Offset Presses


The company introduced the largest sheetfed press it has ever built at 74 x105 cm (27.5 x 41.3 inches). The Speeemaster XL105 is designed for industrial-strength offset applications with a speed rating of 18,000 iph – matching the speed of other high-end sheetfed presses currently in the marketplace.

The 105 features a new Air-Transfer sheet transport system said to be contact-free, and a new Hycolor inking/dampening system. Adjustable oscillator strokes on the press allow for switching between the standard and short inking units, which aims to improve printing with solids, thick ink coatings or for jobs with low ink consumption. The 105 uses a modular design, which in the future may allow Heidelberg to increase or decrease the press’ format size. The 105’s modular architecture can be found in its new generation of feeder and delivery units.

The new Preset Plus feeder and delivery technology from the XL105 has been integrated into what Heidelberg calls a new generation of Speedmaster presses, which also includes new coating advances. Double-sided dispersion coating on the Speedmaster SM 102-10P now allows the fifth and tenth printing units to be used for either printing or dispersion coating. As a result, printers can use a 10-colour press to produce either 5/5 colour or 4/4 colour with double-sided dispersion coating in a single pass.

The Speedmaster CD 74 can now use an optional perfecting system that enables printing on both sides of the sheet with short changeover times between paper and board and from the straight printing mode to the perfecting mode. Its features include a newly developed 3-drum transfer system enabling the printing of stocks up to a maximum thickness of 0.8 mm in perfecting mode. The maximum print speed both in straight and perfecting mode is 15,000 sheets per hour. The CD 74 with a convertible sheet reversing device will be available in 4- to 6-colour models, with or without a coating system and extended delivery.

For the first time, Heidelberg’s M-600 web offset press now features multidrive and JDF-compliant control features. A new JF-70 combination folder helps the M-600 to reach a new top speed of 70,000 impressions per hour. The system will include an Ecocool dryer with chill rolls and new closed-loop color capabilities integrated through the console. There is a new automatic plate changing option and a new Omni Makeready control feature to speed up job changeover. Heidelberg introduced the 16-page M600 in 1992 and has installed close to 1,800 printing units in 50 countries.

Koenig & Bauer AG

The Rapida 74G may not look different from the conventional Rapida 74 launched a couple of years ago, but the 74G now uses the proven Gravuflow inking system that KBA first rolled out in its 74Karat press. KBA needed to advance its rapid reaction water cooling systems to integrate the inking system into the Rapida 74G. Gravuflow allows the press to print waterless. Some of these new presses have been sold or run at beta sites using the new waterless plate developed by Toray. The 74G is said to deliver high-quality sheets in three to five revolutions. Perfecting can be incorporated to make 8- and 10-colour systems KBA can provide either oil- or UV-based models.

KBA has also gone the waterless route with its B3 Genius press, which employs a central impression cylinder that is more recognized in flexographic markets and therefore a bold move into commercial offset market. Several variants of the systems are available as of drupa 2004, including UV-based systems. Like the Rapida 74G, the Genius’ core technology is based on the Gravuflow inking system. The Genius 52 press also has significant automation in plate handling, plus keyless inking, and the ability to have five printing units to allow for printing a spot colour or a varnish.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

The company’s most notable announcements were about the ongoing development of technologies for two of the most advanced features of web press design: variable cutoffs and reusable image carriers. The new Diamond 16 MAX-V web offset is able to handle variable cutoff sizes from 546 mm (21.5 inches) to 625 mm (24.6 inches) by fitting plate and blanket sleeves of different diameters fit over their respective cylinders in a quick and easy operation. Changeover from one signature cutoff to another is fully automated, according to MHI, enabling printers to print A-size magazines, B-size inserts and standard letter-size work on a single press.

In MHI’s Reusable Plate System (RPS), an aluminum plate takes a special polymer coating film to which text, illustrations, and photos are applied by direct digital imaging. After printing, the film is washed from the plate and a new coating film is put on, enabling the plate to be used repeatedly. Prior to drupa, MHI said that rewriteable RPS plates could be reimaged up to 20 times without sacrificing quality and that plate life is 100,000 impressions per job. An offline process, RPS is said to reduce press costs and eliminate printing press downtime required for on-board imaging in computer-to-press workflows.

MHI’s Diamond 3000TP sheetfed press is built for 1-pass perfecting and aqueous coating/IR drying on both sides of the sheet by means of its tandem perfector, which is an inline unit arrangement for both front and reverse side printing. The first set of printing units prints the underside of the sheet. The press shown at drupa also featured a 1-phase plate cylinder positioning system said to enabling simultaneous plate changing for reducting in makeready time. The new Diamond 3000LX prints on stocks across a wide thickness range, from 0.04 mm to 1.0 mm.

