ON the road
Glimpse Into Print Giant's Show Plans
HEIDELBERG, GERMANY—It only seems fitting to travel to the birthplace of printing and the home country of the world's largest printing trade show for a pre-Drupa press conference. And when the company you are covering is Heidelberg, the show's biggest exhibitor, there is no better place to be than Germany during the spring season of a Drupa year.
The two-day international press event opened at the Heidelberg sheetfed manufacturing facility in Weisloch with a speech from Heidelberg management board member Dr. Klaus Spiegel, who gave an overview of the company's recently announced deals—the selling of the Digital unit to Kodak and Web Systems to Goss International. Spiegel was reluctant to provide further details about the contractual agreement, but did say that the future of the company would focus strongly on the sheetfed, prepress and postpress sectors, including the associated workflow components, training and services.
Spiegel then expounded on the upcoming trade show, Heidelberg's Drupa theme "Created with Passion, Made for Success," and what the company will offer to visitors within its nearly 84,000 square feet of booth space.
"Following our Drupa appearance four years ago, we have made our range of services even more transparent for our visitors," Spiegel explains. "Building on the service provider approach we began in the year 2000, we have now integrated the experiences of recent years into our Drupa offering. In addition to presenting solutions for defined target groups, we have now added an Application Center to provide more detailed information for every area."
Heidelberg staff at the Application Center will explain the individual processes involved in handling printing jobs and help the customer to understand both the individual elements and the bigger picture, Spiegel notes.
From now on, the company reports it is dividing the Prinect Workflow into three application-specific solution packages: Prinect Management, Prinect Production and Prinect Color Solutions. Networking individual solutions using the industry standard, JDF, plays a key role in this context. Heidelberg will also demonstrate how, for example, digital printing can be integrated into an overall workflow using Prinect. Workflow management got a lot of attention at the two-day press session, including demos at both the sheetfed facility and at the Print Media Academy in nearby Heidelberg.
As far as what Heidelberg is known best for—sheetfed printing—the new generation of the Speedmaster SM/CD 102 is being shown for the first time at Drupa.
Both series feature a fully revamped Preset Plus feeder and the completely redesigned Preset Plus delivery for the Speedmaster CD 102. A number of innovations relating to coating applications have already been announced. These range from flexible, entry-level solutions such as the Modular Coating System to specialist solutions like the FlexoKit for processing special coatings. The innovations in the Speedmaster SM 102 include new and improved cylinder jackets that enhance perfecting quality.
On the Web Front
On the web printing side, the new Sunday 3000/32 is touted as the first web offset press with a single circumferential format that combines the advantages of an eight-page cylinder configuration. Thanks to a web width of 72.05˝, 32 pages in magazine format can be printed with each revolution. This is equivalent to a speed of 100,000 prints an hour.
Heidelberg also offers needle-less former and combination folders geared to the Sunday 3000/32, including the new PCF-3 combination folder with three signature handling methods.
Three new digital color printing solutions will be shown and are designed to give printing businesses greater productivity and a more efficient end-to-end workflow for a range of digital applications. The NexPress Solution Series features a more powerful front end, optional fifth imaging unit, new software applications for Web2Print and VDP, enhancements to existing software, and new professional consulting services and business support, as well as seminars.
From a finishing standpoint, several new products are available, including the new Stitchmaster ST 350 saddle stitcher offering up to 12,000 cycles per hour; the Pacesetter 1100 saddle stitcher for finishing long-run magazines and books at speeds of up to 20,000 copies per hour; and the Stahlfolder TH/KH generation of folders (TH stands for buckle plate folder), available in widths of 22.05˝, 25.98˝ and 32.28˝.
A contingent of American journalists were also provided with a tour of the Polar manufacturing facility in Hofheim, along with numerous machine demonstrations. Polar is a partner company to Heidelberg, which sells Polar paper cutters, label systems and paper handling equipment. A full sampling of Polar equipment, including the new Polar generation XS, X and XT, with and without touchscreens, will be on hand in Halls 1 and 2 at Drupa.
KBA Open House Leaves Lasting Impression
DRESDEN, GERMANY—Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) served notice to the worldwide commercial printing community that it will be a manufacturing force at Drupa and beyond. That message, underscored with historic tours, exquisite dining and even a fireworks display, was delivered during KBA's Open House held here March 24-26. It was the largest-ever undertaking for the venerable manufacturer, which has made tremendous inroads the past few years within the North American market.
The web and sheetfed press manufacturer dazzled and delighted more than 40 journalists and 1,400 current and potential customers from 38 countries during its pre-Drupa event, held at its KBA sheetfed headquarters in nearby Radebeul, as well as on-site demonstrations at a local printer, Ellerhold.
