Heatset Web Offset Presses -- Hot Rumors Cool Off
by chris bauer
Finally, the rumor mill can go silent concerning the status of industry giant Heidelberg Web Systems. Just days before closing this issue, Heidelberg and Goss International reached an agreement on major issues for the intended transfer of the Heidelberg Web Offset division to Goss International.
An outline deal has been agreed upon in principle, but some issues remain to be resolved before definitive documents are expected to be executed over the coming weeks.
Heidelberg will still display web presses at the upcoming Drupa trade show in Germany, reports Greg Norris, manager of marketing communications. Its newest offering, the Sunday 3000/32, is a single-circumference web press that offers the advantage of an eight-pages-across cylinder configuration. A web width of 72˝ allows the press to print 32 magazine-size pages per revolution at speeds of up to 100,000 iph.
The first new Sunday 3000/32 has been in operation at Thijsen in The Netherlands since early February. Three additional presses have been ordered for the United States by Arandell Corp. and Quad/Graphics.
"This is an important breakthrough in the Sunday technology development program that began more than a decade ago," explains Werner Albrecht, president of Heidelberg's Web Systems division.
Gapless blanket technology remains vital to the new 2x8 format. The tubular blankets eliminate vibrations that would otherwise compromise speed and print quality with the wider, eight-pages-across cylinders. Heidelberg first introduced gapless blankets in 1993 with the original 24-page Sunday 3000 press.
Albrecht says the new one-web Sunday 3000/32 is an attractive replacement option for the large installed base of two-web, 16-page presses common at North American catalog and publication printing operations. "The productivity is higher, the number of printing units is cut in half and the complexity of running two webs is eliminated," he explains.