000 sph, the LS40 perfector is available in four-, six-, eight- and 10-color configurations with or without coater.

The cylinder configuration is said to improve print quality by reducing the chance of marking, and prevents ink from coming into contact with the ribbed vacuum cylinder. The perfecting mechanism itself transfers the sheet stress-free, and air controls along with ceramic jackets on the second four impression cylinders assist in mark-free passage of the reversed sheet through the delivery.

Show Floor Press Sold

ABS Graphics, of Addison, IL, purchased the six-color LS40P that was on display at Graph Expo. Formerly an all-Heidelberg shop, the $20 million, 110-employee commercial printer offers complete services ranging from graphic design through fulfillment.
 

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