Anicolor Performance Challenge at Graph Expo
Friday, September 14, 2012
Press release from the issuing company
"At first I laughed," said Tony Barongi, plant manager at C&S Press in Orlando, FL, when the benefits of Heidelberg's Anicolor press technology originally were presented to him. "Ten-sheet makereadies? You had to show me. Then we brought our own jobs to a demo and became true believers."
Heidelberg's groundbreaking Speedmaster 52 Anicolor press will take center stage during demonstrations in booth 1214 at Graph Expo 2012. Throughout the show, twice daily presentations of the "Anicolor 30-Minute Performance Challenge" will show printers how Anicolor technology can help printers give their customers what they expect: perfect offset quality at "digital" prices.
"Heidelberg's Speedmaster 52 Anicolor press looks like a conventional press, but is actually a digital press that uses ink instead of toner, and minus the click and consumable charges," Barongi said. "It's the best investment we've ever made."
The Speedmaster 52 Anicolor, to be presented at Graph Expo in a 5-color configuration with aqueous coater, features a unique, zoneless, short-inking unit with dampening system that makes the press cost-competitive with digital devices in quantities as small as 200 impressions. Operating with near-zero makeready waste-10-15 sheets is typical-this groundbreaking machine can be ready to print to contract color almost as soon as the plates are in place. During each 30-minute "Performance Challenge," one Heidelberg operator will complete between six and eight separate jobs.
"A Huge Benefit"
C&S Press' experience in the four years since it bought a 4-color Speedmaster SM 52 press with Anicolor inking unit has done nothing but underscore the press's value to the firm.
"We did well through the recession because of the Anicolor," Barongi said. "Had we proceeded with our original plan to move from small-format work into an overcrowded 40" market at a time when job volumes and run lengths were shrinking rapidly, it would have been much a different story. The SM 52 Anicolor has enabled us to thrive in our small-format niche without acquiring a digital press."
According to the late Dan Ellis, president of the company when these decisions were taken, "When we compared the Anicolor press with the available digital options, the choice was clear, especially given the likelihood of click and consumables charges amounting to tens of thousands of dollars per month," Ellis said at the time. "You can't argue with five-minute makereadies and a maximum of 50 sheets to contract color on a 4-color job. That's a savings of 350 sheets over a typical 4-color makeready, and it's a huge benefit to us in terms of client satisfaction and profitability."
Care and Feeding
While C&S utilizes the Speedmaster SM 52 primarily for shorter-run work, it also appreciates the Anicolor machine's availability for longer run lengths. The SM 52's outstanding productivity is such that C&S also acquired a pair of Heidelberg Prosetter CtP devices to ensure it can satisfy the SM 52's appetite for Heidelberg Saphira violet aluminum plates.
"You have to keep it fed," Barongi said, adding that he currently runs the SM 52 Anicolor "full out" for one 10-hour shift per day, four days per week, averaging 56 makereadies per week. "With makeready on the SM 52 Anicolor at 50 or less sheets, the savings already are huge. Most of the time, however, the Anicolor is producing good sheets after only 10-15 sheets."
In return for proper care and feeding, the Anicolor press is capable of astonishing feats of speed and productivity, Barongi said, citing a recent order for 350 Mass cards to be delivered in time for a memorial service set for 2 p.m. the same day the order was received.
"The order came in at 9 a.m.," Barongi recalled. "We had the job proofed and on press by 9:20 a.m. and were able to deliver the Mass cards by 11 a.m., three hours ahead of schedule."
As for quality, the Anicolor press also uses "real ink" instead of toner, yielding printing with color fidelity equivalent to conventionally printed materials. "Ink is what does it," Barongi said.
Cost Efficiency by Design
The Speedmaster 52 Anicolor press begins to pay for itself from the first job on by delivering stable inking with minimal set-up. Designed to deliver consistent volumes of ink, the Anicolor inking unit achieves the even transfer of precise ink volumes using a format-sized screen roller located between the chambered blade and the inking form roller. The inking form roller, also format-sized, provides each element with the precisely metered volume of ink required for each revolution. Ink that is not used is fed back into the chambered blade. This prevents ink from building up in the inking unit, even with complicated forms involving extremely low or varying ink coverage.
Used in conjunction with Heidelberg's proven Alcolor dampening system, users can achieve a consistent ink/water balance in seconds. This design feature is unique. Printers benefit from high process reliability and excellent inking quality in standardized print jobs. Thanks to the consistent inking it delivers, the Speedmaster 52 Anicolor is a lucrative choice for extremely cost-efficient longer runs, too.
Anicolor technology cuts costs dramatically. Whether a printer prints brochures or flyers, invitations or business cards, he stands to profit from minimum waste and reduced setup times. The Anicolor inking unit also ensures consistency in the production run, together with outstanding ease-of-use, all while using conventional printing plates.
Up to 40 percent shorter makeready times means a printer can print more jobs each day at lower cost and enjoy 25 percent greater press capacity for more jobs each year. The AutoPlate clamping system, blanket/impression cylinder wash-up device, and greatly abbreviated startup sequence combine to deliver extremely fast job changes. Short makeready times boost profits. It makes no difference whether the next job in line involves higher or lower ink consumption. Up to 90 percent less waste cuts paper costs significantly, an important factor in short-run printing. In relative terms, the shorter the run, the greater the startup costs.
These days, C&S is proud to serve as an "unofficial demo center" for the Anicolor press, proofing and plating jobs for other "show me" printers like Barongi himself.
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