In addition to these sheetfed presses, MHI also used graphic displays to show its development of shaftless-drive commercial web offset presses equipped with MAX-saver software, a package of programs that significantly contribute to reduced paper waste by differing press speed and web speed. Newspaper press offset Graphic panels on the Diamondstar capable of speeds up to 90,000 cph were also be exhibited.


After taking on Heidelberg’s newspapers assets, Goss announced it has been developing a concept web press for the last 20 months to build what it calls “the publisher’s press”. Also being earmarked as the flexible printing system, the press will be highly automated and configurable in multiple formats. One printing unit was on display at drupa and had relatively low tower heights to allow for more installation latitude. Because of an extensive redesign, the 4-high tower is approximately two-thirds of an equivalent press.

The display unit also showed what Goss calls VersaChange construction. This technology enables track-mounted DigiRail inking units on either side of the central cylinder stack to roll apart for quick access to the heart of the press. As a central core, the press cylinders, when free of the inking units, can allow a plate-changing device to travel down the tower and change all of the plates in a manner of a few minutes – two minutes according to some reports. Another advantage of this central core concept is that, once the roller assembles are separated, the cylinder block can be removed from the press so that a cylinder block of a different diameter can be rolled in.

According to Goss, the flexible printing system will offer variable-cutoff capability in double-width, 4 x 2, 6 x 2, and narrow-width configurations for full-colour coldset or heatset printing. The press will not be available for many months, at which time Goss feels more robotic operations will be able to take advantage of VersaChange.

MAN Roland

The company’s future of automation, specific to its presses, is held in a concept called DirectDrive, a system that allows the plate cylinder of a sheetfed press to be declutched on the run. The technology, which was shown as one unit of a Roland 700 press, means that plates on selected units can be changed while the press is running at full speed. The mechanical isolation of the plate cylinder also endows a sheetfed press with 360-degree circumferential register.

This enables a DirectDrive-equipped Roland 700 to accept plates created for presses built by different manufacturers. Plates on the press, including long perfectors, can be automatically changed at the same time. In addition, while the plates are changing on presses fitted with DirectDrive, which will only take a couple of minutes, roller wash ups and blanket cleaning can be carried out.

The company stated that DirectDrive is past the prototype stage but still has a way to go before reaching market. The technology is primarily suited for those presses using a software-driven operating system like PECOM. The technology will not do away with shaft drives and gear boxes. The difference can be found at the plate cylinder, which is driven by its own motor and controlled by MAN Roland’s PECOM operating system. That enables it to be disengaged during critical makeready operations.

The Roland 700 can now have up to nine printing units and has been speed-boosted to 16,000 sheets per hour in straight printing mode. A model at drupa was equipped with a double coating module, UV interdeck dryers, and an IR/hot-air/UV end-of-press dryer. Its QuickChangeCoating system with separated coating circuits is said to speed changeover between UV and dispersion coatings.

The drupa press also served to showcase the company’s InlineSheeter, EagleEye sheet inspection system, TnlineSorter for waste-free pile delivery, and InlineObserver, which is a system of flexibly beatable cameras that enables sheet travel to be monitored on a separate screen to determine the optimal sheet guide settings and prevent sheet travel problems.

The largest-format version of MAN Roland’s press series, the Roland 900 in XXL Format 8, is aimed at work with books, posters, package printing and a range of other jobs in paper and board. With a maximum speed of 10,000 sph, the press offers a sheet size of 1,300 x 1,850 mm (51.1 x 72.8 inches) and is available in coating and double coating configurations.

Prindor is an inline cold foil laminating system designed for use on sheetfed offset presses. It offers, according to MAN Roland, quality close to that of hot-foil stamping and gloss higher than that achievable with metallic inks or coatings. The system requires two printing units of a sheetfed press. In the first unit, the areas of the substrate where foil is to be applied are printed with special glue by a conventional plate. The foil then is laminated to these areas in the second printing unit. Thus, the only laminating tools needed are the printing plates.


The first manufacturer to demonstrate automatic plate changing, something initially thought to be too expensive to be commercially applicable, Komori again stepped up to the plate at drupa with a clear and decisive emphasis on perfecting. This strategy started with a newly configured 5/5, 10-colour LS40SP dedicated perfector, with the unit design coming from the LS Lithrone and running at 15,000 sph. The B1 (28.66 x 40.48 inch) press is said to achieve three times the productivity of a straight press printing both sides of the sheet. According to Kornori, the LS40SP also offers significant space savings, requiring only slightly more space than a conventional 5-colour press.

