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Heidelberg leading market with VLF XL technology

Press release from the issuing company

Kennesaw, Ga. – Less than two years since the launch of Heidelberg's Very Large Format (VLF) XL platform at drupa 2008, established large-format users throughout North America and the world are discovering the advantages of the shorter makeready times, enhanced production speeds, improved print quality and reliability their Heidelberg user counterparts in other markets have enjoyed for years.

Commercial, publishing and packaging printers in the U.S. and abroad now can avail themselves of Heidelberg's ultra-high-performance XL platform in two high-end VLF formats. The 57" x 41.7" Speedmaster XL 145 and the 63.7" x 47.6" Speedmaster XL 162 are ideal additions to the upper end of the Heidelberg sheetfed portfolio. Because they are based on Heidelberg's proven and highly successful XL platform, these presses deliver fast makeready times, low waste, consistently high print quality and excellent flexibility in handling a wide range of printing stocks. Combined with high press availability, accelerated throughput for long runs, award-winning ergonomic design and extremely user-friendly operation, and it's a small wonder Heidelberg's VLF offerings are taking the market by storm.

Seeing Is Believing
Customers clearly like what they see. To date, Heidelberg has sold more than 30 presses in the VLF format range worldwide, around half of these to customers in the packaging printing sector. The company currently claims an estimated 30 percent share of the worldwide VLF market, despite a global recession marked by waning capital investment. In the U.S., Franklin, Wis.-based Proteus Packaging hosted the first installation of a Speedmaster XL 145 press in mid-2009. At Print 09, independent folding carton producer Bell Incorporated, Sioux Falls, S.D. inked a deal to acquire the nation's first Speedmaster XL 162 VLF press, and recently followed up with a decision to purchase Heidelberg's Suprasetter 162 VLF CtP system and Saphira consumables to support the new press. In addition, a leading North American packaging producer has purchased two Heidelberg VLF presses and will shortly install its first Speedmaster XL 145. The upcoming 2010 launch of UV-capable XL 145 and Speedmaster XL 162 models will only enhance the appeal of Heidelberg's newest entries in the VLF format class.

Superior makeready performance is built into the press, thanks to the calibration-free ink fountain with liner that facilitates fast ink changes. Because the ink is never in direct contact with the ink keys, a change of inks requires only the removal and replacement of the liner, saving time and preventing manual wash-up with toothbrush and solvents. Up to four wash-ups can occur automatically and in parallel: the ink train, the ink fountain roller, the blanket, and the impression cylinder can all be washed at the same time, at different speeds. Plates in all units are changed fully automatically in less than two minutes. There are no brushes or rollers to set on the single suction belt feeder.

Large repeats, in particular-for packaging in the food, electronics and toy industries, for example-can be produced more efficiently in the new formats. More ups on a sheet reduce the run lengths and the time it needs to complete a job. The consistently monitored feeder and dynamic air concept employed between the units further enhances productivity. Last not least, the delivery permits the integration of up to nine dryer elements, ensuring outstanding productivity.

Functionality and consistent operation get a boost from the state-of-the art Prinect Press Center with Intellistart navigation. Those who opt for even more integrated print production will find that Heidelberg's Prinect print shop workflow enables both presses in this format class to be fully integrated in an end-to-end solution with more than 20 presets, enhancing the performance of the shop and achieving greater profit margins.

Customers Approve
"Our experience in the field confirms our strategy to focus on higher productivity, shorter makeready times and superior reliability," said Joerg Daehnhardt, Director of Product Management, VLF Sheetfed, Heidelberg USA. "Heidelberg's Speedmaster XL 145 and XL 162 presses already offer unique features that many large-format customers have been waiting for, such as synchronized wash-ups, simple handling, and improved inking control. With more than 30 of these presses already sold worldwide, our success in this category is indisputable and our charter is clear. We will continue both to refine our VLF sheetfed offerings, as well as to maximize the integration with our matching prepress and postpress offerings in support of these marvelous presses."