Offset pressing on

In the quest for ever-increasing productivity, pressrooms in Australia are morphing into a more competitive unit of the print production chain. Developments include inline features such as foiling to provide added-value solutions; UV, LED UV and H-UV drying systems for faster turnaround and vibrancy of colours; and A1 presses for eight-up work at a lower cost that the traditional B1 format.

And what about the threat from the emerging B2 and B1 digital inkjet presses – Konica Minolta KM-1, Fujifilm JetPress, Komori Impremia 29, Heidelberg Primefire 106, Canon Voyager, HP Indigo 12000? Will these impact on B2 and B1 offset, as the A3 toner digital printers have on A3 offset, which is now on the ropes?









At drupa 2016, the iconic German press manufacturer introduced its Speedmaster XL106, which embodies Heidelberg’s ‘push-to-stop’ philosophy, providing digitised and integrated print production. Makeready times on the XL106 are significantly lower with the Hycolor Multidrive inking unit, among other automated, parallel processes. Meanwhile, intelligent assistance systems take the burden away from operators, enabling optimal productivity, even on a rapid succession of jobs. In short, the XL106 offers the most innovative solutions for industrial, commercial or packaging printing, for label printing or web-to-print.

Heidelberg is launching a new B2 sheetfed press, the Speedmaster CX 75 – which has been dubbed XL75 lite – and is designed for small to medium sized print shops needing a press for multiple applications but without all the bells and whistles of the higher specified XL75.

The Speedmaster CX 75 has the platform of the Speedmaster XL 75 and the components of the Speedmaster SX 74,. Heidelberg says the compact press will be attractive interest to those print shops in industrialised countries that operate one or two shifts and are looking for an attractive price-performance ratio. Switching from the last sheet in one run to the first good sheet in the next can be done in under five minutes.

The Speedmaster CX 75 can process substrates ranging from lightweight paper through to rigid cardboard thanks to its double-diameter impression cylinders. It comes as a four-to-six-colour straight press with coating unit, it has a top production speed of 15,000 sheets an hour.

There is a choice of format, the standard 750x500mm, and an extended 605x750mm, Heidelberg calls this the F format which has been an option for the XL75. It is designed for printers who want to produce labels and carton printing, the extra print area can accommodate extra labels or carton blanks over a more conventional 530x750mm C format XL75.

It has a width of just 2.81metres and 2.05metres height. It is the narrowest B2 press that Heidelberg has produced. Heidelberg says a five-unit press with coating unit will be 11.6 metres long.

The pre-settings from the prepress stage for pre-set functions from the feeder to the delivery can be integrated via the Prinect digital print shop workflow, ensuring high productivity.

Heidelberg says the ergonomic concept together with generous space between the printing units permits optimal access and therefore quick and easy operation and maintenance.


Rapida 106 has a sidelayless infeed and Simultaneous Plate Change via direct drive technology so all plates are changed in 50 seconds while the blankets are washing. KBA’s PlateIdent system pre-registers the job before pulling the sheet and the QualiTronic ColorControl camera system starts measuring and adjusting colour, including special colours from the first sheet. Whether for commercial or packaging printing, for labels or one of the many special applications, the Rapida 106 offers configuration options and equipment to meet every demand. And you can simply select the technical features which are most appropriate to your individual job structure. Meanwhile, KBA offers its Rapida 105, which is built on the same platform as the 106 but with a lower level of specification and price.


The Lithrone G37 is a compact press that can produce A1-size products. It addresses market demands by handling paper thicknesses of 0.8 mm, and is available in six or seven colours with inline coater configurations for added-value work required for package printing. The Komori GX44 accommodates short turnarounds, short runs of many different products and on-press proofing because KHS-AI is standard equipment. It offers high-speed stable operation at the 15,000sph maximum printing speed with sheet thicknesses of 0.04 to 0.6mm. Maximum sheet size of 640 x 940mm suits a wide range of printing needs. The Lithrone GX series, specifically the GX44-RP, features Komori’s OffsetOnDemand, which enables short runs and rapid turnarounds by cutting makeready time and paper wastage. Komori’s DoNet is a digital workflow concept focused on digital-ready, high-performance printing presses based on Komori’s commitment to printing standardisation. For linkage with prepress and postpress equipment, Komori assures world-class JDF connectivity and conducts frequent inter-operability testing with systems from other manufacturers and vendors. This way Komori implements open-architecture thinking, with the priority on users’ operating environments. Meanwhile, the Lithrone G37 offers additional value for package printing.


The Roland 700 Evolution supercedes both the Roland 700 HS and the Roland 700 Direct Drive, on an all-new platform. Designed from the ground up and incorporating a sleek, futuristic look, the latest generation Roland 700 incorporates many new technological developments, aimed at giving printers unprecedented levels of efficiency, productivity, operation and quality. The Roland 700 Evolution offers 3B perfecting format (740mm x 1040mm), as well as optional 740mm x 1050mm features that enhance productivity include automation technologies that further shorten makeready time (Simultaneous Plate Loading System, InlineColorPilot and InlineRegister), reduce cost per copy (dynamic ink controlling, InlineInspector), and add value through inline enhancement measures (InlineFoiler, double coating, UV, LED UV).

