This feature appears in the latest edition of Africa Print Journal. Industry 4.0 is not some faraway concept. The technology is available now to create ultra-efficient print rooms and allow printers to remain competitive and 'future-proof' their businesses. Below are companies that offer these solutions.
Bytes Document Solutions
Xerox iGen 5 Press
The Xerox iGen 5 Press is the next generation of the industry’s most productive digital press platform widely used by in-plant bureaus, printers and professional graphic communications companies. It offers a fifth toner station, enabling the use of any of three additional colours: orange, green or blue, to supplement the standard CMYK. These additional colours greatly expand the press’ achievable colour gamut, and now accurately match even more PANTONE spot colours. In addition, a new flexible, configurable platform allows iGen 5 customers to invest wisely and grow quickly when they need to.
The print landscape has undeniably changed. The new Xerox iGen 5 platform addresses that change and brings opportunity to:
• Change the way customers see digital printing by enhancing digital capabilities and enabling a wider variety of jobs.
• Increasing productivity and profit. Xerox iGen 5 is a digital solution that easily, automatically and predictably achieves excellent quality and increases productivity.
• Offer more types of jobs to more customers who are looking to stand out with accurate brand colours and varied finished sizes.
Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press
This is a high-speed, production colour inkjet printer that combines the flexibilities of a cut sheet platform with the economics of an inkjet press. It is the first product in Xerox's production printing portfolio that combines advanced inkjet capabilities into a cut sheet platform that will give organisations that print transactional, direct mail, newsletters, collateral and/ or books and manuals a better choice for substantially lower total cost of ownership.
Heidelberg Graphic Systems SA
All Heidelberg presses are driven by the Prinect Business Intelligence Platform, which evaluates and analyses all production functions not as separate activities but as the linked process workflow components of an intelligent factory that follows the principles of Industry 4.0 and fully integrates the business aspects. Prinect integrates production processes and makes them trackable and measurable from the initial customer inquiry through to delivery and invoicing. As a job passes through the stages of production, Prinect knows where it is, who is doing what to it, how close to schedule it is moving along, and what kinds of costs and time it is accumulating as it progresses.
The press enables packaging printers in particular to take the first step in developing new areas of business, for example with the production of variable or personalised packaging. The system, designed for industrial production of digital printing applications in 70 x 100 format, offers a number of highlights, including the highest quality of 1200 x 1200 dpi at a printing speed of up to 2500 sheets per hour, even achieving production volumes of up to 1.5 million sheets per month in future productivity modes.
Speedmaster XL 106
Against a background of ever-declining run lengths and more frequent job changes, what is needed in order to be competitive in the market is fast, automated, reliable and efficient production. With the Speedmaster XL 106, new features such as intelligent assistance systems and parallel, automated processes are lifting industrial print production to a whole new performance level. The greatest focus is on ease of operation and integrated, digitised processes, extending all the way to autonomous printing.
Windmöller and Hölscher
All of Windmöller and Hölscher's (W&H) innovations are part of the company's central idea of Packaging 4.0: intelligent machinery – integrated processes – intuitive operation.
The TOPAS SL FFS line with new EASY CONTROL automation and operating modules increase the machine’s intelligence. The complete FFS line also includes the PLATINUM palletiser and the ARGON stretch hooder. Improved transparency, ease of operation and the integration of all components into one control system lead to better efficiency and production quality. In addition to modules for the shop floor, EASY CONTROL offers management analysis tools and enables customers to connect suppliers and partners.
The next module, EASY MANAGEMENT, involves providing and analysing data. Staff working in the back-office can use an 'Office' function to pull and analyse all of the production data. W&H offers a database that covers the entire line, which hasn't been done before. The comprehensive analysis options enable companies to manage production far more effectively.
EASY COLLABORATION involves integrating process steps from outside of the system itself. Inline quality assurance and 100% traceability are becoming increasingly important for end customers. The intelligent TOPAS system enables W&H to connect information about the film from the extrusion system with production data from the packaging machine using QR or barcodes.
