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Presses plus a whole lot more

Aug 1, 2007 12:00 AM


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You never know what you'll find at Graph Expo. Consider this story: Impressions Printing (Oklahoma City) is a small commercial printer specializing in everything from monochrome and color digital to full-color offset printing. In October 2006, company president John Braaten and vice president Jason McWilliams spent three days at Graph Expo.

One item on their agenda was a follow-up visit with Spiel Associates (Long Island City, NY). Having just ordered and installed a Sterling Punchmaster 20 a few weeks prior to the show, they wanted to get some additional training on the machine.

But then McWilliams and Braaten spied Spiel's Sterling Digibinder, a one-touch perfect binder for on-demand applications. “We saw this small perfect binder and we said, ‘This can work, this will fit,’” recalls McWilliams. “At the price point of under $10,000, it fits us very well.”

This year's show will be held Sept. 9-12 in Chicago. See www.gasc.org for complete details. Prepare to be surprised!

Meet InfoPrint Solutions

InfoPrint Solutions Co. (IPS), the joint venture between Ricoh and IBM, will make its Graph Expo debut. With the closing of the agreement, Ricoh now owns 51 percent of the joint venture and will progressively acquire the remaining 49 percent over the next three years as the joint venture becomes a fully-owned subsidiary. IPS will highlight transpromo direct marketing and books-on-demand applications. Highlights include:

InfoPrint 5000 — This color printing system utilizes piezo-electric, drop-on-demand inkjet technology with water-based pigment inks that are fade and smear resistant, even on commonly used digital papers. A tight paper web also contributes to the excellent inkjet print quality.

Leveraging IPS's new InfoPrint ProcessDirector (IPPD) for high-speed production print environments, the IP5000 provides a customizable process management system that can automate many tasks that previously were handled manually.

InfoPrint 4100 — This entry-level, high-speed, monochrome continuous form printer will be driven by the InfoPrint Power Controller, a 64-bit, multiprocessing controller that enables the latest models to run at up to 175 fpm. Target markets include transactional printers, service bureaus, direct mailers and book printers.

New press, fancy effects and more

Look for xpedx and Ryobi in booth 3808. Highlights include the U.S. debut and demo of the new 24 × 36-inch Ryobi 924 offset press as well as demos of Ryobi's half- and quarter-size presses with dryers, coaters and UV systems. xpedx, exclusive U.S. marketer and distributor of Ryobi-branded presses, will discuss details on its new metro Kansas City demonstration and learning center for U.S. commercial, in-plant and specialty printers.

xpedx also will demo its affordable 3D/special effects lenticular printing system for color copiers, as well as new bindery/finishing equipment offerings and new proofing technologies. The company will spotlight a new program to help printers profitably enter variable data short-run markets. It will discuss its program to help U.S. printers obtain SFI and FSC chain-of-custody certification.

Speedy digital press

Kodak will exhibit the NexPress S3000 (booth 1246), the latest high-end production press in the NexPress platform. The NexPress S3000 runs 3,000 A3 sheets per hour, or 100 A4 pages per minute, for a full range of supported substrate types and weights (60-350 gsm). Maximum sheet capacity totals 11,000 with targeted monthly print volumes of 450,000 or more.

Conveyor, rotary trimmer and log bundler combo

Muller Martini's booth (3863) will feature live demonstrations of a press delivery configuration consisting of a Topveyor overhead conveyor, along with the company's new Preciso rotary trimmer and a Vivo horizontal log bundler.

The press delivery systems are available with AMRYS (Automatic Make-Ready System) technology that can decrease setup times by as much as 50 percent, allowing such job parameters as size, format and strapping specifications to be preset automatically, so one job can conclude and the next one can begin in moments. Muller Martini's MACOS, a proprietary, JDF/JMF-compatible master-control system, provides single-station control over the entire press delivery operation. MACOS electronically integrates equipment throughout the line, sending signals back and forth, continuously matching press speed to press delivery machinery, and monitoring the flow of signatures.

The Muller Martini Topveyor processes signatures or finished products in a shingle stream from press to finishing without the need for single-copy timing. The Preciso rotary trimmer features Muller's innovative VibroTec centering infeed technology in which rollers are used instead of paddles to align the stream — producing a floating effect and resulting in more consistent alignment for maximum trim quality.

Prepress, press, postpress and workflow innovations

The Heidelberg (booth 1200) “HEI Tech” theme “conveys the unique fusion of Heidelberg tradition and technological innovation,” according to James P. Dunn, president, Heidelberg USA. Highlights include:

Speedmaster XL 105-6+LX

This 18,000 iph press will be shown as a six-color model with coating unit and extended delivery, where it can be applied in either commercial or packaging settings. Further makeready time reductions at consistently high quality standards will be demonstrated using Prinect Inpress Control.