The newly configured 4/4, 8-colour LS40P offers perfecting print at 15,000 sph, which has the ability to print heavier stock. The LS840P is for Bl-sized, 4-colour, 2-sided work and for jobs requiring six, seven, or eight colours on one side. Komori says that its 3-cylinder perfecting mechanism transfers the sheet entirely stress free.

In the B2 format is the L1028P, a 10-colour 28-inch machine, still uses the same converting technology as the larger-format presses. The 5/5 perfector is the first Komori B2 10-colour machine to be shown at a world exhibition. The press incorporates the 3-cylinder sheet reversing mechanism and is equipped with Komori’s latest PQC control technology, including the KMS management system and the KHS de-inking and pre-inking facility. According to Komori, these controls enable full job changeover with ten plates in under 12 minutes.

Komori’s Spica 429P is a new 4-colour press that can run as a 2/2 or 4/4 pcrfcctor using metal or polyester plates. It is built as an entry-level machine at 20.24 x 28.66 inches, with a built-in control panel located just above the delivery. Spica is an example of how press manufacturers are beginning to pay more attention to the architecture of its smaller-format presses. Spica can reach speeds of up to 13,000 sph. It includes the Komorimatic dampening technology, remote control of plate register, as well as automatic blanket and ink roller wash. Stock thickness can be up to 0.45 mm in straight printing and 0.3 mm in perfecting mode.

Komori also showed a web press for the first time in a 16-page configuration, which was capable of printing 60,000 iph and incorporating the new DC38 double chopper folder. Designed for both 16-page and 32-page presses. Komori claims that the press provides the world’s fastest changeover time through fully automated, one-step register adjustment, colour matching, fold adjustments, and plate changing.

Dainippon Screen

The company unveiled its new TruePress 344, which is an automated, 4-colour A3+ digital offset press featuring processless plate material. With a maximum printing speed of 7,000 A3+ sheets per hour, the press will produce a 500 sheet single-sided job from start to finish in less than 15 minutes, according to the company. The company also claims it has an ultra-fast makeready time of only five minutes, achieved by using a combination of the latest high-speed 830nm MALD (multi array laser diode) imaging with the new processless plate technology.

Plates can be imaged at a 2,400-dpi resolution using traditional screening. In addition, Screen plans to include its highly acclaimed SPEKTA screening technology with the TruePress 344 which will enable users to combine the benefits of traditional offset printing with AM/FM hybrid screening. The system also features new control components called Truefit Advance. At the start of each job Truefit Advance reads the associated image data file and automatically calibrates the ink duct keys. Delivery of the press is scheduled to begin in November of this year.


The company’s new imaging technology, called ProFire Excel, was found on several new digital offset presses at drupa. ProFire Excel Imaging generates a 16-micron laser spot that enables 300 lines per inch (120 l/cm) output, while supporting FM (Stochastic), AM (conventional) and hybrid screening options. The company believes that this technology will enable ProFire Excel DI presses to dramatically change the competitive dynamics for offset printing by raising the bar on quality and lowering the cost of market entry.

At drupa, Presstek showed the technology with a few OEM partners, including the ProFire Excel-enabled Ryobi 34U4X-DI. Ryobi also offers a UV version of the press for the label and packaging markets. The new 46 Karat Plus is a result of development between Ryobi, Presstek and KBA. The new KPG DirectPress 5634 DI System also now uses the ProFire Excel technology.

Dauphin Graphic Machines

The company displayed its new DGM 855, a shaftless 4-colour press that runs at 55,000 copies per hour. This is the company’s latest single-width press, which is a compact printing system with al 5.5-foot, 4-high tower. The press features a maximum web width of 36 inches with a cutoff of 22 inches to 22.75 inches, along with an 11-roller ink train, including three ink forms and three oscillators. Other features of the DGM 855, include: drop-down ink fountain with calibrated lever keys and a spray bar dampener to a three roller system, spray to an aqueous roller, and a chrome vibrator and rubber-covered ware form.

More features include a spring tension plate lock-up with register pin, blanket cylinder lock-up of “t-bar” type, stainless steel plate and blanket cylinders, web-lead memory functions, pneumatic control of ink forms, water forms and impression The press also comes with several optional like a remote ink system with motorixed ink keys and segmented fountain blades, narrow gap reel rod blanket lock up and extended frames for multiple webs through a 4-high tower.

Copyright Youngblood Communications Co., Ltd. Jun 2004

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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