06/21/2007 -- For the past four months, Fotorotar AG, based in Egg near Zurich, has been testing the Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 52 five-color press with coating unit and Anicolor short inking unit. More than one million sheets have been produced so far. Heidelberg introduced the new Anicolor inking unit technology on a Speedmaster SM 52 four-color press at Ipex 06; order levels for this press have exceeded expectations. The Anicolor five-color version is scheduled to enter series production in the first quarter of 2008.
The innovative Anicolor inking unit brings the benefits of offset printing to even the shortest of runs and helps significantly improve margins in production. These benefits also still apply to longer runs. The major asset of the Speedmaster SM 52 with the Anicolor inking unit is the use of commercially available printing plates, since the press works with tried-and-tested Alcolor continuous dampening system.
"We supply a particularly large number of customers who insist on a spot color," explains Otto Brunner, Technical Director at Fotorotar, summing up why he decided in favor of a five-color press. The company employs a workforce of 140 and produces mainly pamphlets, brochures, magazines, and small printed items. As a state-of-the-art print media company, Fotorotar brings together printing, publishing, and new media under one roof. "The Speedmaster SM 52 five-color press with coating unit and Anicolor short inking unit has exceeded all our expectations," comments Jürg Konrad, Commercial Director at Fotorotar. "For example, startup waste has been reduced by up to 90 percent and we are saving 70 to 80 percent on make-ready times," adds Konrad. By using the press in conjunction with Prinect Color Management from Heidelberg, we are able to start selling from the 20th sheet onward. "We have been very pleasantly surprised by the print quality, which is exceptionally high and consistent across the entire run," comment both Brunner and Konrad. Both Directors believe the test phase has gone extremely well so far. "For runs of less than one thousand, Anicolor helps reduce printing costs by around 30 percent. What’s more, fast make-ready times and low wastage mean that even small runs of 50 to 60 are now viable, whereas these would previously have been typical applications for digital printing."
Anicolor short inking unit - innovative technology
The Anicolor short inking unit developed by Heidelberg avoids ghosting. There is only a single inking form roller in the zoneless Anicolor inking unit. This provides each printing element on the plate with the precise volume of ink required throughout the entire run, thus applying completely smooth print areas to the printing stock. The Anicolor inking unit’s efficient temperature control system means that the amount of ink applied to the relevant printing materials can easily be adapted over the entire printing form. When used in combination with the Alcolor continuous dampening system, Anicolor is an internationally unique system and ensures excellent printing quality, outstanding consistency in the production run, and easy operation. The more standardized print job processing is, the more the strengths of this system come into their own.
Furthermore, existing systems can still be used for plate imaging. The sheet travel of the Speedmaster SM 52 remains unchanged. The exceptional diversity of printing materials and high production speeds means that longer runs can be handled quickly, too.