Heidelberg Info Days for packaging printing

Over 250 customers and folding carton experts from around the world saw a world premiere at the Heidelberg Info Days, which focused on peak performance in packaging printing. Heidelberg unveiled the Speedmaster XL 145 with a top speed of 18000sph and the Speedmaster XL 162 with up to 16500sph at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site. The target groups for these straight-printing presses are large, international packaging manufacturers that require maximum productivity with minimal waste for their large-volume printing.

Heidelberg also covers two other business models with its large format – just-in-time production with short runs and customers looking to set their products apart through elaborate surface finishing.

The offering is rounded off with an end-to-end workflow covering prepress, press, and postpress, complete with services, consumables, and consulting. For the first time, the Speedmaster XL 145 was shown at the Info Days working alongside the new Dymatrix XL 145 CSB high-performance die cutter. With the new Dyset XL optical feed system, the die cutter provides feed register accuracy and stable sheet travel at maximum speeds. It delivers shorter makeready times and reduced paper waste by preventing misaligned sheets.

Customers were impressed by the all-round solutions and wide-ranging know-how of Heidelberg in packaging printing. Over 100 large-format presses have now been sold worldwide since the start of series production in 2009. Some 70 percent are used for packaging printing. A number of these print shops have already placed multiple repeat orders after seeing their initial investment exceed expectations in terms of availability, capacity, and print quality. The assembly line in Hall 11 at Wiesloch-Walldorf is running at full capacity till the end of financial year 2014/15 and is recording the highest volume of orders since the start of series production.

The new ‘Packaging Speed Performance’ (PSP) speed classes at 18000/16500sph are aimed at large, international packaging printers. These companies are active in large-volume printing primarily for packaging in the food and non-food sectors. The overall equipment efficiency (OEE) rating, which is made up of makeready time, makeready waste, average net production speed, and level of utilisation, is crucial for this business model. Calculations have shown that a Speedmaster XL 145 with Packaging Speed Performance working three shifts for six days a week produces twice as many sheets as a packaging press built in 2007 at a speed of 15000sph. The Speedmaster XL 145 with Packaging Speed Performance can produce 70 million sheets or more each year.

This is made possible by the sturdy, robust press design, ensuring smooth running. New and unique features in the PSP presses include a high-speed suction head, optimized sheet travel, and a new chain guide in the delivery, coupled with new gripper bars and components such as the high-performance dryers. The delivery’s modular structure supports drying sections that are perfectly co-ordinated with the relevant applications. The Speedmaster XL 145 PSP and XL 162 PSP feature the longest drying sections on the market. They are equipped with seven slide-in units to ensure smooth production and complete drying at maximum speed. What’s more, the high energy efficiency results in lower energy costs per sheet for customers.

The Prinect Inpress Control spectrophotometric inline measuring system is a major aid for operators at these high speeds. It controls and monitors colour and register accuracy on-the-fly and thus ensures stable and reliable production.

In high-volume packaging printing, customers expect absolute reliability in production and maximum machine availability. Heidelberg offers comprehensive service packages that, in addition to the usual maintenance work, also contain proactive components. Its portfolio also includes plates, inks, coatings, and all the consumables needed.

Figure 1: The Speedmaster XL 145/XL 162 with dual coating technology offers the longest drying section on the market for extremely high gloss levels and special finishing effects.