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Graph Expo: Sheetfed/Web Offset Printing -- Still Making Impressions

November 2008 By Mark Michelson
DESPITE GROWING industry demand for digital printing devices, the fact remains that lithographic sheetfed and web presses still dominate the pressrooms—and revenue streams—for the majority of commercial printing operations. And, traditional press manufacturers are not standing still to compete with digital printing’s inherent short run and reduced waste advantages. 

Following on the heels of Drupa in Germany, Graph Expo in Chicago provided the first glimpse for most U.S. printers to learn first-hand how offset press manufacturers continue to prove their relevancy in an evolving industry.

That was quite apparent at the Komori America booth, which featured three different sheetfed models. Twelve daily demonstrations were held to emphasize the ease of job changeovers with Komori presses. The star of the booth was the six-color, 41? LSX40 press with coater that debuted at Drupa. 

Capable of speeds to 18,000 sph, enhancements include a more stable feeder and delivery; higher speed, fully automatic plate changers with non-stop plate removal; and a high-speed start function that enables the press to begin printing at 12,000 sph with makeready waste of as few as 20 sheets.

Most intriguing, though, is the LSX40’s KHS-AI “advanced intelligence” software that reduces job cycle times by as much as 50 percent. All press functions can be preset from the console, and the AI software also features self-learning technology that progressively updates press settings over time to further reduce waste. 

Showcasing multiple makereadies was also the mission for the six-color, 24x29? LSX29 press in Komori’s stand. The 16,000 sph LSX29 possesses a high-speed start function, a suction tape feeder, fully auto plate changing, and console-driven blanket and impression cylinder cleaning.

Rounding out the lineup was a four-color Spica 29P convertible perfector, which is designed as an economical, small footprint model. Demonstrating Sappi’s new Tempo fast-drying coated paper at the show, the press is also available in a five-color configuration to allow a varnish or additional color.

As has become a Komori tradition, the company also assembled a panel of customers at its press conference. They included Manny Hernandez of Solo Printing in Miami (System 38S web), Matt Doran of York, PA-based Anstadt Printing (six-color LSX29), Larry Patterson of Jones Packaging in Canada (customized, 13-unit LS40), and Zarik Megerdichian of 4Over Inc. in Glendale, CA. Megerdichian revealed the national trade printer’s plan to open three new Komori press-equipped production facilities: Miami, Dallas and Newark, NJ, to expedite ground shipping delivery.



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