Even More Profitable Production of Short Runs Using the Latest Generation of Heidelberg Anicolor Technology
Monday, February 29, 2016
What do commercial and packaging printers have in common? Both need to optimize their processes so they can deal with increasingly shorter production runs and frequent order changes involving different materials while still remaining profitable. While the CMYK color model is used for printing advertisements, lots of spot colors are customary when printing packaging and labels. This is where the Anicolor short inking technology from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) comes in, offering an optimum solution package for the flexible production of short runs. The advantages can be summarized with the formula 90-50-50: Around 90 percent less waste thanks to fast and constant inking. It takes just 20 to 30 start-up sheets to reach the correct ink levels for a new order. The result is a 50 percent reduction in setup times combined with a 50 percent increase in productivity.
“Our customers have their challenges, and we have the solutions and answers they need in the area of both digital and offset printing,” explains Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment.
“The Anicolor technology is used in both small and medium production runs, and its scope of application will be increased once again with the new Anicolor 2.”
Anicolor 2 – greater ink density at the push of a button for savings of up to 15 minutes
Heidelberg will be presenting the next generation of Anicolor technology at drupa 2016 with Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2 for greater flexibility, speed and productivity. This is achieved with three innovations. The first of these is the Anicolor Booster. This can be activated at the push of a button on the Prinect Press Center and permits a wider range of inks thanks to an improved setting range for ink density on different printing stocks. In most cases, this does away with the need to change the ink chamber as was previously required with very absorbent printing stocks. This shortens the setup time in commercial printing since both coated and uncoated paper can now be processed with the same ink series. This benefit is even more pronounced in packaging printing, with its ever-changing spot colors. Up to 15 minutes can be saved here by not having to change the screen roller. Changing to a bigger screen roller is mostly only required for orders involving the application of opaque white, gold, or silver.
Productivity is further increased by the two other innovations. The first of these is a faster washup program that provides for faster ink changes and therefore shorter setup times thanks to 9,000 revolutions per hour instead of the previous 7,000. As a result, changing color shades can now be achieved up to a minute faster. This enables packaging printers facing two or more ink changes in almost every new order to get through two or three orders a day more.
The second of these innovations is a function allowing the operator to choose between “standard”, “short”, or even “none” for the ink shut-off time, depending on the color assignment from one job to the next. The shortened ink shut-off saves another 20 seconds, while eliminating it altogether reduces the setup time by 40 seconds. The option “without” is ideal for successive orders of the same type.
Perfectly matched Saphira consumables
All of these benefits are enhanced through the use of tested Saphira consumables. With the Saphira Performance Kit Anicolor, the inks are designed for this special application and deliver constant production conditions and reproducible quality for the most demanding orders.
“We presented the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor as prototypes at drupa 2012. We have sold over 200 printing units since then – split down the middle between commercial and packaging printers,” explains Stephan Plenz. “At the next drupa we will be showing how easy it can be to complete short production runs quickly, flexibly, and economically using offset printing with the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2. Another aspect of this is machine and materials coming together in perfect harmony and enabling a standardized and fast overall process together with the Prinect Workflow.”
At drupa 2016, the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2 will be presented at the IST stand in Hall 2, right in the passage to Heidelberg in Hall 1. The six-color press with coating unit includes full UV functionality. We will show how material costs can be significantly reduced since Anicolor 2 enables UV applications to be processed on expensive, non-absorbent printing stock with very few makeready sheets.
Anicolor 2 with a new design, new feeder, and the new Prinect Press Center XL 2 will be available as standard from November 2016. A number of technical functions such as the new Anicolor Booster and the faster washup programs will be available earlier from July 2016.
Field testers even more productive with Anicolor 2
“The Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2 enabled us to increase our productivity by a further 10 percent, and our printing speed also rose to up to 1,000 sheets an hour,” confirm Wendelin Lipp and Reto Hauri, Commercial Manager of the printing company DAZ Druckerei Albisrieden AG in Zürich. There is no one better qualified to offer an assessment. DAZ installed the first Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor in Switzerland following the presentation at drupa 2012. DAZ has been using Anicolor 2 since summer 2015, and uses the Anicolor Booster for a wide range of printing stock. Even printing on natural paper – in frequent demand at the moment in Switzerland – as well as glossy coated materials is now possible with just one ink series and without changing the ink chamber or screen roller. The production runs range from 50 to 50,000 sheets, with a salable product achieved after 30 setup sheets in most cases.
Druckhaus Mainfranken GmbH in Marktheidenfeld, the production company of the Würzburg-based online printer Flyeralarm, recently started using a Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2 with UV technology. The machine is replacing one of two Speedmaster SX 52 Anicolor as well as a UV machine in A3 format from another manufacturer.
“The Anicolor 2 has made a promising start. We use it for printing gang runs on very challenging materials. The UV ink technology permits a very wide range of printing stocks and the Anicolor 2 technology provides for fast setup and a significant reduction in waste of what is very expensive printing stock,” reports Managing Director Ulrich Stetter. The company’s products include stickers and PVC labels on different printing stocks, as well as linen papers or high-quality, matt-coated papers. All in all therefore a very wide range of products, which places high demands on the printing machine. The Anicolor Booster easily processes the wide range, while Saphira Anicolor UV inks deliver the best printing results.