Heidelberg USA recently hosted the North American launch for its new Speedmaster CX 102 press. Customers, prospects and trade media from across the country converged on Heidelberg's North American Printing and Packaging Technology Center (Tech Center) in Kennesaw to witness the North American debut of Heidelberg's latest addition to its 40-inch sheetfed family.
The CX 102 received the full Hollywood treatment, complete with red carpet, theatrical lighting, roving photographers, and a dramatic first glimpse of the new press—a six-color, coater-equipped model—in action. In his introductory remarks, Heidelberg USA President James Dunn revealed that research and development on the new press had begun as far back as 2004, driven by Heidelberg's ongoing quest to improve yield, reduce wastage, and provide printers with an option for every production scenario.
"Print shops today face new market challenges that demand innovative solutions and a forward-thinking business strategy," Dunn said. "Shorter runs, combined with increasing cost and time pressures, are making it tougher than ever for printers to achieve the margins they need while providing the top-quality printed products their customers want. The Speedmaster CX 102 is specifically designed to deliver the ease-of-use, shorter makereadies, consistently high production speeds, and superior print results customers demand—even in a difficult economy."
Positioned between the Speedmaster XL 105 and the CD 102 and targeted to high-end commercial, label and packaging printers, the Speedmaster CX 102 represents a new market segment in the 40-inch format. It makes key components of the Speedmaster XL platform available in the popular and well-established CD 102 format for the first time.
"By raising pressroom performance to the next level of quality and makeready automation," said Clarence Penge, VP Sheetfed Product Management, "the CX 102 offers an attractive alternative for many commercial and packaging printers who need greater capacity but who do not have the job volume needed to justify full use of the Speedmaster XL 105."
While the CD 102—with more than 100,000 units installed worldwide—remains the world's most successful press in the 40-inchformat, the CX 102 represents a transfer of key components of the XL 105 technology to the most successful platform ever built: the Speedmaster 102. In a word, the Speedmaster CX 102 advances the 40-inch category with end-to-end performance gains in feeding and delivery, sheet travel, drying, color management, and press control.
Highlights include Heidelberg's InterTech Technology Award-winning Prinect Inpress Control, an inline spectrophotometric color measuring system, Prinect Inspection Control, an inline sheet inspection system, and Prinect Press Center control console with Intellistart, an operator guidance system and integrated Wallscreen.
"Think of Intellistart as the GPS system for your press operator, with turn-by-turn, process-oriented instructions that are carried out automatically," Penge said. "The press is truly part of a Computer Integrated Manufacturing process with features like our Pressroom Manager and Analyze Point, which feeds real-time data back upstream for production times and cost. In fact, with our new Prinect Mobile application running on a smart phone, users can tap into the current press from any location. The Speedmaster CX also offers a true production speed of 16,500-sph, a full 10 percent higher than the 15,000-sph top speed of the Speedmaster CD 102."
"Rolling the high-performance features of the XL platform into the Speedmaster CX 102 was a shrewd competitive move by Heidelberg in the current 40-inch market," said James Rutt, president of Keystone Paper and Box Co., Inc., thriving, full-service folding carton producer in South Windsor, CT. "We were especially struck by the makeready advantages and by the advances in the Preset Plus feeder and delivery, as well as by the ability of the Inpress color control mechanism to reduce makeready and running waste. There's no way to describe the multi-function control console with Wallscreen showing color information and press speeds as other than an amazing tool."
Also available as an option on the Speedmaster CX 102 is the new generation of the Prinect Image Control color management and control system, offering higher resolution for spectral measurement and greater user-friendliness, thanks to the addition of a vacuum table, LED lighting, and a 19-inch, wizard-guided touchscreen. The new edition of Prinect Image Control will begin shipping in early 2011.
Other highlights of the new CX 102 include the precision Preset Plus Feeder and Preset Plus Delivery, semi-automated (upgradeable to fully automated) plate changing, and Heidelberg Star peripherals for drying, powdering, foiling, and other key press functions. Side frames, gears, bearings, and grippers are robustly manufactured to stand up to heavy demand at the highest running speeds.
Speedmaster CX 102 offers the capacity to produce up to 55 million impressions per year at a price point that is very attractive in a difficult economy. It can be expected to yield a 25-50 percent hike in productivity—based on job distribution mix and configuration—over a 2003 model CD 102 with first-generation Preset Plus technology.
Like every new press in the Speedmaster family, the Speedmaster CX 102 comes to market well supported by the industry's finest programs for service, consumable supplies, and replacement parts.
Systemservice 36 plus, a 36-month service package included in the purchase price of the press, provides complete coverage of all repairs and a menu of tech support options that assure productivity and performance. Inks, coatings, plates, and chemistry bearing Heidelberg's Saphira brand are optimized for use with the Speedmaster CX 102, further underpinning print quality. And when parts are needed, no source can surpass the manufacturer that made the press. Original Heidelberg Service Parts are fully warranted, available for ordering 24/7/365, competitively priced, and superior in compatibility and reliable functioning.
Worldwide, Heidelberg has sold 40 CX presses since IPEX 2010. The first US installation of an eight-color model with coater is scheduled for installation shortly.