Heatset Web Offset Presses -- Hot Rumors Cool Off
Although the trend toward shorter press runs has been a recurring theme in the printing industry, Paul Pirkle, vice president of commercial web sales at MAN Roland, adds that high-volume web markets are also alive and well. Here the trend is to run a larger format press, rather than multiple webs.
"A MAN Roland client in this sector is able to run 32 pages on a four-around, five-unit press in the same footprint they had been running two 16-page signatures with a double-web setup on an eight-unit press," Pirkle explains. "Meanwhile, they are accelerating their deadlines and cutting their manning requirements, thanks to the efficiencies the configuration provides."
MAN Roland is introducing a commercial version of its printnet digital backbone at Drupa that has been working on the newspaper side of the market for several years now. Pirkle reveals that printnet will make it easier for commercial web printers to link their MIS and all of their production equipment together into a fully functional, computer-integrated manufacturing network.
"Another of our advancements will be fully automated plate loading for heatset printers," he continues. MAN Roland's ROTOMAN will sport a new Automatic Plate Loading (APL) feature at Drupa.
The 16-page Komori System 38S web offset press can also be seen at Drupa. It provides a short changeover time through fully automated, one-step register adjustment, color matching, fold adjustment and plate changing. Komori's new KHS-AI with Advanced Intelligence has self-learning software that further reduces job changeover time, costs and workload.
Capable of 60,000 iph operation, the System 38S has a new folder that handles a variety of products, including direct mail, advertising material and magazines. As part of Komori's JDF demonstration, the folder on the System 38S is set via JDF data transfer.
Automation Is Standard
"CIP4 workflow integration, semi-automatic plate changers, shaftless drive technology and fully automatic folder changeover have become standard requirements for web presses," observes George Sanchez, director of sales and marketing, at MLP U.S.A. "Most web press manufacturers today offer some level of solutions for these requirements."