Almost 300 participants from across the globe attended Heidelberg's Postpress Commercial Days held during October 2013 at the Print Media Center (PMC) of the company's Heidelberg site. The entire portfolio for folding, collating (gathering), stitching, binding, and cutting was on show, covering every user need – from entry-level machines to professional solutions for industrialised print production. 

Visitors to the PMC also saw how Prinect Post-press Manager can integrate all the post-press innovations for commercial printing that were unveiled at drupa 2012 in a full-service print shop.

The new Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact saddlestitcher and the Stahlfolder TX 82 high-performance folding system made their debuts at the PMC. There were also live demonstrations on the Stitchmaster ST 500 saddlestitcher, the Eurobind Pro adhesive binder, the KAMA PC 76 die cutter, and the Polar 115 and Polar BC 330 cutters. A new wireless control panel for the Eurobind Pro gathering machine that shortens makeready times by simplifying image and bar code checking was also showcased. 

'The live analyses conducted at the demonstrations were very well received, with visitors using actual production data to gain an understanding of specific machine functions. This is exactly what our customers are looking for: to make their own production more transparent, 'said Thomas Krischke, Head of Postpress Commercial at Heidelberg. 'We're delighted at the great interest shown by customers – both the German-language and international days were oversubscribed. That highlights the importance of post-press operations as an integral part of the value-added chain and a vital process step for ensuring adherence to deadlines, and the quality and cost-efficiency of print production.'

Specialist discussions with experts at the various machines, information about services and consumables, and details of training options at the Print Media Academy rounded off the event. 

Heidelberg also demonstrated the latest folding machine innovation – the Stahlfolder TX/KX folding systems – complete with special machine configurations for high-performance production in industrial signature folding. This new machine generation is aimed at discerning customers in the premium sector and customers who expect both high quality and fast delivery. This can be achieved using lean, industrialized print production with state-of-the-art technologies. The key features of the new systems are the PFX feeder (PFX = Pallet Feeder eXtended), which uses the same principle as a press feeder, and the unique possibility of processing a stream of shingled sheets in both the feeder and the folding unit. As a result, productivity is up to 50 percent higher than in conventional production processes. The first model in this new folding machine family is the Stahlfolder TX 82, which was exhibited as a prototype at drupa 2012 and has now been fully integrated into PMC operations for several months. 

Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact enables cost-efficient saddle-stitching up to final format of A3 

The new Stitchmaster ST 200 Compact enables cost-efficient and professional production of wire-stitched brochures with a final format of up to A3 and operates at a speed of up to 11,000 cycles per hour. It was developed for customers who are looking for a cost-efficient way of switching to in-house post-press operations or extending their existing capacities so as to ensure fast and flexible delivery for their own customers. The machine can be equipped with up to eight horizontal feeders and a cover folder feeder. It also uses tried-and-tested Heidelberg servo drive technology. The feeders, stitcher, and trimmer are synchronized fully automatically via separate servo drives, which enables precise fine adjustment on the fly and very short makeready times. The intuitive makeready assistant takes operators step by step through the setup process, which also cuts makeready times and improves setup reliability. A variety of automation options enables the machine to be adapted to the specific production requirements of each and every customer, including frequent short runs or larger job volumes. 

A wireless control panel for the Eurobind Pro gathering machine was also unveiled at the Postpress Days. The android software can be installed on tablets or smart phones on a customized basis. The main application of the mobile control panel is to instill the image and bar code checking process in the gathering machine. Camera images of each and every feeder are transferred to both the central touchscreen and the mobile control panel. This enables operators to check at the respective feeders whether the current image section is suitable for signature checking. In addition to this, it is naturally also possible to control basic functions such as start/stop/inching mode, speed, counter statuses or job data for the entire machine network from the mobile tablet. This cuts down significantly on legwork, speeds up operator response times, and results in shorter setup times.