- Press scores highly with customers for top productivity and excellent availability
- New: Speedmaster XL 106-P+L – perfecting and coating in a single pass at 18,000 sheets per hour
- Initial users have already placed follow-up orders for further presses
- Customers value range of configurations and applications
- Commercial and packaging printers report productivity increases of 20 to 30 percent
The Speedmaster XL 106 with a speed of 18,000 sheets per hour in perfecting mode has been successfully established on the market for one year. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has already sold over 35 of its flagship presses in the Peak Performance class. The Speedmaster XL 106 was premiered at drupa 2012 and immediately became a bestseller, especially among highly industrialized commercial printers producing over 40 million sheets or more a year. But the press was also very well received by packaging printers who can benefit, for example, from the machine’s productivity of 18,000 sheets per hour with one- or two-color reverse-side printing. The Speedmaster XL 106-P+L, which can perform coating after perfecting in a single pass, with a speed of 18,000 sheets per hour, will be available in series as of mid of 2013. Thanks to the increased speed of 18,000 sheets per hour, the press is equipped with an optimized delivery with a longer drying section and this enables the sheets to pass directly from the delivery to postpress. The first press will be shipped in the first half of 2013 and further orders for this press model have already been received. This configuration is particularly interesting for U.S. customers, as not only 4/4 jobs are requested, but also 20 to 30 percent of jobs there are printed using multicolor printing and coated in straight mode.
The Speedmaster XL 106 therefore offers the broadest range of configurations in the 70 x 100 cm (27.56 x 39.37 in) format. It extends from two to 19 units, with or without perfecting. As a customized press, it is available as an L-P-L configuration (coating unit before and after sheet reversal), as a Duo press with flexographic printing units before the offset units, or as a rotary die cutter for products such as inmold labels. In the LPL version, the front and reverse sides of the sheet are printed and coated in a single pass, the sheet arrives on the pile completely dry, and can be passed on directly to postpress. This delivers productivity 30 to 40 percent higher than for a straight press.
Technologically leading press and unrivaled productive
The Speedmaster XL 106 impresses with its high productivity thanks to the interplay of preset functions, color presettings, simultaneous plate changing with AutoPlate XL, Prinect Inpress Control, and extremely straightforward operation. The operator only needs to enter the length, width, and thickness of the substrate – the format and air settings are handled by the press. Initial users have praised its high availability and stable sheet travel, which are maintained even at maximum speeds thanks to a new perfecting and delivery concept and an adapted sheet control system. Operating at 18,000 sheets per hour in both straight and perfecting modes, the Speedmaster XL 106 achieves maximum productivity and processes a wide range of substrates up to 0.8 mm (0.031 in) thick in perfecting mode. It can therefore process everything from inmold foils to kraft board. With the 75 x 106 cm (29.53 x 41.73 in) sheet format, the maximum print format of 73 x 105 cm (28.74 x 41.34 in) in perfecting mode can now be used in its entirety, which means a larger die-cutting border for packaging printers and more repeats per sheet for gang forms in web-to-print. Initial users are impressed by the versatility and flexibility of the press and are already ordering further presses that they can then use to streamline their operations and achieve lean production.
Commercial and packaging printers value top productivity
One of the first users of the perfector with 18,000 sheets per hour is Sterling, a print shop in Kettering in the UK. It has been using a ten-color press with CutStar, AutoPlate Advanced, and Prinect Inpress Control with a speed of 18,000 sheets per hour in perfecting mode since the end of 2011. Over 200 employees produce high-quality commercial products for customers from industry, public administration, and educational establishments. The average run per job is around 13,000 sheets. “We are impressed with the stability and excellent quality of the Speedmaster XL,” explains Steve Pizzey, who manages the company with his brother John. “We have increased our productivity by over 20 percent and can therefore process more jobs in a shorter time, which gives us a clear competitive edge.” All the equipment at the full-service print shop is integrated into the Prinect workflow.
Shortest makeready times for fast job changes
Since the start of 2012, Aumüller Druck in Germany has also been using a Speedmaster XL 106 eight-color perfecting press with Prinect Inpress Control and AutoPlate XL to print high-end commercial work in short runs of between 200 and 10,000 sheets. “The press has passed the test phase with flying colors, with the automatic plate changing and Prinect Inpress Control, which controls color and register accuracy on the fly, cutting makeready times dramatically,” explains Stefan Aumüller, who manages the business with his brother Christian. “Turnaround times are noticeably shorter as, with net output of 17,000 sheets per hour, our productivity is around 20 percent higher than before, even for short runs.”
Interplay of productivity and sustainable printing
The Anton Group, a UK commercial print shop, had already placed an order with Heidelberg for three Speedmaster XL 106 presses in the run-up to drupa 2012 – two ten-color presses and one twelve-color and all three long perfecting presses with a speed of 18,000 sheets per hour. The company expects to make full use of the press’s productivity, printing at least 75 million sheets per year and per machine, each of which is equipped with the CutStar sheeter, Prinect Inpress Control, and in some cases AutoPlate XL. This target appears realistic, as the first press – a Speedmaster XL 106 ten-color installed recently – produced over ten million sheets in just the first seven weeks. “On today’s fiercely contested market, print prices are keen, and we need to work productively and efficiently to remain profitable and safeguard jobs,” says company boss John Knight. The Anton Group is also using the new presses to put ecological printing into practice. All three presses run alcohol free, require less energy, and cut paper waste significantly thanks to Prinect Inpress Control.
Packaging printer cuts material costs substantially
Heidelberg received numerous orders at drupa from major print shops. The display press – a Speedmaster XL 106 six-color with dual coating unit – is now up and running at colordruck Baiersbronn, one of the leading suppliers of folding carton packaging in Europe. colordruck is committed to ecological print production. In this regard, the Speedmaster XL 106 can boast fast makeready times and rapid inking-up, both of which help make further significant reductions in material consumption. As with all the other machines in the colordruck pressroom, the new Speedmaster XL 106 was also ordered on a carbon-neutral basis.
Configurations optimized to customer needs
rlc packaging group, headquartered in Switzerland and a specialist supplier of innovative folding cartons throughout Europe, has also invested in a Speedmaster XL 106. The eight-color press with three coating units and a triple-length delivery was recently taken into operation and is used primarily to produce confectionery packaging. Further presses of this type are to follow in various configurations.
To continue to meet its customers’ growing requirements in the future, Jordanian print shop Central Press has invested in a Speedmaster XL 106 five-color press with coating unit. In addition to books, it is also intended to produce high-quality magazines, calendars, brochures, posters, and business stationery in high quality and with minimal delivery times.