Speedmaster SM 52-4+LX with Anicolor technology

This zoneless short inking unit contributes to fast makereadies and high color consistency. It reportedly achieves outstanding print quality in less than 20 sheets. Together with complete Prinect Color Management, the Anicolor technology is easy to use and keeps offset competitive with run lengths as short as 250 sheets and below.

Prinect Inpress Control

Reportedly the first inline device for sheetfed presses that uses spectrophotometry to measure color and control registration on the fly, even when the press is running at 18,000 sph. Prinect Inpress Control ensures faster makeready with significantly less paper waste. See it on the Speedmaster XL 105-6+LX and Speedmaster CD 74-6+LX presses.

Speedmaster SM 102-8-P+LX with Preset Plus technology and Cutstar CAN

The Cutstar roll-to-sheet feeder is combined with high-end perfecting and professional inline coating, bringing XL 105 technology to the SM 102. The new Preset Plus Delivery transports the perfected, coated sheets contact-free from the coating unit and into the delivery pile. It's the first time the Cutstar roll-to-sheet feeder has been completely integrated with the CP 2000 press console.

Varimatrix 105 CS Die-Cutter

This is a flexible and cost-effective die-cutting and embossing solution for small- to midsize packaging businesses. The Varimatrix cuts and embosses paper weighing 80 gsm and over, board and solid board up to 1,400 gsm and corrugated board up to 4mm thick at speeds to 7,500 sph with a maximum cutting force of 331 tons. Formats range from 6 × 15 inches to 30 × 41 inches.

ECO 105 Folding Carton Gluer

Shown with an automatic case packer, the ECO 105 is an ideal solution for both small and large business owners entering into professional folding carton gluing.

FoilStar

This cold-foil technology produces metallic effects inline. Available for the Speedmaster CD 74, CD 102 and XL 105 presses, it now offers the capability of processing cold foil with up to six variable web widths.

systemservice offerings

Heidelberg will unveil a new systemservice technology, “eCall,” that will enable presses to automatically communicate impending service issues directly to Heidelberg.

Boosting web press productivity

QuadTech (booth 421) will discuss productivity-boosting products for newspaper, commercial, publications, gravure and packaging printers.

Pictorial Offset (Carlstadt, NJ) recently installed several of QuadTech's systems. Managing partner Gary Samuels says that in the short time since the printer added QuadTech's Instrument Flight on its Goss Sunday 2000 press, makeready waste has been cut in half on some jobs. Pictorial is considering adding QuadTech's Color Control System with Instrument Flight to its two MAN Roland sheetfed presses.

Workflow, inkjet printing and more

Screen (USA) (booth 3801) has released the latest version of Trueflow 3, its flagship workflow management system based on PDF and JDF for CTP plate production and digital press output. Its JDF compatibility with version 4 strengthens cooperation between MIS and print production.

Product introductions slated for this year include a new inkjet printing system that builds on the Truepress Jet520 variable-data inkjet printer and the Truepress 344 digital offset press. The Truepress Jet2500UV will provide greater flexibility and speed for the fast-growing print-on-demand market. Part of Screen's digital printing strategy, the Truepress Jet2500UV takes advantage of strong demand for high-precision, multicolor image reproduction.

Overnight UV ink

Van Son (booth 3470) will debut its new UV-curable printing ink, SonaCure. An overnight ink with high gloss and excellent rub resistance, SonaCure can be used with paper or foil, on coated and uncoated paper or board, and on lacquered or corona treated substrates. It also has excellent adhesion and is suitable for lamination. SonaCure may be applied for a variety of commercial print jobs as well as printing self-adhesive labels, continuous forms, credit cards and packaging.

Van Son also will feature its Quickson line of process inks, including Quickson PRO, as well as its high performance Vs3 and Vs5 series available exclusively at ink company partners located strategically throughout the United States.

New halfsize press for LS series

Komori America Corp. (booth 629) will debut the newest addition to its Lithrone S series, the LSX29. The LSX29 is the largest half size press Komori offers, accepting 24 × 29½-inch sheets. Technical highlights, include a suction tape feeder, skeleton transfers, high-speed start (12,000 sph) and fully automatic console driven makeready. It is available with fully automatic plate changing technology to speed makeready.

“The LSX has many refinements and provides the fastest job cycle time in the industry. It's the ideal machine for printers who do short-run, fast-turnaround work and for those in the highly competitive Web-to-print market,” says Doug Schardt, Komori America sheetfed product manager.

According to Stephan Carter, president of Komori America, the LS platform's strong reputation has generated a lot interest in the newest model: “[We] already have several orders, sight unseen.” At the show, says Carter, “We will be focusing on the fast job cycle time of this new machine. We're looking forward to putting our new workhorse through its paces.”

