SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department dedicated a new Heidelberg four-color Speedmaster CD 74 press during the university’s recent International Printing Week celebration in late January.
The press, a gift from Heidelberg USA, will be invaluable in introducing the newest sheet-fed technology to Cal Poly students, said Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department. “It is imperative that our students learn on the latest technology, and Heidelberg has allowed us to do this in the area of sheet-fed printing.
The press is a perfecting press that has a double-sized impression cylinder. Xiaoying Rong, professor and manager of the press, said that the transfer and perfecting cylinder jackets have excellent ink-repelling coating to prevent ink buildup. The press is also equipped with a variable air transfer system between units. The system provides for optimal support of the printed sheet, Rong said.
The press has an infrared anilox coater that can be switched to a two-roll coater. Improved safety features include a laser-beam detection system that stops the press if something falls into the delivery section, which also provides safety for operations.
The Speedmaster CD 74 also uses Prinect workflow management system and can preset ink keys based on data from CIP3, CIP4, and JDF applications. “The important thing is that students will be learning on the most modern technology of its kind,” Rong said.
"The press is an extension of a longtime partnership in education between Heidelberg and Cal Poly,” said company President James Dunn. “Heidelberg is committed to advancing the printing industry by helping prepare the best qualified people to be leaders in the field. We’ve partnered with Cal Poly in the past, and we will do so again in the future as new technology and needs develop.”
The press, valued at $1.6 million, will be used in Cal Poly's sheetfed printing class and by the department's student-run, faculty advised printing and publishing company, University Graphic Systems. UGS provides a laboratory environment that simulates industry conditions, giving students an opportunity to learn by doing high-end graphics for the university.
Professor Ken Macro, UGS faculty advisor, called the mechanical enhancements and upgrades on this version of the Speedmaster “unprecedented.” The improved feeding system, closed-loop control system, and enhanced delivery provide a much lower threshold for error, assuring that the product is high quality.
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