Sheetfed presses SRA2 and above

B1 is the popular size at the moment, says Patrick Brennan, head of operations at Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses UK. Both Mitsubishi and Ryobi launched new B1 presses at drupa and those already offering B1 units went one step further with super-large 205 size presses.

It’s clear that the future lies in larger formats, where economies of scale can be realised and printers can improve their competitiveness, explains Christian Knapp, KBA UK managing director.

Heidelberg’s newly launched, very large-format (VLF) presses, the XL 145 and XL 162, look set to change a sector previously dominated by KBA and Manroland. The XL 145 has a maximum sheet size of 1,450×1,060mm, while the XL 162 stretches to a mammoth 1,620×1,210mm.

Most of the larger presses installed by printers in the UK and Europe are being used to produce either packaging or high-quality commercial work, such as posters and point-of-sale displays. In a competitive market, a step up in format changes the parameters not just for costs, but also for product offerings, said Knapp. I believe that we will see more and more of the headline commercial print houses migrating to formats larger than B1.

That said, manufacturers aren’t ignoring the smaller-format market. Heidelberg has launched a Speedmaster 75 XL for the high-end B2 market while KBA unveiled the B2 Rapida 75 at Drupa. Because this market is highly competitive, with virtually all manufacturers providing a B2 model, value-added capabilities such as foiling, embossing and one-pass productivity are much sought after. People are asking for coating on presses as it offers more flexibility, says Mitsubishi’s Brennan.

Environmental factors, such as low waste and low energy consumption, are also strong elements considered in the choice of press today, adds Neil Sutton, UK managing director of Komori.

The strength of the euro continues to have a major impact on printers’ buying decisions, but in a competitive market with plenty of players, it’s important to look around at all the different options. Don’t just stick to the same supplier you’ve had for 50 years, said Brennan.


• At drupa, KBA launched the Rapida 75, which supersedes the Rapida 74 and Performa 74. The 15,000sph unit has been developed with a slightly larger sheet size of 520x750mm and can be specified with two to eight units plus coater and perfector.

• Heidelberg unveiled the Speedmaster XL 145 and XL 162 presses at drupa. The 145 has a maximum sheet size of 1,450×1,060mm. The 162 prints up to 1,620×1,210mm with a maximum running speed of 15,000sph. The manufacturer also launched the Speedmaster 75 XL for the B2 market.

• Mitsubishi’s Diamond V3000 made its European debut at drupa. The first new sheetfed press from the manufacturer in seven years replaces the old Diamond 3000. Able to print at 16,200sph it can handle 750×1,050mm sheets and will hit the UK market in October.

• Ryobi launched its first B1 press at Drupa, the 1050. It is available in two models: the S-type, printing 1,050x710mm; and the XL, printing up to 1,050x770mm. A standard chamber-type doctor blade system coater is available as an option.

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