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Oct 1, 2006 12:00 AM
Graph Expo and Converting Expo will be held Oct. 15-18 at
Chicago's McCormick Place. The show's organizer, Graphic Arts Show
Co. (GASC) (www.gasc.org) promises “four days of comparison
shopping, networking, live equipment demonstrations, seminars and
critical investment decision making.”
Here are some pressroom highlights.
High-volume press fulfills need for speed
Punch Graphix unveiled the Xeikon 6000 at a pre-show briefing for about 30 industry analysts and label, packaging and commercial print journalists at its U.S. headquarters in Itasca, IL. The event featured presentations from Patrick Canavan, president and CEO; Rob Mayerson, vice president of digital sales for North America; Ben Van Assche, CEO, Punch Graphix; Siegfried Trinker, chief sales officer, Punch Graphix; and other executives.
“It's not just a new press,” stressed Mayerson. “It's a whole system: toner, X-800 digital front end, Form Adapted (FA) toner, engine, finishing line and service.”
At 160 A4 pages per minute (9,600 full-color pages per hour),
Xeikon says the press is “the fastest digital color press on
the market offering graphic arts quality.” The 6000 has an
approximate duty cycle of 4,000,000 pages per month. The web-fed
press can run substrates ranging from 320 to 500-mm wide and offers
unlimited image length.
Applications include on-demand printing, direct marketing and transactional printing. The Xeikon 6000 also has some packaging potential — it can handle paper stocks from 40 to 350 gsm and runs a wide range of substrates, including paperboard.
The X-800 front end facilitates high speeds while offering FA toner support, a fifth color and color management tools. A full-color Intelligent Print Data Stream controller is available. Its open architecture is said to easily interface with fully automated workflows. The FA toner featured on the Xeikon 6000 is Pantone-licensed, a key benefit for users who must match clients' company colors. See www.xeikon.com.
Size, speed and strength
KBA North America's (booth 2029) show motto is “size, speed and strength.” Size refers to the vendor's presses ranging from 20 to 81 inches — KBA is the only vendor that can make this claim. Speed is a nod to KBA's reputation for exceptionally fast and automated presses. Strength emphasizes the vendor's 190-year history.
Small-format press offers big opportunities
The company will spotlight its award-winning Genius 52 UV sheetfed offset press. KBA's compact press enables small- and midsize-format printers, plastic printers, packaging houses, lenticular printers, screen printers and general commercial printers to enter new markets economically.
Genius 52 prints in four or five colors with UV curing inks that
rapidly and completely harden through an efficient integrated
drying system, thus allowing further processing such as laminating
or punching with no waiting period.
The press will be shown with a raised kit, enabling increased pile heights. Demonstrations will include a variety of substrates, including paper, board and plastic as well as lenticular applications.
An inline alphaJet C continuous inkjet system will showcase personalization possibilities for single sheet marking with variable imprints, such as letters, numbers and barcodes.
Genius offers a smart start for VDP
The Mallard Press, (Lombard, IL) installed the Genius UV press in December 2005. “Over the past 10 years, we've seen demand in the market shifting more and more into short-run, quick-turnaround process color work,” says Bob Gay, Mallard's president. “We have been very aggressive with investing into the latest technology that can deliver short-run, high-quality results. After analyzing the equipment and costs involved, we jumped at the chance to purchase and install a KBA Genius 52UV.”
Anilox inking units eliminate ghosting
A satellite cylinder arrangement with a central impression cylinder gives the Genius 52 UV its small footprint and distinctive appearance. The design of the anilox inking units on the Genius 52 UV effectively eliminates the ghosting effects typical of a classic offset process. The combination of an anilox inking system, waterless process and the revolutionary, self-calibrating inking unit with keyless ink metering ensures a predictably fast production start in high quality and with minimum initial waste.
The Genius 52 UV is the world's first waterless UV sheetfed offset press. The maximum sheet size is 143/16 × 20½ inches, and it can operate at 8,000 sph. The press has the world's widest stock range in this format: from 60 lb. to 32 pt. KBA credits its waterless technology for exceptional makeready times and print quality.
Graph Expo marks the debut of the first ever Presstek-branded DI
press, the Presstek 52DI. The landscape-oriented press (20.47 ×
14.76 inches) targets print runs of 250 to 10,000.
“The demand for high-quality, short-run color is no longer an emerging trend, but a daily reality for today's print service providers,” says Ed Marino, Presstek's president and CEO. “We are excited to demonstrate how our range of digital solutions addresses that growth opportunity.”
The 52DI can print 300 lpi at speeds up to 10,000 sph on a wide range of substrates. Makeready takes about 10 minutes — this includes plate imaging and coming up to color within about 20 sheets. All four colors are laid down onto the sheet without any sheet transfer between colors.
