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Heidelberg introduces web offset makeready breakthrough

Press release from the issuing company

DOVER, NH., February 12, 2004 -  Innovative technology from Heidelberg now allows web printers to complete some job changeovers without stopping, or even slowing down, the press.   With the new Automatic Transfer (AT) feature, operators can bring one or more idle printing units on impression while simultaneously taking another unit, or group of units, off impression.  This on-the-run print transfer capability, an option for Sunday 2000 presses, can significantly reduce paper waste, operator effort and downtime.  Automatic Transfer can also minimize print quality and web tension challenges associated with starting and stopping a press repeatedly.   FOT, a commercial web printer in France, has been operating the first Sunday 2000 equipped with AT units since December, 2003.  That press also includes the Autoplate system for fully automatic plate changing. Automatic Transfer is also available for Sunday 2000 presses equipped for semi-automatic plate changing.   "Web printers that produce multiple versions or recurring product formats can take advantage of Automatic Transfer for applications ranging from single-color edition changes to complete four-color job changeovers," according to Christopher Clement, commercial web product manager for Heidelberg.   Sunday 2000 presses can be equipped with any number of AT printing units.  The units include standard inking and dampening systems, plus a unique cylinder throw-off capability to allow the running web to pass through the idle units.   Clement claims Automatic Transfer technology offers major improvements in versatility,  print quality and range of applications when compared with imprinters previously available for web presses.  "The specialized units can be positioned anywhere within a press line and they print on both sides of the web without compromising the print quality of the Sunday 2000 at all," he explains.  "We also maintain a simple, straight web lead with no diverting rollers or air bars that could mark or disturb the wet web running through idle units."   With two AT units, a printer can complete single-color changeovers, such as edition or language changes, on the fly. A press with eight AT units allows complete four-color changeovers.  Many additional configuration options for one and two-web presses are possible.   Clement calls Automatic Transfer an important addition to the integrated Sunday 2000 features designed  for faster, easier and more efficient job changeovers.  "Technologies like Automatic Transfer, multidrive, complete presetting, fully automatic plate changing, and closed-loop controls form a powerful, proven combination," he explains.  "They minimize manual operator intervention and help web printers move closer and closer to workflows defined by automation, on-the-run adjustment and continuous, high-speed productivity."   Heidelberg Sunday Technology is vital to the Automatic Transfer concept.  Because Sunday Press cylinders do not require bearers, they can be mounted in pivot boxes to achieve the wide blanket-to-blanket throw off necessary for the web to pass through when units are taken off impression.  Independent a.c. motors, also a standard feature on Sunday Presses, allow operators to silence individual printing units for plating or maintenance while the other units in the press line continue to print.   Sunday 2000 presses print up to 82,000 impressions per hour and are available with a traditional 16-page cylinder configuration or a wider 24-page configuration.  Standard features include gapless blankets, 14-roll convertible inking systems, shafltess multidrive technology and the comprehensive Omnicon control package.  Heidelberg supplies a wide range of splicer, dryer, pinless folder and auxiliary options to complement specific press configurations and requirements.