Large-Format Sheetfed Perfectors -- Seeking Perfection
"The interesting thing is that the mix of traditional and digital presses complement each other very well," says Andy Kohn, Jerome Group president. "We have two Indigos and six sheetfed black-and-white digital presses that do personalization." The addition of perfecting presses has also opened the door to short- to medium-run catalog work, Kohn reveals.
Trying to peg the typical large-format perfecting press user can be tough. According to John Dowey, vice president of sheetfed product management for Heidelberg, the typical profile for printers buying 40˝ perfecting machines include industrial commercial sheetfed or combination sheetfed/web printers. Most are looking for ways to cope with several factors: increased competition; shorter lead times; price erosion; the need for added capacity; and a desire to improve the output/labor ratio.
"Very often it is a printer who already has two or three 40˝ straight printing presses and is at or near capacity," Dowey notes. "Replacing one or two of those older straight presses with one long perfector can add the needed capacity without the need for additional staff—a huge advantage in our recovering economy." Heidelberg customers often look for machines with eight colors or more, and with 4/4 perfecting as a minimum, he states.
"Stepping up to 10 colors allows the use of a varnish or PMS color on both sides of the sheet, and provides additional creative possibilities," Dowey concludes. "The machines have high automation and very frequently include roll-to-sheet feeding capabilities, so printers can take advantage of lower paper purchasing prices available with web-grade papers."
Double-sided printing in a single pass with high print quality illustrates the potential of the Speedmaster SM 102. Extended preset functions reduce setup work to a minimum. Integration into the print shop's digital workflow reduces makeready times and results in fast job throughput.
Vancouver-area printer Rhino Print Solutions recently announced the acquisition of an eight-color Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 102 perfector. Its ability to print both sides of the sheet in one pass, as well as its extensive array of automation, provides Rhino with flexibility for fast job turnarounds and additional capacity to handle larger projects.