The trade press was given a sneak preview on March 23 as the company rolled out its latest innovations of sheetfed and web press models such as the Rapida 74 and 74G, 105, the 130-162a, 205 and Compacta 217, the Genius 52 and 74 Karat presses. Among the innovations flying under the KBA Drupa banner of "People & Print: Driving Advances—Together:"
* Klaus Schmidt, director of marketing, stressed the company's focus on waterless and keyless offset systems, which produce much less waste and provide more consistent print quality.
* The Rapida 130-162a boasts new wrinkles in the feeder, including two wide suction belts without support belts and the return of sheets to the pile after stoppages.
* The new Rapida 74 and 74G, rated at 18,000 sph or 15,000 sph with perfecting, has an automatic plate changer with three change cycles. The 74G has the Gravuflow inking system and is a B2 waterless offset press featuring the same keyless inking system as the 74 Karat. A five-color Rapida 74 with coater and delivery extension will be on display at Drupa.
* Touted as the fastest medium-format press in the world, the Rapida 105 (18,000 sph/15,000 sph perfecting mode) offers a shorter makeready time with a fully automatic plate changer, optimized and upgraded washing system, and faster, more comprehensive access possibilities for the operator from the control console and the press. The six-color press with coater and plinth for printing packaging will be showcased at Drupa.
KBA will take prospective buyers to see a production run on the world's first 14-unit Rapida 105 press line for five-color perfecting and coating at Meinke Druck in Neuss, not far from Düsseldorf.
* The 240-ton Rapida 205 press is the monster of large-format printing. KBA demonstrated printing an 81˝ sheet on paper stock, then printed on poster board after a nine-minute changeover. The 803⁄4˝ behemoth and its smaller sibling, the Rapida 185, have a maximum output of 9,000 and 11,000 sph, respectively. Drupa visitors can also attend an offsite demo of a four-unit 205 with perforator and automatic plate changer.
* The Genius 52 will be shown at the Metronic stand in Hall 11 at Drupa, printing smart cards on 24-pt. PVC film and other plastic products.
* The 74 Karat, which currently has worldwide installs in excess of 100 units, is a cornerstone direct imaging waterless sheetfed press with coater. Many onlookers were impressed at its lenticular applications, but the machine also handles paper, board, plastics and foil stocks.
* The brand new Compacta 217 web offset press will be on display at Drupa, printing a 20-page flyer on two different types of stock and with different language versions, for finishing at the Muller Martini stand. That press will be embedded in the JDF workflow.
The North American guests were fortunate enough to be housed at a hotel kissing the banks of the Elbe River in Dresden. Within walking distance was a plethora of classically reconstructed buildings in contrast to the World War II fire bombings that had left it in ruins.
Street performers played accordions, recorders and other musical instruments—one young man performed "Norwegian Wood" by the Beatles on a cloudy, but warm, afternoon that nonetheless attracted flocks of onlookers eager to take in the sights and sounds of the proud city.
Anderson Litho Wins Two Sappi Awards
ORLANDO, FL—Putting on a production that would have made Walt Disney himself take notice, Sappi Fine Paper North America held its annual Printer of the Year awards gala at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando in early April.
The fanfare included giant projection screens that focused on presenters and winning printers, video footage of the award-winning entries, musical acts between dinner courses and a celebrity host.
Catherine Crier, of Court TV fame, served as emcee for the evening, as the paper giant honored the year's best work using Sappi grades.
But the big star of the night was Mark Tennant, president and general manager of Anderson Lithograph, who took two Gold Awards home with him for the company's work in the Brochures and General categories.
Best of the Best
With more than 600 printers submitting nearly 3,000 pieces of work, and with 900 designers submitting 1,800 entries, the competition was fierce and the winning submissions were reported as unprecedented in quality. The Gold Award winners included:
Annual Reports—LP Thebault Co., Parsippany, NJ, for International Flavors & Fragrances.
Books—Graphic Arts Center Publishing, Portland, OR, for Montana.
Brochures—Anderson Lithograph, City of Commerce, CA, for Cadillac XLR 2004.
Catalogs—Model Offset Printing, Humacaco, PR, for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art & The Alphabet.
Magazines—Quad/Graphics, Sussex, WI, for Nature's Best Fall 2003.
General—Anderson Lithograph, City of Commerce, CA, for Hummer Calendar.
"Print is such a unique and powerful medium—it speaks to people in a very personal and persuasive way," said Kathy Walters, Sappi Fine Paper North America president and CEO. "These awards not only recognize the best work in the industry, but provide us an opportunity to step back and appreciate how print and design significantly impact our daily lives."
An independent panel of industry experts judged the submissions. Winners will go on to compete for the Sappi International Printer of the Year award hosted in Cape Town, South Africa, in October. One Gold winner will be selected as Sappi North American Printer of the Year, and may win the international prize.
The Sappi Printer of the Year has been held annually in South Africa since 1979, in Europe since 1993, and in North America since 1996. The award recognizes printer excellence and innovation for work printed on Sappi papers.