Heidelberg Announces Upgrades To Sheetfed Offset Printing Solution


Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has announced the addition of new features to its most renowned printing solutions, which include intelligent waste paper management, extended washup systems and more.

Heidelberg is putting the most intelligent and automated Speedmaster ever into series production. The completely redesigned Prinect Press Center generation with the new Speedmaster Operating System delivers Push to Stop functionality and connection to the Prinect Cloud to every Speedmaster.

Many new digital assistance systems, such as the Wash Assistant or Intellirun on the Wallscreen XL, turn the Prinect Press Center into a modern, attractive workstation, and allow the operator to continuously call on the machine’s performance potential. However, the hardware has evolved as well. In addition to the new and significantly larger 60.9cm (24 inch) multi-touchscreen, the standard illuminant lighting to ISO 3664:2009 was converted to LED. Instead of time-consuming tube changes, as before, switching between standard illuminant D50 and D65 with and without UV is now done simply by pressing a button.

‘Following the overwhelming success of Push to Stop at drupa 2016, we have invested a great deal in advancing the idea of the Smart Print Shop and in taking Push to Stop to a new level,’ explained Rainer Wolf, Head of Sheetfed Product Management. Software development, of course, plays a key role in this. Heidelberg, however, has also heavily invested in press technology, closing automation gaps, further optimising subprocesses, and developing new applications.

‘The result speaks for itself, and we are proud of the innovation fireworks we shall be setting off with the Speedmaster 2020 generation to make sheetfed offset printing even more attractive and cost-effective. With our flagship, the Speedmaster XL 106, we have defined the term Peak Performance Class in the industry. Up to 90 million printed sheets a year are already a reality today. Now, that’s what we call peak performance in practice. With our new Speedmaster generation, we offer our customers outstanding conditions to fully exploit the possibilities of modern, digital offset printing.’

Heidelberg automates the dampening unit of the Speedmaster XL 106 with the new Hycolor Pro. The quantity of dampening solution is decided and metered between pan roller and metering roller. The pressing/squeezing required for this purpose can now be carried out by automation directly from the Prinect Press Center. This saves time and effort, and enables finest corrections from the control panel even during production. The basic settings of the dampening unit are recorded digitally, and from the Prinect Press Center XL 3 it is now possible to also adjust the dampening solution metering on only one side. ’80 percent of our inking-related service calls are due to the inaccurate setting of the dampening unit,’ explained Wolf. ‘With Hycolor Pro, we now have defined and measurable settings we can also use for digital Remote Service. From the control panel, the printer can now meter more or less dampening for one side, thus react faster and more sensitively, and approach the scumming point much more precisely. This creates stable production run conditions with less waste paper and faster reaching of the good sheet.’

Washup times are still a major makeready time factor, especially in packaging printing. Further improvements in the area of rollers and washup systems have now been implemented to significantly reduce these washup times. Apart from the new Wash Assistant software for intelligent determination of the degree of soiling and preselection of the optimum washup programme, further innovations relate to the area of washing fluid supply. Besides water, up to three more media, such as washing fluid for conventional and UV inks, roller protection fluid or deep cleaners, can now be metered in the inking unit. The modules of the blanket washup device in the Speedmaster XL 106 were made 20 percent lighter, and a fully automated impression cylinder washup device is now available for the coating unit. In particular with perfecting presses with coating unit, approximately 50 hours of manual cleaning time per year can thus be saved in three-shift operation.

Especially when ink changes are frequent, considerable advantages can be achieved with LotoTec inking rollers. After having passed the long-term test, these inking rollers with patented surface coating are now released for series production. Since rewashing the rollers is not necessary and, due to their excellent printing properties, they are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in packaging printing.

Customers with fewer plate changes, however, can also achieve relief for the operator. Digital workflow integration is similar, with the exception that the plate trolley is verified using a mobile scanner and lifted to the gallery level with a lift – the so-called ‘Plate to Gallery’ procedure. A wider gallery offers the operator very good ergonomic conditions during job preparation, while the current job is in production. ‘Plate to Gallery’ is also interesting for folding carton printers, since the machines are usually raised and the operator can now use the lift to conveniently take printing plates, coating plates, ink and other aids to gallery level.

The time required for the plate change itself has also been improved. The changing time for the fully automated, simultaneous AutoPlate XL 3 plate changer has been, once again, drastically reduced by more than 30 percent, and now requires exactly the same amount of time as the blanket washup that takes place simultaneously, so that no additional time is required for plate changing.

The demands especially on packaging printers are constantly increasing. Smaller quantities on demand, just-in-time deliveries, narrow tolerance windows and increasingly far-reaching audits combined with simultaneous price pressure, are the challenges the printing companies are facing. In this context, the topic of waste paper management is gaining in importance. The CodeStar is a presettable inkjet system at the feeder table that applies a unique sheet ID, and thus makes each sheet traceable. By digitally implementing presetting data in Intellistart 3, Prinect Inspection Control 3 not only helps eliminate the previously time-consuming manual setup procedures for sheet inspection, but it can also identify the sheet ID so that defects can be clearly assigned to the individual printed sheet. The new ‘Device Assistant’ function can be used to determine the reaction for each defect type. It can thus be determined, for example, whether sheets should be disposed of via the inline waste paper ejection, whether a strip should be inserted, or whether the automatic non-stop device should be engaged to separate waste paper from good sheets.

Heidelberg provides its customers with new applications that enable them to expand their portfolio, and address new customer segments. With FoilStar Cure, the adhesion of cold foil on in-mould label foils can be increased to a level that permits stable productions runs. Further modifications to the FoilStar offer the possibility of embossing hologram effects into the coating layer using the ‘cast & cure’ method, and of curing the layer with LED.

In the area of rotary die-cutting, the successful Speedmaster XL 106-DD will be complemented by the Speedmaster XL 106-D with just one die-cutting unit. This provides a less costly alternative sufficient for many applications.

The fully automated non-stop system of the Speedmaster XL 106 has also been redesigned, and, in addition to increased robustness for folding carton printing, now offers the option of rack operation for thin materials, for example in label printing.

A number of technical features for security printing, such as ink fountain for rainbow printing, or devices for waterless offset and letterset, were transferred from the Speedmaster XL 75 to the XL 106.

A new coating supply allows minimal circulation quantities, which saves costs, especially with special applications involving expensive coatings. The Speedmaster XL 106 is now available with special equipment for substrate thicknesses of up to 1.6mm.

In the area of applying dispersion coating on both sides in a single pass, the speed of previously 15,000 sheets/hour can now be increased to 18,000 sheets/hour with the Speedmaster XL 106 and optimised drying with just two dryer units before perfecting.

The new Speedmaster XL 75 has been fully redesigned and updated to the latest ergonomic standards. The maximum speed of the straight printing version was raised to 16,500 sheets/hour, with an optional increase to 18,000 sheets/hour. In combination with the new Prinect Press Center XL 3 and the range of new assistance systems, the Speedmaster XL 75 sets the standards in the 50 x 70cm format.

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Heidelberg Graphic Systems Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd
+27 (0) 86 142 4756

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