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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Heidelberg’s VLF Series of XL Presses Lead the Market in Productivity

Monday, October 31, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

The packaging market continues to evolve, and with it the need for reliable presses that can cope with any run length, any time. Heidelberg has answered this need by extending its Peak Performance XL series presses into the Very Large Format (VLF) category, and currently leads the market with the 57” Speedmaster XL 145 and 64” Speedmaster XL 162 (VLF Series), the fastest and most productive presses in the VLF format class.
A forthcoming white paper, co-authored by senior independent technical consultants Raymond J. Prince and William J. McLaughlan, reveals the results of rigorous print quality testing of Heidelberg’s XL 162 VLF press.

“For the past five years we have seen a dramatic increase in requests for higher print quality for all types of packaging,” Prince said. “Customers are now asking for Delta-Es of the run and asking for readings of dot gain, trap, etc. Given the growing emphasis on print quality, we are finding that the older equipment just cannot deliver and that the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 162 can.”
A Family Affair in Packaging
Heidelberg’s XL “family” technology received an enthusiastic market reception in 2004 with the launch of the Speedmaster XL 105. The new press platform was designed for extensive presetting, and boasted running speeds to 18,000 sph. The innovative Prinect Press Center enabled all tasks—from job preparation and press setup to print sheet measurement and evaluation—to be accomplished faster, more accurately, and with greater reliability than ever before. Features included Intellistart, a setup program that streamlines and standardizes makeready procedures from operator to operator and shift to shift, as well as a high-definition LCD Wallscreen that gave users a complete overview of all press processes, including color results. All this, plus a 1” wider sheet size, gave the Speedmaster XL 105 a 25 percent to 30 percent productivity advantage in the 40/41” market.
In 2008, Heidelberg took its Peak Performance XL technology into the world of Very Large Format printing. In terms of increased format size alone, Heidelberg is leading a transformation in the 57”/56” market with its Speedmaster XL 145, which—as internal studies showed—yields better than 10 percent more blanks per sheet and increases capacity by the same percentage. Enhanced ergonomics reduce the time requirement for maintenance by approximately 50 percent. Combined with a true production speed of 15,000 sheets per hour, Heidelberg’s VLF series of XL presses are designed for ultimate ease of use, profitable uptime and maximum availability. More than 80 percent of the electronic parts in Heidelberg’s VLF Series presses are identical to those of the Speedmaster XL 105, making this a true XL family member.
Eliminate, Automate, Synchronize
As run lengths get shorter, Heidelberg’s VLF series presses offer systematic savings by eliminating makeready steps, automating manual processes, and by synchronizing key functions. The resulting gains in productivity are key to being successful in the folding carton market. Examples include a single-suction belt feeder, which ensures reliable sheet feeding by an inline sheet and stream control; simultaneous wash-up of the blanket and impression cylinders; and AutoPlate XL, for fully automatic plate changes in all units in less than 2.5 minutes.
“The results for all test forms were remarkable,” Prince wrote. “The resulting data, when compared with tests conducted over the years on other presses of the same format under similar conditions, were nothing short of amazing. The Speedmaster XL 162 not only was able to meet the acceptance criteria, but also, in most cases, to establish levels of performance never before seen in a large format press.”
Saphira Consumables
The relationship between equipment and consumables has a direct impact on all aspects of the printing process. The use of non-optimized consumables can negatively impact the performance of the press and the profitability of a job. This is why all Saphira consumables have been carefully selected and certified to bring you a complete solution, providing optimum performance of your Heidelberg system. Saphira consumables provide remarkable consistency and performance for the most demanding jobs.
Maximum Availability
Faster makereadies and higher production speeds yield higher output only if the press can be maintained and serviced efficiently. Via the Prinect Press Center, users can access all press and peripheral information via Remote Service 24/7, enabling continued production as the press is monitored by the “e-Call” self-monitoring system.
Each VLF press also comes with a complete three-year coverage program, Systemservice 36plus, which includes remote service, preventive maintenance, parts and labor – as well as maintenance inspections at 10, 20 and 30 months.
Heidelberg’s 57” and 64” VLF presses are true, Peak Performance XL family members, with reliability and quality built in. Big and fast enough to handle the largest jobs, versatile and nimble enough to make quick changes and custom runs standard procedure, Heidelberg’s VLF Series is the perfect press for a changing world.



By Clay Oliff on Oct 31, 2011

Ray of all people should know you cannot compare new technology of one vendor against legacy equipment of others.

“The results for all test forms were remarkable,” Prince wrote. “The resulting data, when compared with tests conducted over the years on other presses of the same format under similar conditions, were nothing short of amazing.


By William McLauchlan on Nov 01, 2011

I would take issue with Mr. Oliff's position that you cannot compare "legacy equipment to new technology". The standard is the standard. Dot gain criteria has not changed. The same can be said for color consistancy. The press's ability to perform has not changed. I feel it is critical for all equipment to be tested on a regular basis and compared to the "STANDARD"!


By Clint Bolte on Nov 01, 2011

1). It sounds like the VLF series has improved the print quality results versus older legacy Heidelbergs and other brands.
2). Also sounds as if the "standard" to many print buyers is becoming more stringent in terms of print quality consistency? That might be questionable.
3). It does not suggest that the latest technology of VLF KBAs and/or rolands cannot equal or even exceed this new level of performance of Heidelberg XL VLF.

If I had invested in a new technology VLF, I would be everything I could to try to convince the market place that there was a new level of print quality expectation that could only be met by my type machine.


By Clay Oliff on Nov 01, 2011

Mr. McLauchlan
My comment had nothing to do with print characteristics or rather a press today should be able to achieve a standard such as ISO 12647-2 for dot gain/TVI regardless if new or used.

The title leads the audience to believe this "advertorial" is about PRODUCTIVITY. Throughput performance. That this new offering "established levels of performance never before seen in large format" but then directly connects the data "over the years" to other VLF's..of which there were none from Heidelberg (unless your data goes back to the ROTASPEED)so therefore the comparison is obviously to the competitors older machines.

I cannot understand a comment like "A presses ability to perform has not changed". Of course it has or there would be no reason to invest in new.

I interpret your comment is in regards to print quality...while mine is directly to the heart of the advertisement.

You cannot compare productivity data gathered "over the years" to productivity data on an individual machine equipped as described.

Significant changes have occured that impact performance...or PRODUCTIVITY.

Plate changing
Color reading inside the press
Inkers have been redesigned as press speeds have increased
Dampeners have been redesigned as press speeds have increased
Air management and the ability to remotely control it
press presets
self learning algorithms

I could go on but can assure you this same technology is available on current VLF machines form all suppliers and performance data would be much different than what was collected "over the years".


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