Single-pass printing

Akiyama Intl. Corp. USA (booth 3880) will exhibit a Jprint 4/4 29-inch press. The innovative Jprint perfector's linear transfer arrangement is designed for trouble-free printing on both sides of the sheet in one pass.

Available in several formats, Jprint features plate, blanket, impression and transfer cylinders on each upper and lower unit. The same gripper edge is maintained throughout the run to ensure accurate register with no difference in image quality from front to back. Running at up to 13,000 sph, Jprint offers automated plate loading and washup, and allows height adjustments on the fly. Akiyama's Delivery Control Panel ensures all of the units operate in synch.

Automated registration

ADAST a.s. (booth 3836) will demonstrate its new AdaRegister automated registration system on a four-color ADAST 707 series press outfitted with the “Automation Affordable” package. The new AdaRegister system reportedly can cut ADAST's already-short make-ready times by another 20 percent and reduce paper waste by about 50 press sheets per job.

Dazzle 'em with eight colors

Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (booth 617) will feature the 40-inch Diamond 3000LS with eight printing units, aqueous coater, delivery extension and features that support speedy turnarounds.

The eight-color Diamond 3000LS facilitates printing with multiple spot colors, pearlescent inks, metallics or varnishes in one pass. Eight-color printing delivers smooth color gradations and skin tones with lifelike hues.

Key features include the fully automated SimulChanger. The simultaneous plate cylinder repositioning system can perform a complete plate change on all printing units in approximately one minute without the operator being present at the units, regardless of the number of colors involved. The SimulChanger alone reportedly can reduce makereadies on the eight-color Diamond 3000LS by 10 minutes.

Mitsubishi will emphasize compliance with the Print Production Format and JDF as a standard workflow. The Diamond 3000LS will be shown with a Kodak Unified Workflow Solution.

Ready-made layouts

StockLayouts LLC (booth 5639) has released Design Collection Volume 6. This new collection includes 75 professionally designed templates for creating brochures, flyers, newsletters, postcards, ads, posters and stationery.

Users get online access to the templates in a variety of file formats, including QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Microsoft Publisher, and Microsoft Word. The ready-to-print templates include complete page layouts that are fully editable, with pleasing color palettes, original artwork and carefully selected stock photos. The templates are high resolution and suitable for CMYK offset printing or digital color output.

Metal and polyester CTP

Printware (booth 5425) will feature its complete line of metal and polyester CTP workflow solutions. PlateStream Violet and Violet 4 are high quality, manual load-unload CTP engines specifically designed for the two- and four-up plate market. Imaging at six mm per second, the PlateStream Violet produces more than fifty two-up or 20 four-up plates per hour.

The Printware PlateStream SC and SCX portrait-format digital platesetting systems are compact, fully integrated and proven in thousands of installations. Key features include Color+registration system, an integrated plate processor, scan-to-plate capability and native PDF workflow.

Printware CTP solutions are powered Harlequin Navigator GPS RIP with RIP Manager workflow. It includes the RIP Manager workflow that allows operators full RIP control and job management from their desktop workstations.

Easy ink presets

HighWater will debut InkMonitor Connect at the Printware (5425) and Xitron (5225) booths. This universal press interface provides ink key presetting information for almost all modern press consoles. It sets ink keys directly from the RIPped job data reducing press makeready time, paper waste and the amount of ink used.

Affordable online proofing

Xitron (booth 5225) will showcase new workflow and proofing technologies. ExpressApproval, a Web-enabled proofing solution targets small to medium size printers and is available on both a subscription and purchase basis. Xenith Sierra, based on the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology, expands the capabilities of Xitron's workflow solution. PRISM, Xitron's short-run color digital press, will be producing short-run jobs such as business cards, postcards and envelopes.

Expanded digital press offerings

Punch Graphix (booth 2257) has two new machines: the Xeikon 4000 and Xeikon 5000plus. The 130-ppm Xeikon 4000 is an entry-level press. The 4/4, one-pass duplex machine can print on paper, paperboard, synthetic and label stock ranging from 27-lb. text to 90-lb. cover. The Xeikon 4000 incorporates the X-800 digital front end (DFE), which includes a RIP, variable data processing and collation capabilities.

The Xeikon 5000plus replaces the 5000 model introduced at Drupa 2004. Users can field upgrade the 130-ppm 5000plus to the 160-ppm 6000, which debuted at Graph Expo 2006. Multipage documents can be produced at 7,800 full-color sph at 600 dpi with variable dot density (130 A4 ppm pages, fully collated). The press can be equipped with a fifth color station without impacting printing speed.

Two new Indigos

HP (Palo Alto, CA) hosted a Graphic Arts Summit in Rome, May 9-11, to introduce its expanded graphic arts portfolio. The new solutions focus on accelerating HP's growth in key areas of the printing market: marketing collateral, direct mail, photography, and technical (which includes architectural, engineering and construction, computer-aided design and geographic information systems).

