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Heckel Installs World’s First Baldwin Technology Webcatcher S18

Press release from the issuing company

July 14, 2005 -- The world’s first WebCatcher S18 from Baldwin Technology is now in operation on a 48-page Lithoman web offset press at the Nuremberg premises of German printer Heckel. The installation has gone so well that Heckel has now placed an order for a WebCatcher S18 for its 32-page Lithoman press. Baldwin has since won several orders for its new web catching system, with installations taking place in Europe and the US over the coming months. The WebCatcher S18 is designed for web speeds up to 18 metres per second, faster than the top speed of the Lithoman at Heckel, and can be used with stock between 38 and 90 gsm. The new Baldwin equipment, which can be retrofitted to web offset presses up to 2,500 mm wide, uses laser diode sensors to continuously monitor the web between the dryer and the chill roller. This technology results in a much shorter response time compared to photo reflection based systems. “Baldwin has a great deal of experience in designing and manufacturing equipment that prevents a web of paper causing long production delays or even damage to the press should it break during printing,” says product manager Ernst Engelhardt. “The recently developed WebCatcher S18 is the latest model in the series and pushes this technology to new levels. Most of the functions are highly automated, including the ability of the system to adjust to the width of paper being used and react to movement of the web edge during printing. “If a web break occurs the WebCatcher S18 initiates an emergency stop of the press and a Baldwin web-server immediately cuts the paper prior to the first printing unit. Inside the S18 a trolley cross bar pushes the full width of the paper web to the spinning catching roller, guiding it to the ground in front of the dryer, thereby preventing the web from wrapping itself around the blanket or inking rollers. From detecting a tear in the web to catching the web takes only 28 milliseconds. Unlike other web catch equipment, the WebCatcher S18 does not require the secured paper to be taken from the catcher roller before the press can be restarted.” Web breaks at high speed can be caused by a variety of reasons, from damage to the roll during transit to faults during paper making or the application of too much water on the press. Any web break posses significant potential damage to the press and modern web offset presses running at high speed do not stop instantly when the paper breaks. Even when there is no damage to the blanket or inking rollers, production can be severely interrupted because of the time required to remove paper scraps and reweb the press. “Our 48-page Lithoman has detectors fitted as standard after every press unit and on the chill roller,” says Heckel’s technical director Martin Hawich. “In order to test the Baldwin system we made a deep cut in the web a short distance after the dryer. We wanted to see whether the WebCatcher S18 sensor, situated some 18 metres from the cut, would react more quickly than the press sensors. We were delighted to see that the Baldwin system was faster to respond. Since the Baldwin web catching system was installed it has performed reliably every time there has been a web break.” Heckel is part of the Schlott Group AG, one of the largest suppliers of media services, independent of publishers, in Europe. Heckel’s 48-page and 32-page Lithoman presses are used primarily to print magazines, newspaper supplements and advertisement material. The company uses two 16-page web offset machines to produce magazine and catalogue covers for the gravure facility within the group.