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Mitsubishi Open House a Major Success

Monday, January 09, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Printing & Packaging Machinery (MHI-P&PM) welcomed more than 300 distinguished visitors to an open house showing at its headquarters in Mihara City, Hiroshima on November 24, 2011. The full-day event marked the 50th anniversary of Mitsubishi printing machinery business and covered a number of different presentations highlighting productivity-enhancing print solutions and less skill-intensive press operations. Demonstrations included UV printing on G-flute with Mitsubishi’s energy-saving “ecoUV” system – utilizing an ozone-less UV lamp and high-sensitivity inks, and UV perfecting with Mitsubishi’s LED-UV drying system, and the unveiling of "DIAMOND EYE-S" – the world’s first in-line quality control system to measure both color density and dot variations.

MHI-P&PM President Masami Shimizu opened the day’s activities by thanking all attendees for their continued support and cooperation over the years, making it possible for Mitsubishi to reach its 50-year milestone.  In addition to the company’s state-of-the-art sheet-fed offset press presentations and an insight into some new technological developments and plant innovations planned for the day, President Shimizu also expressed his delight for the opportunity to demonstrate the company’s best-selling box making machine.  The president pledged to continue efforts for improvements based on the Mitsubishi tradition in printing machinery dating back to 1961, and to establish "Brand DIAMOND" so as to be of assistance to Mitsubishi press users now and for many years to come. 

Visitors to the event arrived from locations throughout Japan and also included more than 70 guests from overseas, including a large contingent from China who were provided a special viewing in a morning session.  At the “All in Print China 2011” exhibition that took place in Shanghai from November 14th to the 17th, MHI-P&PM exhibited a four-color DIAMOND V3000LS sheet-fed offset press (sheet size: 1050mm x 750mm). One week later, many of the same Mitsubishi press users and visitors at the exhibition, along with members of The Printing Technology Association of China, traveled to Japan to take part in the open house event.   

Outline of Demonstrations

DIAMOND V3000LX Sheet-fed Offset Press

Following the opening ceremony held in the main conference hall, visitors moved to the first demonstration hall for a look at a six-color "DIAMOND V3000LX" (sheet-size: 1050mm x 750mm) sheet-fed offset press equipped with impression pressure adjusting coater. The press highlighted high value-added printing, running G-flute board with embossing and the "ecoUV system," Mitsubishi’s highly efficient UV dryer widely used by customers in the commercial printing industry. The press demonstration showed high register accuracy without markings on the corrugated board, and the possibilities for practical applications of this energy-saving UV dryer for package printing, which faces a number of technical limitations, such as special colors and substrates. 

The G-flute corrugated board used in this demonstration was supplied by Crown Package Co., Ltd. G-flute is the world thinnest corrugated board with a flute height of 0.5mm and a thickness of 1mm. However, it has as many as 177 flutes within an area of 30cm. It is, therefore, excellent in strength, moisture-retention, as well as smoothness. Since it is thin and light, space savings in warehouses is realized along with savings in transportation cost and waste reduction.

Mitsubishi’s "ecoUV system" employ’s only one UV lamp when combined with the use of high-sensitivity inks and demonstrates a drying performance equivalent to conventional systems which normally require three to four lamps. This system is drawing the attention of customers who are considering updating their printing system from oil-based to UV, since initial investments can be minimized. It is also attractive and environmentally friendly as less heat is generated, enabling a reduction in ozone generation wavelengths.  

DIAMOND V3000TP (Tandem Perfector) Sheet-fed Offset Press

In the second demonstration hall, Mitsubishi presented operation of an 8-color "DIAMOND V3000TP" sheet-fed offset perfecting press (sheet-size: 1050mm x 750mm). The audience enjoyed a demonstration of "monster-class" productivity realized by the world fastest perfecting press, printing at a speed of 16,200sph, and a quick job change using the all-unit simultaneous automatic plate changing system, "SimulChanger." In addition, Mitsubishi highlighted further improvements in productivity realized by the quick-drying performance of the LED-UV system while perfecting and real-time automatic ink key adjustments by the world’s first in-line quality control system, "DIAMOND EYE-S." Moreover, press operation of the entire system was accomplished by just one operator, underscoring not only a less skill-intensive operation but also the streamlining of the production site.

The all-unit simultaneous automatic plate changing system, "SimulChanger," allows for plate changing within 75 seconds regardless of the number of color units involved by first aligning the different unit phases, removing used plates and mounting new plates at all units simultaneously, and then returning the phase setting of plate cylinders back to their original positions.

The in-line quality control system "DIAMOND EYE-S," which was unveiled for the first time at the open house, also has a printing defect check function in addition to the function of controlling colors of printed image through 100% real-time density measurement. This system employs line sensors located near the sheet so as to read color bars or entire printed image of each sheet and controls ink keys adjustments automatically to reach the target density in the quickest possible timing. If current 3CCD camera technology can be likened to binoculars, the proximity line sensor of this system can be likened to a microscope in that the difference between them is the difference in the degree of high-accuracy color control. A lock-on function automatically keeps track of target density from the beginning to the end of printing, eliminating the need for operators to pull sample checks during print runs or perform ink key adjustments.

The requirement for a defect detecting system is increasing since the high-quality demands of customers is now much greater than ever before. MHI-P&PM believes that the performance of the press, equipped with not only the density control function but also the defect check function, will be greater.  

EVOL Box Making Machine

Following the demonstration of the two sheet-fed offset presses, Mitsubishi ran a demonstration of its best-selling box making machine, the "EVOL-4FGR-84," which customers from printing companies rarely have an opportunity to see in operation. EVOL has achieved highly accurate flexo printing and crease bending at the highest global speed standard, a maximum  speed of 350spm, presenting the comprehensive strength of MHI-P&PM in the packaging industry. 

R & D Endeavors (On-demand Printing)

As an example of Mitsubishi’s continuous research and development in new printing technologies, visitors witnessed the unveiling of a new prototype digital printing press. The press is being developed to meet the needs of on-demand printing, which continues to attract great interest in various industries.  A part of the company’s future visions for printing technologies was presented from the approaches of "printing quality," "economic efficiency" and "environmental friendliness." 

Progress in Plant Innovations

Visitors were shown MHI-P&PM’s way of promoting production innovation, aiming for an enhancement of technologies and operational skills as well as adopting these in the machining plant. Along this line in the sheet-fed offset printing press assembly plant, Mitsubishi demonstrated the "e-Quality system" for realizing a cyber factory where all possible means have been implemented to achieve quality by "visualizing" information at every corner of the workshop through a wireless LAN. 

Collaboration Corner

After the series of demonstrations, visitors were guided to the collaboration corner where many of the suppliers who contributed to the different demonstrations were located.  Products included inks from Toyo Ink Group Japan, DIC Graphics Corporation and T&K Toka Corporation, an LED-UV system from Panasonic Electric Works SUNX Co., Ltd, and blankets from Gadelius Holding Ltd. The main conference hall was surrounded by supplier booths with many visitors at each. Information and displays on such Mitsubishi products as engines, air conditioning systems, forklifts, sewage treatment facilities, lithium-ion batteries and organic EL lights, which printing companies are familiar with, were exhibited in other booths.  Mitsubishi Motors Corporation was also on hand and exhibited its environmentally responsive electric car, the i-MiEV, in another area nearby.  All of these displays were intended to deepen the understanding  of  guests  that  MHI-P&PM  and  the Mitsubishi Group are promising partners for customers and can present suggestions to customers for productivity enhancement and plant environment improvement in a wide range of fields.


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