As part of a global programme, manroland Australia is offering a two-year service and maintenance package for printers installing its Roland 700 Evolution press.

The ProServ 360° Performance (ProServ) is an integrated, 24-month partnership programme. It includes extended service for the first two years of operation, with two full inspections of motors, main drive, pumps, blowers, dryer and spray-powder components.

Dennis Wickham, managing director, manroland, says, “When you purchase an Evolution press, it will automatically come with the agreement in place.

“The ProServ 360° guarantees the cost of service and cost of the majority of parts for the second year of the press. It is not a warranty as such, but a second year service agreement covering parts and labour. The idea of the package is to continue the reliability past year one, so that the customers see the benefit of a service plan.”

The company says ProServ 360° incorporates remote diagnostics for greater efficiency in troubleshooting, proactive Smart services and an inbuilt maintenance manager to relieve operators of routine maintenance tasks.

“The 24/7 TeleSupport Centre (TSC) provides six routine remote check-ups, free fault diagnosis and report creation with analysis of errors documented in detailed overview. Five productivity analysis modules deliver monitoring and analysis of press productivity with overall equipment effectiveness OEE and KPI reports and performance benchmarks, if desired,” says manroland.

Vincent Tillemans, head, Aftermarket, manroland Sheetfed, says, “Efficiency and future proofing are at the heart of ProServ 360° which adds maximum value to a customers’ offering to provide press owners with maximum press performance, defined cost of ownership and a faster return on investment.”


With rising competition and falling prices for print, productive job turnaround is essential. Ryobi enhances efficiency with its 920 Series A1-size multi-colour offset presses, for eight-page A4-size printing. Cyber says up to 35 per cent less installation space is required than for other companies’ B1 presses, enabling more effective space utilisation and a more open work environment. Additionally, LED-UV on board a Ryobi press will cut power consumption by up to 90 per cent in energy-hungry activities such as UV printing, and also provides instant drying for speedier turnarounds. Ryobi’s versatility with a wide range of stocks means the presses are ready for print shops that want to expand from their core operations and take on package printing.

The latest RMGT Ryobi 928P press, an eight-colour SRA1 convertible press equipped with LED-UV curing, was on show at Ipex late last year.

Greg Knight, general manager Victoria, NSW, Cyber says, “The 928P first made its debut at drupa, since then we have installed four just at CMYKhub shops around Australia., among others.

“We are finding that it is proving to be a popular press, the configuration suiting a majority of printers, with its LED-UV capabilities making it profitable and productive.”

PacPrint’s sole offset press was also manufactured by Ryobi, also RMGT 920 series, which was on the Cyber stand.

George Rossi, territory manager Sydney, Cyber says, “We had a Ryobi 920, configured as a straight four-colour, with semi-auto plate loading, and LED-UV curing, which gives the printer a sheet which is dry and handleable to go into postpress as soon as it comes out.

RMGT says the combination of the two UV curing units and the latest litho-press technology improves production efficiency by delivering a one pass instant curing process that produces 8-up A4 double side printing directly to stack ready for finishing and reducing production times.


David Gunn, Print & Pack ANZ’s national sales manager print, notes the expansion of Komori’s range to include the Lithrone G37, a compact press that can produce A1-size products. It addresses market demands by handling paper thicknesses of 0.8mm, and is available in six or seven colours with inline coater configurations for added-value work for package printing.

Gunn says the Komori range is the ideal solution for the changing printing environment, with its shorter run lengths, customers wanting jobs instantly, ultra-competition, and the challenge of the internet. Komori is committed to supporting its customers in several key areas, he says.

These include offering its KP-Connect management information system (MIS), parallel offset-digital workflows, considering and planning the reduction of VOC and CO2, safety measures, and developing human resources for marketing, technology management and factory management, as well as reducing labour cost.

“Offset printing presses are shifting from mass-production to multi-product small-lot production. It’s now important to raise the printing operation time, which is currently only around 30 per cent average, while increasing the product value of printed products,” says Gunn.

The trend with offset presses is shifting to ‘One Person/One-Pass Production’. Komori’s approach for that trend is the inspiration behind its double-sided printing presses that have reduced the preparation time to the limit.

This is further enhanced by high value-added printing using Komori UV H-UV products and coater devices.

Gunn says, “And with web presses, the market demand is focused on reducing waste paper and preparation time, as well as significant energy saving measures at factories.” Also Komori is serious about supporting customers for these demands.

And what impact does Gunn see on offset printing from the growing adoption of B2 and B1 digital inkjet presses? He quotes figures predicting that even in 2020, the utilisation of digital presses will be a mere 3-5 per cent of the print market, based on print output.

“Of the printing machines used by printing companies, offset printing machines account for over 90 per cent, and Komori believes that not all printing companies will soon shift to digital. However, depending on the segment, we believe there are cases where there is more change to digital.

“In the field of data printing, there was a request to change the process that previously printed with offset and digital machines to all digital. Also, in commercial and packaging, we’ve received opinions for digital versioning printing in which printing companies want to change their print technology based on customers’ requirements and preferences,” he says.

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