One of the highlights in the implementation of Industry 4.0 strategy is the company's condition monitoring system (CMS) under the aspect of 'smart services'. With the help of CMS, important machine data is measured by sensors, processed by a special process control software and subsequently analysed via the new UNILOG B8 machine control system, at a customer’s control centre or directly at Wittmann Battenfeld.
This makes calculable, condition-based maintenance possible. CMS combines technology with human diagnostic competence. The condition of the machines’ key components is monitored continuously with the aim of optimising their availability and efficiency, keeping them on an optimal level and reducing the machine’s life cycle costs.
In CMS, three virtual levels are linked with each other to form a decentrally structured system. On level one, the measurement data is collected. Depending on the types of data, various sensors are used at each measuring point, which pass on the actual values measured to the analysis systems. The data to be analysed includes vibrations, torques, temperatures, air humidity, oil quality, flow quantities, screw function and all data from the control cabinet.
Kemtek Imaging Systems
An open, secure and integrated platform for print production management, PrintOS is a cloud-based operating system ideal for print service providers (PSPs) of all segments and sizes for use with HP Indigo, PageWide web presses, Scitex and Latex digital printing technology.
Featuring a suite of intuitive web-based and mobile applications, PrintOS helps simplify and automate print production, enabling PSPs to start printing jobs faster and getting more out of their HP presses and printers. Additionally, cloud connectivity allows remote print status monitoring as well as tracking and improving production performance over time.
Among others, PrintOS applications include:
• Box – a cloud-based file exchange app (the only one of its kind optimised for print), which radically streamlines the process of receiving files, verifying their content and quickly moving them into production. Box simplifies job on-boarding through non-automated channels like email and file transfer services. Often, a disproportionate amount of time and effort is invested in handling jobs prior to production. By standardising processes, Box reduces upfront overheads, increasing capacity and improving profitability.
• Site Flow, which combines automated order submission, prepress and shop floor management capabilities to address the needs of PSPs serving the business-to-business and business-to-business-to-consumer markets.
• The application allows PSPs to offer attractive costs and higher levels of service to fulfil hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of individual, personalised print orders every day, including direct shipment to end customers.
PrintOS is currently available to HP Indigo and PageWide Web Press customers. Many apps will be available without charge to existing customers with a service contract, while certain apps will be subject to monthly subscription and usage charges.
Connex Data and Process Management System
Connex inter-connects prepress, digital printing and finishing and controls all steps necessary for production. The imported JDF goes through a fully automated preparation process. Based on that information, the corresponding PDF is imposed that takes into account all technical production data such as web width, folding scheme or gathering sequence.
Muller Martini Alegro Perfect Binder
The binder has two new, specific features: block thickness correction (the system independently makes adjustments from clamp to clamp and thereby compensates for book thickness deviations fully automatically) and the dynamic job change function (job changes within a size family are performed on-the-fly on a barcode basis, without the need for operator intervention).
Muller Martini InfiniTrim
The three-knife trimmer has a revolutionary drive, transport and trim concept. It impresses not only with its unit drive technology for all grippers and knives, enabling full size and thickness variability from book to book, but also ensures the correct positioning and, thanks to SmartPress technology, the ideal pressing of every single product fully automatically. The InfiniTrim comes into its own as the perfect inline companion to Muller Martini’s new three-clamp Vareo perfect binder.
Muller Martini Ventura MC Digital
This has been added to the thread sewing machine range (consisting of the Ventura MC 160 and Ventura MC 200). It is coupled with a flat pile feeder, pocket folder/processing folder for products from digital sheet-fed or web printing presses (with a sheeter) up to a signature size of B2 and a speed of 9600 cycles per hour, and ensures impeccable stitching quality (similar to digital saddle stitchers).
Muller Martini SigmaLine Digital Book Production System
The system boasts three new functions. The top speed of the SigmaFolder II is now 304,8m (1000 feet). The newly developed on-the-fly format change function ensures that format changes are performed as a seamless, touchless workflow, without the printing press having to be halted or the machine operator having to intervene. VDP production is now also possible thanks to three new Connex modules.