Speedmaster CD 102 Duo: Flexographic Printing Before Offset Printing
Friday, March 15, 2002
March 14, 2002 -- In April 2002, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) will be shipping the world’s first press with flexographic printing units fitted upstream of the offset units. This press is known as the Speedmaster CD 102 Duo and has an LY-6-LYYL(X) configuration. It features a coating and drying unit upstream of six offset printing units, plus a downstream dual coating unit and twin drying unit. This press is therefore ideal for products in the packaging, label and commercial printing sectors. The press is a total of 28 meters long and prints at a maximum speed of 13,000 sheets per hour. Heidelberg has developed this press for high-quality inline production, for example applying opaque white onto metallic foils, or high-quality gold or silver inks that can be overprinted inline with offset inks. This enables printers to achieve ultra-fine metallic effects, thus satisfying the needs of even the most discerning customers. The new Speedmaster CD 102 Duo uses flexographic printing before and after the offset printing units. This enables printers to combine conventional inks, water-based coatings, UV inks and UV coatings at will. Metalures (water- or UV-based gold and silver coatings that are made up of extremely thin aluminum pigments of large surface area) can also be used with a special chamber doctor blade system known as the FlexoKit. In just one press pass, the printer can create metallic effects, matt/gloss combinations or pearly luster. Heidelberg has already sold two Speedmaster CD 102 Duos. One CD 102-LY-6+LYYLX went to the Thomas Group in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and a CD 102-LY-6+LX was sold to a label printing company. Applications in packaging print The Speedmaster CD 102 Duo is aimed at customers looking to print high-quality packaging, for example software boxes, inserts for CD-ROM and CD cases, blister packs, wrapping paper, perfume and cosmetics packaging, confectionery packaging or lottery scratchcards. The press offers packaging printers many advantages. It saves time and money thanks to the use of inline technology – such as dual coatings – rather than offline. In many cases, printers can also replace other inflexible offline processes and expensive printing methods such as sheetfed gravures. A further competitive advantage comes from the special applications that are now possible – such as preprinting of Iriodine or opaque white. Printers can also check the quality of these applications immediately on the press, thereby saving time and money. Label printing with the Speedmaster CD 102 Duo The Speedmaster CD 102 Duo is also ideal for label printing. It can handle virtually everything – from wet-glue, self-adhesive and in-mold labels to non-label look materials (plastic). The Speedmaster CD 102 Duo offers label printers tremendous advantages. Inline production makes just-in-time delivery possible. It can also achieve the same quality as comparatively expensive gravure printing and costly aluminized materials by using water-based Metalure inks in metallic gold or silver. Flexographic printing upstream of offset printing also enhances product quality, thanks to the greater color brilliance and fewer register problems. And what’s more, label printers can open up new markets through their use of Metalure inks or thermochromic inks, for instance. These latter can cause a change in color at certain temperature ranges – a particularly useful reaction when security is a key consideration. Commercial printers can profit too In addition to the applications described above, the Speedmaster CD 102 Duo is also of interest to commercial printers planning to move into inline production because of the nature of their job spectrum. Annual reports, automobile brochures, posters, presentation folders, calendars or fashion and jewelry catalogs can all be produced in top quality and thus made to stand out from the competition. The potential to open up new markets also exists for commercial printing – for example brochures for luxury goods. This means that print buyers are able to create added value in house. The risks associated with outsourcing, such as reduced quality or even loss of the job, are also minimized. All in all, commercial printers can manage time and performance pressures easily with a Speedmaster CD 102 Duo, since transport and waiting times are kept to a minimum.