Presstek also will highlight the DirectPress 5634DI.
Chemistry-free plates and platesetters
The Dimension425 Excel four-page platemaker has semi-automatic plate loading/unloading, produces up to 11 plates per hour and offers a larger image size than previous models. The compact platesetter is optimized for use with Presstek's chemistry-free Anthem Pro plate.
Vector TX52 is a metal platemaker targeting small-format printers. A Freedom anodized aluminum plate is inserted at the front of the thermal platesetter, then imaged and water-rinsed inside the device before being discharged as press-ready. Rated for up to 25,000 impressions, Freedom is priced to compete with poly plates.
Aurora chemistry-free anodized aluminum plates can be used with non-Presstek thermal platesetters. The daylight-safe plate enables up to 200 lpi printing and stochastic screening, and it supports run lengths up to 50,000.
Third-generation DI press for fourth-generation printer
Fourth-generation printer Grover Daniels, CEO of Boston's Copy Cop, installed a DirectPress 5334DI as the centerpiece of a production facility that supports eight retail locations. Although Daniels initially focused on toner-based production printing, customer demand for higher quality and faster turnaround convinced him to add a DI.
“We concluded that adding a DI press to the mix would put us in an entirely different category, and it has,” says Daniels. “The [press] is incredible. I am up to 7,000 impressions per hour with sellable sheets almost as soon as I start printing.” Putting it all together
Developed in collaboration with EFI, Presstek's Facet RIP has been qualified for operation with all Presstek- and ABDick-branded digital output devices. Facet also connects to most Fiery-driven devices and inkjet proofers, as well as a wide range of color and black-and-white production devices.
The Harlequin-based Momentum RIP is compatible with PostScript Level 3 and PDF 1.5 specifications, and it supports applications that generate PDF and PDF/X files. Based on Harlequin's most current RIP release, Momentum RIP 7.0 supports Presstek's DPM, Vector and Dimension Series CTP solutions as well as Presstek-enabled DI presses. See www.presstek.com.
Presses working in the real world
MAN Roland's booth (3237) will feature a VIP lounge where visitors can view live production from a customer site running Roland 700s and Rotoman presses. The vendor also is hosting tours of area customers, including Victor Envelope Manufacturing Co. (Bensenville, IL), a Roland 500 customer; Darwill (Hillside, IL) which boasts three networked Roland 700s; Accord Carton (Alsip, IL), a Roland 900 user; and the Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), a Regioman newspaper installation.
Six-up perfector premieres
MAN Roland's 29-inch press line, the Roland 500 with InlinePerfector, will makes its North American trade show debut. The press is the only one in its class with a single-drum sheet turning system combined with double-diameter cylinders, enabling it to run up to 24 pt. in perfecting mode. The advancement also produces perfecting speeds as fast as 15,000 sph. In straight mode, the press can handle substrates up to 40 pt. thick at 18,000 sph.
Accelerating web performance
QuickStart is advanced software MAN Roland web press users can access to enhance the performance of their presses' PECOM operating and automation system. Its advantages will be presented as part of the Commercial Web Seminar: “Maximizing the potential of your MAN Roland press.”
Key topics will include reducing waste, PECOM presetting and reporting functions, achieving faster makereadies, the importance of on-press procedures and processes, QuickStart, and finding time for press maintenance. See www.manroland.com.
Bringing offset and digital together
Kodak Graphic Communications Group (GCG) (booth 400) is concentrating on efficiently combining digital and offset processes (“blended production”) via its Unified Worklow Solutions. The company's products are used from creation to output and include software, equipment and consumables by a wide range of users: commercial printers, digital service providers, packaging printers, newspapers, in-plant printers, data centers and creatives.
The goal is to help printers unify diverse systems and
processes, to optimize their overall efficiency. The solutions are
built on existing products, with new capabilities constantly being
added. Kodak says its advantage is its experience with conventional
and digital printing.
Building on its color science heritage, Kodak GCG announced ColorFlow, technology to help customers communicate, control and confirm color from job creation to output. Doug Goertzen, GCG color director, says ColorFlow minimizes the effort required to get products to work well together while reducing operator confusion. A certified process ensures the correct steps have been performed in the correct order with the correct data.
Barry Quart, vice president of marketing, U.S. & Canada GCG, said Kodak's Graph Expo booth will feature three key innovation areas: commercial print (Unified Workflow, ColorFlow and PhotoRealistic Print); packaging (spotless printing, flexo screening, hybrid flexo/offset platesetter); and transaction & statement printers, demonstrating full color personalization on statements (“transpromo”).
Equipment on hand will include the Versamark VT3000 and NexPress 2500. New products include Thermal Direct no-process plates and Violet Print plates. See www.graphics.kodak.com.
