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On Heidelberg Info Day, Customers Share Success Stories

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

Harald Weimer, member of the Management Board responsible for services and sales at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), welcomed over 100 participants to the "Speedmaster.Unbeatable." event. Visitors to the Heidelberg Info Day, which took place in mid-September at the Print Media Center in Heidelberg, came mainly from Europe, but also from Thailand, Bolivia, and even Fiji. It was the first time successful users of Speedmaster presses had given presentations, sharing their experiences with the audience and passing on information during subsequent discussions. 

Everyone agreed that offset printing with highly automated presses still has a future and can be augmented by digital printing where expedient. Process integration is the ideal response to the trend toward shorter runs. Thomas Nussbaumer, Print Shop Manager at Go Druck und Medien in Kirchheim unter Teck, for example, revealed how the Prinect print shop workflow has resulted in continuous process improvements in the pressroom. 

Customers giving presentations told their audience which press modules they would no longer want to be without. The Prinect Inpress Control inline measuring system that automatically controls ink and register on the fly, for instance, has become an industry standard. Some 95 percent of all Heidelberg perfecting presses are supplied with this system, and this is now also the case for over two-thirds of straight-printing presses and in packaging printing. The AutoPlate XL fully automatic plate changing system and the Intellistart process-oriented operator guidance system have also become a permanent feature at print shops. 

Participants listened with interest to the presentations on sustainable printing. Heidelberg provides support every step of the way here, with carbon-offset machines, an energy measuring device, and a standby function on presses for significant power savings. Heidelberg also offers a CO 2 calculator with a prepaid function that minimizes administrative outlay for short jobs in particular. Consumables from the Saphira Eco range meet the toughest ecological criteria, while service agreements and the rapid supply of spare parts are the key to smooth production. 

World champion for net output and shortest makeready times 

Participants listened enthralled to Anthony Thirlby, Managing Director of UK print shop ESP Colour Hub, as he provided a lively account of how ESP has used critical analysis to transform itself over the years into an industrialized print shop through and through. "We've switched completely to a standardized 70 x 100 platform, and production now takes place on a Speedmaster XL 105 five-color press and a latest-generation Speedmaster XL 106 five-color press with Prinect Inpress Control and AutoPlate XL. Our focus is on complete transparency and integrating all processes, and I readily admit that my targets are highly ambitious," said Thirlby. The results are impressive - over a period of 32 months, the Speedmaster XL 105 has printed over 188 million sheets with an average makeready time of 3 minutes and 50 seconds. And after just 31 weeks, the Speedmaster XL 106 has already printed 55 million sheets with a potentially record-breaking average makeready time of 2 minutes and 5 seconds. With just two presses, the company prints 165 million sheets per year with an average run length of 4,050. 

Competitive thanks to high productivity 

Robert Plaschko, who is responsible for sales and marketing at Austrian company Ueberreuter, also revealed what today's high-performance presses are capable of. At the beginning of 2013, the print shop added a highly productive Speedmaster XL 106 eight-color perfecting press that operates at 18,000 sheets per hour to its two Speedmaster XL 105 five-color machines. A press of the same design was on show live at the Info Day. "We're seeing growth in digital and packaging printing, and the important thing in our core business of commercial printing is to improve processes so as to remain competitive," explained Plaschko. "The Speedmaster XL 106 has proved even more productive than the Heidelberg sales team told us it would be. After just 19 months, it has clocked up over 74 million sheets," he continued, adding that delivery times for industrial and publishing customers are now even shorter. Plaschko would no longer want to be without Prinect Impress Control, the large wallscreen, AutoPlate XL, the 18,000 sheet per hour perfecting device or the Prinect Press Center. "The press is extremely user friendly, benefits from excellent availability, and is highly impressive as an integrated package. We've concluded a 36plus service agreement with Heidelberg to be on the safe side," he said. All in all, the print shop is so satisfied that negotiations are already under way to purchase another press of the same design. 

In addition to the Speedmaster XL 106, visitors to the Print Media Center in Heidelberg were also able to see a Speedmaster SX 102 eight-color perfecting press with coating unit and energy-saving DryStar LE UV drying technology printing various jobs. The big advantage here is that sheets are already dry on exiting the press, do not require any powder, and can thus go straight to postpress. This process is now becoming established worldwide and Heidelberg has already sold over 600 printing units with DryStar LE UV across all formats. Experts from Heidelberg also highlighted the prospects for DryStar LED UV, which saves even more energy. 

Highly flexible and profitable with the shortest of runs 
Thomas Sinsel, Print Shop Manager at the Reuffurth print shop in Mühlheim am Main, explained the benefits of Anicolor inking unit technology. The world's first Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor was installed at this company two years ago. The press has made a good impression with its exceptionally short makeready times and minimal waste. It is used for short runs of products such as business cards and invitations. "It's not unusual for paper to be delivered in the morning and the printed, finished job to be sent to the customer in the afternoon. Runs are typically between 250 and 2,500 sheets. We can compete with digital printing while also offering exceptional offset quality," said Sinsel. 

Postpress operations now keep up with productive presses 
Artoos is a full-service print shop located near Brussels that operates two Speedmaster XL 75 presses, a Speedmaster XL 106 with a production speed of 18,000 sheets per hour, and a Speedmaster SM 52 Anicolor. "We've boosted productivity by 50 percent simply by deciding to equip all the presses with AutoPlate XL, Inpress Control, and Intellistart. End-to-end standardization is essential to get the most out of the machines," explained Artoos Technical Director Filip Coosemans. 

The high net output of the presses always used to create bottlenecks in postpress, but Artoos now operates three Stahlfolder folding machines, a Stitchmaster ST 450, a Varimatrix die cutter, and three Polar cutters. Prinect Postpress Manager integrates all these machines into the workflow. The ability to save presettings ensures short makeready times in the case of repeat jobs. "Our Stahlfolder TD 94 with twin lay system, which enables us to run two production streams in parallel, is the best example of higher productivity. We now fold 16 pages much faster - at an average rate of around 14,000 per hour - and the fold quality is better, too," confirmed Coosemans. He is delighted that less press and postpress waste is generated, because offering sustainable production on a systematic basis is very important to him. 


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