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Special Drupa Coverage — Manufacturers Press Ahead

July 2008 By Mark Michelson
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ALTHOUGH MANY industry pundits were quick to label Drupa 2008 as The Digital Ink-Jet Drupa--given the technology previews shown there by the likes of Kodak, HP, Océ, Screen and Fujifilm--traditional sheetfed and web offset press manufacturers were just as diligent in showcasing their vision regarding the print shop of the future.

Based on the sampling of new press offerings highlighted here, the massive trade show could just as easily have been called The Large-Format Press Drupa; The Short-Run, Fast Makeready Offset Press Drupa; and even The Value-Added Press Drupa.

These themes were very apparent from Heidelberg, which filled two entire halls that were networked with its JDF-based Prinect workflow management system. Among Heidelberg's several press debuts and upgrades, the centerpiece was a six-color, 64? Speedmaster XL 162 very-large-format (VLF) press with coater. (Its new 56? Speedmaster 145 model is also available.) The 15,000 sheets per hour (sph), "Peak Performance Class" presses are geared toward the packaging and industrial printing segments. Perfecting versions of the VLF presses are not yet available, but are on the horizon.

Among other "Peak Performance" models, the 41? Speedmaster XL 105 is now offered in a perfecting configuration, which can boost productivity by up to 40 percent at press speeds to 15,000 sph. In the 29? format, the new Speedmaster XL 75 replaces Heidelberg's current Speedmaster CD 74 offering. Capable of 18,000 sph, the XL 75 boasts a larger sheet format, the Prinect Press Center with Intellistart operator guidance system (now available on all new Speedmaster models), air presets for sheet travel, and a new delivery control panel with touchscreen and jog wheel. Offered with up to 12 printing units, in-line finishing options including double coaters, FoilStar cold foiling and Duo flexo units before the offset units.

All XL series presses are also now available with the new AutoPlate XL simultaneous plate changing system.

Heidelberg also unveiled the 20? Speedmaster SM 52 and 29? Speedmaster SM 74 series, which combine the former Printmaster PM 52/74 and Speedmaster SM 52/74 models. They are available in customized configurations, ranging from a standard-pile delivery to a fully automated press with high-pile delivery. The SM 52 version with Anicolor short inking unit technology now also supports spot colors.

Faster Makereadies, New Features

Over in Hall 16, KBA laid claim to being the world makeready champion at Drupa after a demonstration of printing a total of 15 jobs, each of 520 good sheets, in just 59 minutes and 36 seconds on an eight-color Rapida 106 perfector. The run entailed 14 complete makereadies. The new 29x413/4?, 18,000 sph press (15,000 sph in perfecting mode) features DriveTronic dedicated drives for presetting the feeder, improving sheet travel in the sidelay-free infeed and for the plate cylinders to enable simultaneous plate changes in under 60 seconds.
 

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