American Printer's mission is to be the most reliable and authoritative source of information on integrating tomorrow's technology with today's management.

Going greener

Jun 1, 2008 12:00 AM

         Subscribe in NewsGator Online   Subscribe in Bloglines

According to Joerg Daehnhardt, director of product management for Heidelberg USA (Kennesaw, GA), reducing startup waste should be a top priority for environmentally minded printers — it's the one area with the largest impact on a press' environmental performance.

Anicolor & more

Heidelberg's innovations for streamlining waste include the new Anicolor inking unit option on its Speedmaster 52. A keyless inking system helps maintain a consistent ink film, enabling users to get up to color in as few as 20 sheets for a 4-color job.

If you're not in the market for a new press, you still can achieve some impressive paper savings with three Prinect modules: Prinect Prepress Interface (presets ink zones); Prinect Color Assistant (optimizes characteristic curves of specific ink/paper combinations); and Prinect Inpress Control (spectrophotometric inline color measuring and control). “Combining these modules cuts the number of required pulls during setup to one or two,” says Daehnhardt. “This can save up to 400 sheets of waste paper per print job or up to 190 tons of paper per year.”

Start with color management

Virtually every printer that buys a Heidelberg half- or full-size press opts for Prepress Interface — it's also retrofittable. “If I had a nonintegrated printing environment, I'd start here with consistent color management,” says Daehnhardt. “You're where you want to be a lot faster by presetting the ink keys.”

Daehnhardt describes Color Assistant — the next step up from Prepress Interface — as “a learning characteristic curve program for Speedmaster presses.” Adjustments made in order to achieve the OK sheet are analyzed. Over time, characteristic curves are modified to an optimal level to reduce makeready waste to a minimum.

Prinect Inpress Control offers the most sophisticated level of paper savings. With this on the on-the-fly system, a spectrophotometer captures deviations from process and special colors while monitoring registration and making all required adjustments inline. “You only make one pull for a control sheet while the press is running,” explains Daehnhardt. “All adjustments are done within the press and without stopping.”

Automating ink dispensing also can yield environmental benefits. Daehnhardt suggests considering a cartridge system for cutting ink waste while reducing manual intervention.

Potential savings lurk in power-hungry drying systems, too. “The distance between the dryer and the paper surface determines how much energy is required, so we try optimize performance by getting as close as possible,” Daehnhardt explains. New control technology on Heidelberg's dryers tailors the level of power required to the specific job: DryingMonitor measures factors such as humidity, temperature and air volume, then adjusts the energy level accordingly. In addition to power savings, using less heat reduces the potential for paper distortion or yellowed coatings.


Katherine O'Brien is editor in chief of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at

DEADLINE: July 15, 2008

Teaming with Premier sponsors Heidelberg and Kodak, AMERICAN PRINTER, in conjunction with the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), has created the “Environmental Excellence Awards.” This program will heighten the awareness of environmentally sound practices in the commercial printing industry while honoring the commercial printers who are leading the industry in environmentally conscious manufacturing. “We're proud to salute the efforts of these progressive and forward-thinking companies,” says Scott Bieda, group publisher.

In the September 2008 issue, AMERICAN PRINTER will publish a special section honoring the award winners. Printers attaining a defined level of environmental criteria also will be listed in AMERICAN PRINTER's sister publication, PRINT & MEDIA BUYER.

Awards will be presented at the 2008 Graph Expo show, where the winners will be invited to participate in a 90-minute ceremony. An entry form is on pg. 42 of this issue and is available online at

Questions? E-mail us at