DRUPA 2004 -- Gearing Up for the Big Show
Looking to Build Stability
The main event of the day was the unveiling of an all-new digital web press, the Xeikon 5000. According to Frank Deschuytere, vice president of R&D-engines, the company started from scratch in designing the press. Refinements that help to boost image quality, productivity and reliability, he says, include adding an in-line densitometer to check print quality, separating the stock feed and conditioning units from the print engine for better web feeding, and eliminating rigid connections between the machine's skin and its internal workings to provide a more stable platform.
The press features a 600 dpi resolution and handles a 20˝ maximum media width in weights from 27-lb. text to 122-lb. cover. Printing speed ranges from a high of 130 pages per minute down to 70 ppm, depending on stock weight, and toner can be added while the system is printing for uninterrupted operation. Printing units are configured in color pairs to enable One-Pass-Duplex printing. A fifth color unit is offered as an option.
Driving the press is the new Swift digital front end (DFE), which combines features of the PrintStreamer and IntelliStream systems that it replaces. The DFE reportedly provides 10 times the processing power of the existing systems, implements open standards and has a modular, scalable architecture.
Providing a bit of déjà vu, Creo Inc. also held its briefing at a customer site, Thijsen Rotatiedruk in the Netherlands, which served as a beta site for a new CTP system. The family owned business is more than 100 years old and among its claim to fame is serving as a purveyor to the Royal Household of the Netherlands. From an industry standpoint, the company currently is notable for being the first to have a Creo Magnus VLF thermal CTP system, which just happens to be feeding plates to the first long-grain, 32-page Sunday web offset press from Heidelberg in operation.