At drupa 2012, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) unveiled the Speedmaster XL 106 - the new flagship of its Peak Performance Class. Since the Speedmaster XL 105 made its debut at drupa 2004, it has been setting standards in terms of production speed, print stability, and output and has become a market success, with over 1,200 units installed worldwide. As the logical successor to the Speedmaster XL 105, the Speedmaster XL 106 represents a new performance class for industrial commercial, label, and packaging printing. Operating at speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour in both straight and perfecting modes, it achieves exceptional productivity and processes a wide range of substrates up to 1.0 mm (0.039 in) thick (in perfecting mode, up to 0.8 mm/0.031 in thick). Thanks to the larger 75 x 106 cm (29.53 x 41.73 in) sheet format, the maximum print format of 74 x 105 cm (29.13 x 41.34 in) can now be utilized in its entirety, which means a larger punching margin for packaging printers and more repeats per sheet for web-to-print gang forms. The Speedmaster XL 106 achieves new dimensions in productivity thanks to extremely straightforward operation and the interplay between preset functions, ink presettings, simultaneous plate changing with AutoPlate XL, and Prinect Inpress Control. All this makes the press another 20 to 30 percent more productive than the Speedmaster XL 105. Depending on the particular job structure, it can produce between 60 and 80 million sheets a year with ease and change between 90,000 and 100,000 printing plates a year on an eight-color press.
The new press will be available as of drupa 2012, when it will replace the Speedmaster XL 105. In the run-up to drupa, Heidelberg has already received orders for over 30 Speedmaster XL 106 presses.
"With our new flagship, the Speedmaster XL 106, we now offer the broadest portfolio in the 70 x 100 cm format. We have the perfect technology for every customer, adapted to the relevant market requirements," says Stephan Plenz, member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment. "The Speedmaster XL 106 is the latest development in the Peak Performance Class and the most high-tech press in our industry, boasting unrivaled productivity in everyday operation. It is intended for print shops with a wide range of materials, large print volumes, or frequent job changes. We are also catering to packaging printers, who will be able to benefit from the machine's output of 18,000 sheets per hour for applications such as one- or two-color perfecting printing," he continues.
Not one but two Speedmaster XL 106 presses will be on show at the Heidelberg stand in Hall 1 as a response to the HEI Productivity market trend - a perfecting press in the commercial printing section and a six-color straight-printing press with dual-coating configuration in the packaging printing section.
Inkjet systems integrated in the press for greater added value
Integration of an inkjet device from Inkdustry in conjunction with Prinect Inspection Control makes it possible to check individual repeats using a PDF comparison and mark specific repeats as waste. Such repeats can then be automatically identified and ejected by postpress equipment such as the folding carton gluing machine. The resultant one hundred percent control in print production has the benefit of complying with the safety guidelines of sectors such as the pharmaceuticals industry. It also cuts costs, because individual repeats rather than the entire sheet are identified as waste and ejected in the folding carton gluing machine. This has the added advantage of preventing over-production.
The ability to imprint additional, customized alphanumeric codes generates extra added value. Up to twelve inkjet heads employing the continuous inkjet method can be integrated into the coating unit. Simultaneous coating and imprinting is possible despite the fact that no additional unit is needed for the inkjet device. Non-absorbent materials can also be printed using solvent-based inks.
Very short makeready times
The Speedmaster XL 106 is equipped with innovative components that reduce makeready times and boost productivity. Heidelberg is the only manufacturer to supply characteristic curve databases ex works for a variety of substrates, speeds, and inks. This dispenses with a large number of manual adjustments on the finished machine, which means it takes less time to reach the production speed. The automatic washup devices for inking rollers, blanket cylinders, and impression cylinders with customized washup programs that are optimized across the various series can reduce washup times by up to 30 percent. As a result, it can take a total of just 50 seconds to wash the blanket. In conjunction with the Color Package, the Hycolor inking and dampening system optimizes color stability, shortens makeready times, and reduces paper waste throughout the run. It does all this in record time and at any speed. Color Assistant Pro, which forms part of the Color Package, ensures fully automatic monitoring of the ink fountain liner's status and uses this information for automated calibration of the ink zones, including automatic adjustment of characteristic curves, and customized optimization of ink presettings. The Color Package also includes the inline measuring and control system Prinect Inpress Control, program-controlled pre-inking and ink vibrator throw-off, and digitally controlled ink zone motors. Prinect Inpress Control reduces the paper waste during each job change by 100 to 150 sheets. The new control panel concept for optimized efficiency and ergonomics includes a glass touchscreen at the feeder and the printing and coating units for standardized operation of the entire press. In conjunction with the Prinect Press Center, this supports a process-oriented production process.
Widest possible range of configurations and applications
The Speedmaster XL 106 offers the broadest range of configurations in the 70 x 100 cm (27.56 x 39.37 in) format. It is available with anything from two to 19 units, with or without perfecting device, and is designed to process everything from inmold foils to kraft board. As a customized press, it is available in an LPL 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 immediately undergo further processing. This boosts productivity by 30 to 40 percent compared to a straight-printing press.
Systematically designed for sustainable printing
As a pioneer of green printing, Heidelberg develops solutions to eliminate or reduce CO2 and process emissions and cut waste. Consequently, the technology of the Speedmaster XL 106 sets standards in more than just productivity. Its high energy and resource efficiency make it the most environmentally friendly press in its class. This is documented by the "Emission-tested Printing Press" quality seal awarded by the German Institution for Statutory Insurance and Prevention in the Printing and Paper Industry to confirm that the press complies with the strict limit values. And that applies to all conventional and UV presses. If required, the Speedmaster XL 106 is available with carbon offsetting. A heat recovery system enables the heat from the exhaust air of DryStar Combination dryers to be reused for the drying process so as to reduce energy requirements. And the PowderStar AP 500 with its innovative powdering system cuts powder consumption by up to 50 percent. What's more, the Speedmaster XL 106 is designed for alcohol-free production - another important contribution to green print production.