Hewlett-Packard's (booth 1229) highlights include:

  • Two new HP Indigo presses for commercial print: the flagship seven-color HP Indigo press 5500, with a higher monthly duty cycle, fast ink replacement for spot colors and support for a wider range of media. The entry-level HP Indigo press 3500 was built on the 3050 model to provide greater quality and versatility for those commercial and in-plant printing firms looking to adopt digital technology for the first time or to upgrade from color copier technologies.
  • The company's first branded finishing accessory, the HP Indigo UV Coater.
  • The HP mPrinter 1700c, the company's first process-color device for original equipment manufacturer partners. Developed by HP Specialty Printing Systems, it uses HP's thermal inkjet technology to cost-effectively produce CMY-process color that can be used for personalized mail, transactional print and other operations.
  • The HP Designjet T Printer series, with print speeds up to three times faster than HP's previous offering in this category.
  • The HP Designjet Z6100 Printer series, designed for indoor and short-term outdoor banners, and for large-format applications such as photos and fine art prints, drawings and maps. It also features HP DreamColor Technologies, a certified system of color technologies and sciences that makes it easy to produce accurate, predictable and consistent color across a series of digital color devices.

Check out the cutting-edge technology

If you're attending Graph Expo, you can see many of the companies honored with this year's InterTech Technology Awards. PIA/GATF (Sewickley, PA) announced the following winners:

AGFA Graphics N.V. (:Energy Elite Dual Layer “No Bake” Plate); Eastman Kodak Co. (Kodak Traceless System); Enviro Image Solutions, Inc. (EIS UV Printing Blanket Refurbishment); Esko (Esko DeskPack 3-dX); FUJIFILM Graphic Systems, Inc. (Fujifilm C-Fit Image Intelligence Software); Global Graphics Software, Inc. (Font Emulation in the Harlequin RIP); Heidelberg USA, Inc. (Anicolor Inking Unit and Speedmaster XL 105); KBA North America, Inc. ( KBA Sensoric Infeed System); MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG (ROLAND 700 DirectDrive); Océ North America, Inc. (Océ VarioPrint 6250 Digital Printer).

See www.gain.net.

Association notes

PIA/GATF's booth will feature 15-minute presentations on digital printing, lean manufacturing, green printing initiatives, the latest in research, and a special presentation for students. Look for the football-throwing contest at the association's lobby booth located next to the registration area.

Slated for Saturday, Sept. 8, in Chicago (on the eve of Graph Expo), NAPL's Walter E. Soderstrom Society dinner festivities will feature the induction of new Soderstrom Society members and the presentation of the Soderstrom Award to Joseph A. Becker, CPA, and it will kick off a year-long celebration of NAPL's 75th Anniversary. Visit NAPL's booth adjacent to the registration area.

In Graph Expo booth 4649, Messe Düsseldorf North America is promoting two international trade shows: Drupa 2008, (May 29-June 11, 2008, in Düsseldorf, Germany) and All in Print China 2008, China International Exhibition for All Printing Technology and Equipment (October 27-30, 2008, in Shanghai).

The value behind that big sheet

Canon U.S.A., Inc. (booth 2400)will showcase Canon's imagePRESS C7000VP digital press, which began shipping in July of this year. Representing the largest R&D investment in Canon's history, the imagePRESS C7000VP will be running print samples that will be finished on equipment from several partners.

At Canon's Digital Solutions Forum event in June, Janet Cain, Canon USA's director and assistant GM, Production Systems Division, Imaging Systems Group, told attendees, “The time is now,” in reference to forecasted growth in the commercial print industry and the launch of the imagePRESS C7000VP.

Cain cited a $175,000 price tag for the C7000 marking engine, with three controller choices (one from Canon and two from EFI) at various prices. She noted there also is an upgrade path from Canon's CLC devices to the C7000. The imagePRESS takes sheets up to 13 × 19 inches and runs at up to 70 ppm (64, duplex).

As the new production printer hits the market, Canon is launching “Essential Business Builder,” a consultative program to help commercial printers develop a value-added strategy for digital print. Cain says the program is customized for individual Canon technology users. An imagePRESS “Customer Maintenance Program,” which will enable users to perform self-service and proactive maintenance on their imagePRESS devices, is planned to launch later this year.

Canon's high-speed imageRUNNER Pro 7100VP series devices and imagePRESS digital color presses, including the imagePRESS C1, also will be running at Graph Expo.

Finally, Canon will be showing its new imagePROGRAF large format printers — the imagePROGRAF iPF6100 and iPF5100 — as well as the newest imageRUNNER models, including the Color imageRUNNER C5185. Canon will be on hand to discuss its new and emerging technologies in the digital color and black-and-white production market, and how Canon and its dealers can provide the right tools and technologies to grow businesses and drive profitability for print providers.

See www.usa.canon.com.