Print folding cartons, posters, POP and more
Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (MLP U.S.A., Inc.) (booth 2612) will present a digital network linking the Diamond 3000LX to a CIP4-compliant prepress system and management information system (MIS). Graphic panels, stationary displays and audiovisual media will provide information about the Diamond series sheetfed and commercial web press lineup, MAX-Saver software program for commercial web presses, and other efficiency-enhancing technology.
40-inch plastics and packaging powerhouse
The Diamond 3000LX is Mitsubishi's star of the show. The demonstration press will be configured with six printing units, an inline tower coater and delivery extension. The press features a new package of options for printing on plastics and synthetic papers, as well as with an ultraviolet (UV) curing system from Grafix LLC (booth 2217).
The 28 × 40-inch Diamond 3000LX reportedly can handle a wider
range of stock types and thicknesses than conventional carton
presses. Because it can print on lightweight paper up to heavy
packaging board, production capacity is increased significantly.
The press accommodates substrates ranging from 0.002-inch to
0.040-inch thick at 16,000 sph.
Applications include standard folding cartons, posters and point-of-purchase displays. Because the Diamond 3000LX prints on plastics and synthetics, it's an excellent choice for printing menus, recipe books, maps and credit/gift cards. The press is available with up to 10 printing units plus coater for applying aqueous or UV coatings. See www.mlpusa.com.
Prepress, press, postpress and workflow solutions
Heidelberg's (booth 1200) highlights include:
Speedmaster 52 with an Anicolor Inking Unit: For the first time in the United States, Heidelberg will show the world's first sheetfed offset press with a zoneless short inking unit and a dampening system. Said to minimize start-up waste and reduce makeready times, the Anicolor Inking Unit provides-quality printing with consistent and even inking. Anicolor requires no special consumables.
Prinect Inpress Control: Heidelberg's new Prinect Inpress Control ensures faster makeready with significantly less paper waste and consistently high quality by measuring color and register spectrophotometrically in the color control bar while the press is running at top speed. Prinect Inpress Control is being shown on the Speedmaster CD 74 at the show.
Heidelberg systemservice offerings: The new Heidelberg Partner Program allows customers to select from a full-service plan or build a custom service package that suits specific business needs. Customers may choose any combination of 20 services to fit their needs, allowing them the freedom and flexibility to add a service when business conditions require.
Speedmaster CD 74 with 18,000 iph: The Speedmaster CD 74 six-color press with coater and extended delivery features the new Peak Performance Package, enabling real production speeds of up to 18,000 iph on a wide range of substrates. Innovations include a new suction head and automatic pile lifting control system, as well as a new dynamic sheet break that contributes to a perfectly aligned pile at high speeds.
Stitchmaster ST 450 saddlestitcher: The new 14,000-cph Stitchmaster ST 450 saddlestitcher features mobile feeders fitted with servo drives, which can be positioned at any point on either side of the saddle chain.
Speedmaster CD 102: The Speedmaster CD 102 now offers a highly affordable, entry-level configuration that makes it a scalable option for more customers. The featured press is a six-color configuration with coating unit and extended delivery.
Speedmaster XL 105: The flagship Speedmaster XL 105, shown as an eight-color model with coating unit and extended delivery, demonstrates fast makereadies and real production speeds up to 18,000 iph, which results in significantly increased net productivity.
Heidelberg's Print Media Academy (PMA) will cover topics such as color management, aqueous and UV coatings, JDF, and trends in print buying. Heidelberg also will be displaying prepress solutions in the Xerox (1217) and Hewlett Packard (646) booths; press equipment in the Carton Craft booth (1270); and postpress equipment in the Robatech (463), Nordson (3605) and Rollem (3529) booths.
Commercial, packaging, workflow and small business
The Heidelberg booth will include four primary solution areas: Commercial Print Solutions; Packaging Solutions; Prinect Solutions; and Small Business Solutions.
In the Small Business section of the booth, printers can view a range of prepress, press and postpress solutions designed specifically for the small business owner. Prinect workflow solutions, including a newly designed MetaDimension Workflow together with proofing, color management and computer-to-plate solutions for two-up format printers, will be demonstrated throughout the show. Booth visitors also can learn more about Heidelberg's recently introduced Printers Advantage Program, which is designed to assist small print businesses.
Midsize and large commercial and packaging printers will see sophisticated platesetters and presses for a wide range of applications, as well as highly automated bindery solutions that can be integrated easily into the digital workflow. On the packaging side, Heidelberg's offerings run the gamut, from equipment that produces simple folding boxes to premium-quality finished cartons for luxury goods. See www.heidelberg.com.
Nuvera Digital Production System, a high-volume
production printer rated at up to 144 monochrome images per
Attendees also can see “Nu-Ness,” the custom motorcycle inspired by the Nuvera and built by design legend Arlen Ness. See www.xerox.com.