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Heidelberg Info Days – new high-performance large-format presses unveiled for packaging printing

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

Over 250 customers and folding carton experts from around the world saw a world premiere at the Heidelberg Info Days, which focused on peak performance in packaging printing. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) unveiled the Speedmaster XL 145 with a top speed of 18,000 sph and the Speedmaster XL 162 with up to 16,500 sph at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site. The target groups for these straight-printing presses are large, international packaging manufacturers that require maximum productivity with minimal waste for their large-volume printing. 

Heidelberg also covers two other business models with its large format - just-in-time production with short runs and customers looking to set their products apart through elaborate surface finishing. 

The offering is rounded off with an end-to-end workflow covering prepress, press, and postpress, complete with services, consumables, and consulting. For the first time, the Speedmaster XL 145 was shown at the Info Days working alongside the new Dymatrix XL 145 CSB high-performance die cutter. With the new Dyset XL optical feed system, the die cutter provides feed register accuracy and stable sheet travel at maximum speeds. It delivers shorter makeready times and reduced paper waste by preventing misaligned sheets. 

Customers are impressed by the all-round solutions and wide-ranging know-how of Heidelberg in packaging printing. Over 100 large-format presses in formats 6 and 7 have now been sold worldwide since the start of series production in 2009. Some 70 percent are used for packaging printing and are to be found at almost every leading print shop in Europe, the U.S., and Asia. A number of these print shops have already placed multiple repeat orders after seeing their initial investment exceed expectations in terms of availability, capacity, and print quality. The assembly line in Hall 11 at Wiesloch-Walldorf is running at full capacity till the end of financial year 2014/15 and is recording the highest volume of orders since the start of series production. 

Large-volume printing - top net productivity at up to 18,000 sph 
The new "Packaging Speed Performance" (PSP) speed classes at 18,000/16,500 sph are aimed at large, international packaging printers. These companies are active in large-volume printing primarily for packaging in the food and non-food sectors. The overall equipment efficiency (OEE) rating, which is made up of makeready time, makeready waste, average net production speed, and level of utilization, is crucial for this business model. Calculations have shown that a Speedmaster XL 145 with Packaging Speed Performance working three shifts for six days a week produces twice as many sheets as a packaging press built in 2007 at a speed of 15,000 sph. The Speedmaster XL 145 with Packaging Speed Performance can produce 70 million sheets or more each year. 

This is made possible by the sturdy, robust press design, ensuring smooth running. New and unique features in the PSP presses include a high-speed suction head, optimized sheet travel, and a new chain guide in the delivery, coupled with new gripper bars and components such as the high-performance dryers. The delivery's modular structure supports drying sections that are perfectly coordinated with the relevant applications. The Speedmaster XL 145 PSP and XL 162 PSP feature the longest drying sections on the market. They are equipped with seven slide-in units to ensure smooth production and complete drying at maximum speed. What's more, the high energy efficiency results in lower energy costs per sheet for customers. 

The Prinect Inpress Control spectrophotometric inline measuring system is a major aid for operators at these high speeds. It controls and monitors color and register accuracy on the fly and thus ensures stable and reliable production. 

In high-volume packaging printing, customers expect absolute reliability in production and maximum machine availability. Heidelberg offers comprehensive service packages that, in addition to the usual maintenance work, also contain proactive components. Its portfolio also includes plates, inks, coatings, and all the consumables needed. 

Just-in-time production - minimal makeready times for short runs 
The trend in the printing industry and particularly in folding carton printing is moving toward larger formats and ever shorter runs. Examples from the consumer goods industry include products with different model variants, such as smartphones and displays used to promote products at the point of sale. Support is provided here by the Speedmaster XL 145 and XL 162, which deliver optimum automation and process optimization. This includes parallel washing using individual drive technology, synchronized plate changing, and the Prinect Inpress Control spectrophotometric inline measuring system, which offers clear production advantages over other systems. All these components ensure minimal makeready times with far less paper waste. Feedback from customers talks of runs under 1,500 sheets and up to 40 print jobs a day with hardly any repeat jobs.

Differentiation - elaborate surface finishing for high-quality products 
Premium packaging manufacturers where 80 percent of work is in UV printing have strict requirements for cost-efficient, green production. Large-format machines in particular enable more efficient production thanks to a higher number of repeats. Print quality is a top priority, with the high-performance inking and dampening system of the Speedmaster XL 145/XL 162 setting standards in color consistency and ensuring consistent print quality throughout the run. The strengths really come to the fore when working with print motifs susceptible to ghosting or streaks. Extremely high gloss levels can also be achieved at maximum speed thanks to the dual coating technology and the longest drying section on the market, which ensures complete drying/curing of inks and coatings. There are no limits to the surface finishes available, with the option of matt-gloss effects or combinations of different surface textures, such as metalized silver or gold substrates. Opaque white applications with maximum ink transfer for complete opacity deliver amazing results. 


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