Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145/162 VLF Press Series Granted InterTech Technology Award
KENNESAW, GA—September 30, 2013—For the first time in 35 years, Printing Industries of America has honored a 57”/64” sheetfed offset press with a prestigious 2013 InterTech Technology Award. Heidelberg’s Speedmaster XL 145/162 VLF press series was recognized for its twin-gripper delivery system and innovative Remote Fan-Out Control (RFOC), features that bring true peak performance to large-format, light paper printing and perfecting. The combined cost savings of both technologies can top $1 million per year in time and paper costs alone.
“True leadership is proven by consistency,” said Harald Weimer, president of Heidelberg USA. “This is the 32nd time a Heidelberg innovation has been privileged to receive an InterTech Technology Award, and we are extremely proud to continue our unique history of innovation. This year, Heidelberg is the only offset press manufacturer to be so honored. Launched in 2008, our XL 145/162 platform is the newest in the industry, as well as the first to receive an InterTech Technology Award in this class.”
Two Is Better Than One
Heidelberg’s twin-gripper delivery system is a mechanical marvel and an achievement of the first order.
Launched at drupa 2012, the twin-gripper delivery secures both the front and tail edge of the sheet, guiding it all the way through the delivery—without any scratching or marking. As the sheet approaches the delivery pile, a separate slow-down system takes the tail end of the sheet and positions it on the delivery pile, eliminating the need for sheet brake corridors, thereby saving up to 1.9” in sheet width on every sheet.
“Besides the paper savings, there are other benefits as well,” explained Joerg Daehnhardt, director of product management for Heidelberg USA. “In the Web-to-print business especially, different jobs can be distributed wherever they fit on the page, without the limitations of break-corridors running from print start to end. This enables users to take full advantage of formats up to 64x48”, without artificial limitations.”
Mark Bohan, vice president of technology and research at Printing Industries of America, agreed. “For printers serving the relevant market segments, the potential financial impact of Heidelberg’s twin-gripper technology is significant,” he said.
Remote Fan-Out Control
The InterTech Technology Award also recognized Remote Fan-Out Control, another Heidelberg innovation. Lightweight paper tends to stretch during the offset printing process, leading to paper growth or “fan-out” that used to force an operator to stop the press and manually adjust the tail clamps of the plate. With Remote Fan-Out Control, however, these adjustments are made directly from the Prinect Press Center console, and register-fit is achieved throughout the sheet from gripper to tail. At the end of a job, the press automatically moves all tail clamps back into zero position before the plates are ejected.
“The engineering is nothing short of amazing,” Daehnhardt relayed. “Wireless power and data transfer into the turning plate cylinder permit reliable adjustments on-the-fly. In combination with the twin-gripper delivery, Remote Fan-Out Control enables Heidelberg VLF presses to be cost-competitive in very short run lengths.”
Said one InterTech judge, “The automation of the tail clamps is unique and greatly improves efficiency. Removing the need to stop the press for manual adjustment saves significant makeready time.”
Quantifiable Improvement with Every Sheet, Every Makeready
The savings are systematic and highly relevant. On a straight seven-color press, Remote Fan-Out Control can save up to 10 minutes on every makeready. For long perfecting presses, a 4/4 makeready can be completed in less than 10 minutes, with as few as 50 waste sheets.
Users around the world confirm that the paper savings are real. “With Remote Fan-Out Control, even paper of lesser quality can be used,” noted Trond Erik Isaksen, managing director of Livonia Print in Riga, Latvia. “And I can easily adjust for the paper stretch that sometimes varies from batch-to-batch," he continued. "In addition to saving money on the substrate, I can also minimize the time spent making adjustments. That’s a double win for me as a user.”
“The judges concurred that Heidelberg’s twin-gripper delivery and Remote Fan-Out Control marks a significant step forward in offset printing that should be recognized as having a positive impact on the industry,” Bohan concluded.
In addition to the twin-gripper delivery with RFOC, Heidelberg’s Speedmaster XL 145/162 VLF series presses offer a powerful combination of technologies previously honored with an InterTech Technology Award. These include the Prinect Press Center console (2009); Prinect Inpress Control inline color and register control system (2008); and Prinect Performance Benchmarking (2012). Additional functionality comes from Prinect Color Assistant Pro, a new software that optimizes the ink presetting curves, taking into account control steps required to reach the OK sheet and the status of the ink fountain foil.
Combining outstanding innovation, optimum reliability, and the highest automation levels in large-format sheetfed offset, Heidelberg Speedmaster XL VLF peak performance presses are the cornerstones of the new, super-efficient print shop.