Akiyama International (USA)
WITH THE massive Drupa exhibition in Germany just seven months away, Graph Expo 2007 held in Chicago last month won’t go down in graphic arts history as a watershed event from a jaw-dropping new product standpoint. But that didn’t stop more than 20,000 upbeat attendees from filling the aisles at what was the largest Graph Expo event since 2000, and the second largest ever. Despite the Drupa effect, from a traditional offset printing standpoint there were a few new presses introduced, several automation and makeready advancements on display and, of course, a sprinkling of press sale announcements. An emphasis on environmental sustainability and improved
TO STAND out from the rest of the herd, offset press manufacturers, both web and sheetfed, have ramped up their service offerings. This trend toward extended service plans, preventive maintenance programs and beefed up parts and labor options is allowing press manufacturers to expand what is offered to their customers while also becoming more of a partner with the printer. Here is a look at some service plans that are available, in no particular order. At PRINT 05, Heidelberg unveiled an extended service package to the U.S. market called systemservice 36plus. Heidelberg’s systemservice 36plus service package extends service coverage for a period of 36
The sheetfed offset printing market continues to feel pressure—be it from rival markets or outside forces such as pricing battles and shrinking run lengths. As more economical digital print runs extend, and affordable web press runs shorten, manufacturers involved in the small- and medium-format (29˝ and smaller) sheetfed space are equipping their wares with the capabilities needed to compete—and win. “The competition from the web market is becoming more noticeable, but when it comes to the short-run color market, web presses have a number of things going against them,” contends Michael Iburg, product manager, KBA North America. “On a sheetfed press, makeready time is much
By Erik Cagle Senior Editor It wasn't long ago that large and extra-large format sheetfed offset presses were considered primary tools for the package printing market. In Europe, notes Ken Kodama, vice president of sheetfed sales for Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (MLP U.S.A.), these oversized machines were not used just by folding carton producers, but also by publication and commercial printers. But the productivity of the super-sized press and its ease of use is winning over favor among U.S. printers in the commercial sector. "The manning for a large-format is similar to a 40˝ press, so the makereadies are very similar," Kodama says.
By Mark Michelson Editor-in-Chief Growing interest in digital press offerings notwithstanding, the estimated 62,000 attendees at PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05 surely didn't go home with the impression that the traditional sheetfed offset market has lost its luster, especially given all of the big iron dominating the show floor during the seven-day-long exhibition last month. Sealing the deal for nine new Komori six-color, 40˝ Lithrone presses at various Consolidated Graphics facilities are, front row from the left: Robert Birmingham, Consolidated Graphics; John Marotta, Komori America; back row: Yoshiharu Komori, Komori Corp.; George Abboud, Consolidated Graphics; Stephan Carter, Komori America; and Satoshi Mochida, Komori
In the not-so-distant past, it was easy to look at small- and medium-format sheetfed offset presses (29˝ and smaller) as the less-coordinated sibling to large-format units. While small-format machines could print with similar quality, they lacked some of the automated features and bells and whistles of their larger counterparts. Today’s generation of smaller-format presses refuse to be overshadowed—most features offered on large-format presses are now available on smaller machines. “For the past few years, equipment manufacturers of sheetfed presses have been adding the same automation that can be found on their larger 40˝ presses to their mid-size and smaller sheetfed presses,” says Thomas Goecke,