Monday, August 4, 2014

Heidelberg boosts speed of VLF Speedmaster XL presses for high-volume packaging

Heidelberg has increased the maximum running speed of its 57" Speedmaster VLF XL 145 and 64" Speedmaster VLF XL 162 presses by up to 20 percent. Targeting the folding carton market, this next level of efficiency is enabled by the new "Packaging Speed Performance" (PSP) packages. Heidelberg's Speedmaster XL 145/162 PSP printing presses are now available with increased maximum speed and top productivity up to 18,000 sph for the Speedmaster XL 145 and 16,500 sph for the Speedmaster XL 162. These speeds lead the industry and confirm that the newest press platform available is also the fastest.
Perfect for High-Volume Producers
Heidelberg's new PSP speed class presses are designed for converters requiring maximum throughput and minimal waste. Key applications include conventional long runs in VLF packaging, e.g., pizza and cereal boxes, frozen foods, confectionery, pet food, and electronics. Superior Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE), a measure of makeready time, makeready waste, average net production speed and level of utilization, is critical to the success of this business model. By optimizing all of the components of OEE, the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145 PSP drives performance to new heights. Calculations confirm that a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145 VLF with PSP package, working three shifts per day, six days per week, produces twice as many sheets as a 2007 packaging press running at a maximum rated speed of 15,000 sph. The Speedmaster XL 145 with Packaging Speed Performance can produce 70 million or more sheets per year.
Many innovations enable the Speedmaster XL 145/162 to achieve top speeds consistently. These include an updated feeder, improved sheet guidance, and a 32-foot delivery optimized with Heidelberg's patented high-performance dryers. Not only do the Speedmaster XL 145 PSP and XL 162 PSP feature the longest drying sections on the market, but also unique-to-Heidelberg, round air nozzle technology that ensures efficient drying for the coating. The dryers are also equipped with seven slide-in units to ensure smooth production and complete drying at maximum speed.
When print quality is a priority, the high-performance inking and dampening system of the Speedmaster XL 145/XL 162 sets standards in color consistency throughout the run, i.e., the form rollers are smoothly transitioned onto the plate (no bending required), rather than hitting the front bend of the plate, often leading to stripes. Especially at higher machine speeds, Heidelberg's Prinect Inpress Control spectrophotometric inline measuring and control system provides a major assist for operators by adjusting color and register on the fly.
The Evidence Is In
One year ago, key innovations on Heidelberg's Speedmaster XL 145/162 VLF press series platform were recognized with the 2013 InterTech™ Technology Award from Printing Industries of America-the first press ever in the 57"/64" class to be so honored. Heidelberg became the U.S. market leader in VLF packaging presses for the first time in 2014, and has sold multiple Speedmaster VLF XL 145/162 models with the new PSP option to demanding customers in three U.S. locations to date this year. 

Since the start of series production in 2009, more than 100 VLF Speedmaster XL 145/162 presses have been sold worldwide. Some 70 percent of these are used in package printing. Exacting customers in North America and abroad also have placed multiple repeat orders for Heidelberg's VLF XL presses after seeing their initial investment exceed expectations in terms of availability, capacity, and print quality. Currently, Heidelberg is recording the highest volume of orders since the start of production.