Sheetfed Presses--Getting Connected
With qualified operators at a premium, ease of operation is also a valuable commodity. That prompts manufacturers for companies such as A.B.Dick to make presses that are not only easier to operate, but more consistent as well.
The company did a preliminary unveiling of its two-color, two-tower press at last year's GRAPH EXPO and will do the same this year. Among its features, says Ken Newton, senior vice president of sales and marketing, is a dual dampening system that provides (with the flip of a switch) either integrated or segregated dampening.
Another issue, Newton says, is the need to keep polyester plates damp to avoid adhesion. A.B.Dick is adding a dampening system that keeps the cylinders rolling at a slow pace to steer clear of such problems.
Don Trytten, vice president of xpedx Import Group, sees direct-to-plate as an area of growth, which is prodding Ryobi into automation features to complement the progression in the prepress area.
Among the company's offerings is the HXX series, which features a console, automatic plate loading and cocking, and a vacuum belt on the feed board. The ink volume control setter allows the data to be automatically sent to the press for the preset ink keys. Also available is the AAC System, an automatic dampening system that, once set, can adjust for speed changes.
Automation, ease of operation and touchscreen control of all sheetfed press functions are some of the enhancements being made by Sakurai USA, according to Jon Surch, national sales manager.
"We're turning the old iron offset press into a software-based, easily upgradable and diagnostic tool," Surch remarks. "Sakurai's ability to take someone from prepress to the pressroom with our CTP system and our computer-to-proof system is essential. We offer a package solution: digital workflow, digital control presses and automation on the presses. It's a very sleek and versatile system for printers."