Although the digital imaging presses seem to be the belle of the PRINT 01 ball, there are still many important technologies at the exhibition to see and understand.

But don’t expect many new technology innovations in the web offset press arena, advises Richard Holliday of 3P Consultants. “I’d be surprised if there is any great new technology in the web field. What I am really anticipating is the makeready devices that the manufacturers will be offering to help improve productivity.”

Holliday says that manufacturers will be continuing to push the adoption of closed-loop color control. He also expects to see efficient and flexible plate and folder changing devices to be highlighted.

“We’ll see more automation and more flexibility. All of these features are intended to really reduce the minutes between the runs, as well as the spoilage. As run lengths get shorter and shorter, two things happen: the percentage that the press is in run mode compared to make-ready gets lower, and spoilage as a percentage really starts to climb. If you cut the number of good copies in half, you’ve just doubled your spoilage. If you’re a web printer, you darn well better be paying attention to your makeready because it’s a bigger and bigger percentage of your success,” Holliday states.

It’s not just web press manufacturers that are trying to cut make-readies, however, reports Werner Rebsamen, professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The theme of PRINT 01 for bindery equipment is going to be zero makereadies, he reveals.

“It doesn’t matter how fast the machine runs. Jobs are becoming shorter and shorter. We are becoming short-order cooks, so makeready times need to be shortened.” Rebsamen says PRINT will find industry leaders such as Muller Martini, Stahl, MBO and Polar showing more and more equipment that is fully automated.

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