Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 

Web Offset -- Turning Up the Heat

May 1999
BY ERIK CAGLE


Shorter runs, longer runs, less waste, reduced makeready time, skilled labor shortages, increased automation—some of the biggest issues facing the commercial printers who use heatset web offset presses are also some of the oldest issues. They are issues constantly being addressed.

It is a flourishing market, as some of the open web industry's manufacturing stalwarts now offer enhanced commercial models or are breaking into the heatset specialty for the first time. That gives the printer more variety of choices in both the quantity and quality departments.

For the manufacturers already entrenched in the heatset web market, the quest is to answer the evolving value-added requirements of their customers who, in turn, also find themselves trying to give more bang for fewer bucks.

Timsons Printing Machinery is geared toward book markets with shorter run lengths, thus, make-ready time and paper waste are two of the hot-button issues for President Kenneth DeVito.

"We've been speaking to our auxiliary suppliers for years on the subject of saving product on startup as quickly as possible," DeVito remarks. "During a makeready, for example, a dryer manufacturer can help by keeping the dryer temperature high without breaking the web. This helps us to save product in a more expeditious manner because the dryer reaches its set temperature much faster, eliminating the time and waste associated with the purge cycle."

DeVito says that the trend today is to train press crews into the equivalent of racing pit crews—make plates ready and obtain good product in record time. Saving product quickly is a culture in its own, he remarks—like presuming that the signature is innocent until proven guilty. The idea is to save first, and check for position and ink density later.

"If book printers' thoughts are not in this direction, their competition will be more efficient and will produce at a lower cost," DeVito states.

Keep it Short
According to Barbara Gora, marketing director for Goss Graphic Systems, high quality and low cost for run lengths of all sizes are driving factors for the web offset industry. Shorter press runs that accommodate advertisers' needs for more targeting and minimal inventory are driving influences.

"Today, press manufacturers are concentrating on features that enable printers to push run lengths even lower through the integration of quick makeready and job changeover features," Gora points out.

"We're also seeing a greater push for digital workflow management and plantwide systems integration of management information tools. The open systems architecture of today's press control systems provides a necessary link."

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: