Outstanding innovations in paper processing and digital printing demoed

Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 - Part-I During February 11-15, 2013, worldwide experts from the digital paper processing industry met at the tenth Hunkeler innovationdays in Lucerne (Switzerland). At this internationally unique sector event, along with around seventy major manufacturers from the pre-press, print and finishing sectors, exhibiting innovative solutions, Hunkeler AG presented a world premier of POPP8 generation - the UW8 and RW8, apart from a number of substantial advanced developments. Overall, the visitors witnessed demonstrations of sheer performances - inline, nearline and offline - of over forty production systems with comprehensive workflow for various applications. Here is a brief. Focused on integrated total solutions and practical applications, the Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 concluded successfully. With each successive innovationdays, the event, conducted for the tenth time, has enhanced its international reputation. As the sole organizer of the event, Hunkeler emphasizes the quality of visitors over quantity. Even so, the number of attendees who traveled from all parts of the world are a clear indication of the significance that Hunkeler innovationdays has gained in the sector. Hunkeler responded to requests from exhibition partners and visitors alike, by extending the duration of the event from four to five days. Despite this growth, the Hunkeler innovationdays has retained its compact scope, so the event provided a deep and complete industry overview, enabling visitors to be acquainted with the latest developments in all areas of production and finishing processes for digitally manufactured printed products.

A world premier and advanced developments

A world premier of Hunkeler’s POPP8 generation - the UW8 and RW8 at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2013.As the next leap in development, visitors at the Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 witnessed a world premier of POPP8 generation - the UW8 and RW8. Besides, Hunkeler also showcased a number of substantial advanced developments, including: HL6 laser puncher, book-on-demand production line, DP6 dynamic perforation module with a variety of expansion options, PC7 primer coater module, and HPC Hunkeler Control Platform (brand: Huncontrol).

With the new POPP8 generation, Hunkeler is providing the solution for even faster production speeds, heavier printing substrates and very fast roll changes. The POPP8 technology, which was developed from a totally new engineering and design standpoint, was shown in Lucerne with a roll-to-roll production line including the UW8 unwinding module and the RW8 rewinding module. The new POPP8 modules are designed to handle paper rolls weighing as much as 1500 kilograms, and to process a range of printing substrates between 40 and 450 grams per square meter. During roll-to-roll production, they achieve a peak speed of 300 meters/minute, and rolls can be changed in less than 2.5 minutes. Expanding print substrates to 450 grams is designed in part to address the increasing demand for digital processing lines in the packaging industry. With the POPP8 generation, Hunkeler is exceptionally well equipped to address all challenges in this market. Due to a new symmetric design, the POPP8 modules can be flexibly integrated onto production lines operated from either the right or left side. The modules also feature multi-touch tablet technology for ease-of-operation.

Hunkeler Newspaper LineWith the HL6 laser punching module, the company underscored its claim as the technology leader in the continuous-feed paper processing market. The unique, patented process operates without physical punching dies or perforation equipment, and it achieves an unprecedented speed of 150 meters/minute in 1-up and 2-up modes. At the Hunkeler booth, the laser module operated in a line for roll-to-sheet production along with the UW6 unwinding module, the CS6-II cross-cutting unit and the LS6 stacker. In the CS6-II high-performance cutter, two cross-cut cylinders and as many as five freely selectable longitudinal knives allow the production of printed products with full bleed designs on four sides. With its book-on-demand line, Hunkeler demonstrated how much variety is possible in production with a relatively streamlined system. Besides manufacturing book blocks from 4-, 6- and 8-page signatures, the line can also be used to process a 30-inch wide paper web into stacks of loose sheets in A3 format or to make brochures with a glued binding intended for only a short useful lifetime. Equipped with the PF7 double plow folder, the CS6-HS (high-speed) cutter and SD7 double star wheel delivery unit, the book-on-demand line achieved non-stop operation with a paper web speed of 200 meters/minute. Based on 450 output cycles per hour and assuming a book block with 96 pages, the result is 4490 books per hour in a 6 x 9-inch format (152 x 228 mm). The integrated book-block gluing ensures the simple, safe transfer of the book blocks for finishing. At Hunkeler’s booth, the book blocks were removed with robots whereupon a transport carriage transferred them to a Horizon perfect-binding machine for finishing in a nearline process. Monitoring of quality was ensured across the entire process. With the help of a data matrix, all signatures and book blocks were checked inline for completeness using visual monitoring on a screen. The comparison of the cover with the book block on the perfect binder was implemented using barcode recognition. Hunkeler set up the book-on-demand line with an interface for integration into the JDF/JMF workflow.

The DP6 dynamic perforation module is the first solution that combines perforation in the longitudinal and transverse directions along with punching – all in one unit. As an alternative to punching tools, the perforations in the DP6 can be combined with dynamic file hole punching. “Dynamic” means the ability to change the punching, perforation or hole pattern from copy to copy. It is particularly interesting for applications in transpromotional production or in the manufacture of personalized or customized mailings. Coupons, payment slips and other elements can be integrated into practically any type of document, even those with forms that vary with each copy. With the unique PerfEditor for setting up the DP6, the setup and changeover of the multifunctional module can be done simply and quickly.

Hunkeler Laser LineHunkeler presented a world’s first at Drupa 2012 with the PC7 primer coater module, capable of selective application of primer (pre-coating) for the conditioning of paper in inkjet printing or for the varnishing (post-coating) of printed paper webs. At the innovationdays 2013, the PC7 for the application of dispersion varnish across the entire surface was integrated into a line for roll-to-sheet production. For a drying system, NIR (near infrared) technology from Adphos was used. This infrared radiation closely matches the absorption spectrum of the dispersion varnish. The result is very efficient drying with little heating of the printing substrate, and a high level of possible varnish applications of up to 4 grams per square meter for efficient varnish protection or refinement.

The Hunkeler Control Platform (HCP) is a modular solution for ensuring the quality and integrity of printed contents and for monitoring the entire production process. The vendor-neutral platform integrates both printing systems as well as inserting and finishing systems from various manufacturers. The concept starts with the entry-level ‘Mail Tracker’ solution and can be expanded to meet growing needs with other components including the ‘Print Processor’, ‘Workflow Monitor’, ‘Site Manager’ and ‘Production Reporter’.

Production lines... applications galore

Apart from Hunkeler AG - Line H1 (book-on-demand solution), Line H2 (first modules of the new generation of hunkeler finishing solutions), Line H3 (Hunkeler Roll to new large format stacker LS7 and new primer-coater PC7), Line H4 (innovative laser processes for security features), and Line H5 (Digital newspaper line for broadsheet and booklet production), other production lines at the event include: Kodak (Line P1), featuring roll-to-roll production on Kodak’s Prosper 1000, from the UW6 to the RW6 with a web speed of 200 meters/minute; Ricoh Infoprint Solutions (Line P2a) - full-colour book and poster production on the InfoPrint 5000 GP at speeds up to 128 meters/minute; Ricoh Infoprint Solutions (Line P2b): production of books and mailpieces on an InfoPrint 5000 MP operating in monochrome mode, fed from the UW6 along with combined plow fold and merger functions on the FM6 folder merger; Impika (Line P3): for flexible cut-stack and newspaper/booklet production, with 2-sided full-colour printing on the iPrint Compact from Impika, fed from the UW7; Xerox (Line P4): full-colour transpromo production from the UW6 to the RW6 on the CiPress 500 SED (Single Engine Duplex) from Xerox with a web speed of 150 meters/minute; Screen (Line P5a): roll-to-roll printing on the Truepress 520EX; Screen (Line P5b): efficient solution for producing signatures on the Truepress Jet520ZZ; Canon / Océ (Line P6): combination line for book-on-demand or transpromo production with the CS 3900 inkjet from Océ, fed from the UW6 unwinder module; Pitney Bowes (Line P7) and UW6 for envelope inserting; Hewlett Packard (Line P8a) for book signatures and directmail in offline production; Hewlett Packard (Line P8.2): roll-to-roll production on the HP Indigo w7250; Xeikon (Line P9): security printing application on the Xeikon 8000, from the UW6 unwinding module through the dynamic perforation module DP6 to the RW6 rewinding module; Graph-Tech AG (Line S1) for roll-to-roll printing on the Monocube inkjet printer system; K.I.C.M. (Line S2) and UW6 for envelope inserting; Heidelberg (Line S3) for small-run brochure and book production; GUK (Line S4) multifold system for package inserts; Muller Martini (Line S5) for stapled brochures on demand: UW6 unwinding module, FM6 folder merger and CS6-I cross-cutting module on the Presto saddle stitcher from Muller Martini; Böwe (Line S6), Kern (S08) and UW6 for envelope inserting; KBA (Line S9): roll-to-roll production on the KBA Rotajet 76 with a capacity of 150 meters/minute; Hunkeler Systeme AG (Line S10): systematic waste disposal logistics; Horizon (Line S11): 3-sided cutting of books manufactured with book-on-demand lines from Hunkeler on the new HT-1000V 3-knife trimmer; Bograma (Line B2): integrated printing and punching system for the short-run manufacturing of folding boxes; and Imaging Solutions (Line B05) for photo books of the highest quality.

(To be continued in the next issue.)


Positive signals!

On the opening day, event organizer Hunkeler AG held a press conference to announce that the company is in fine condition, with positive business results for 2012, a new launch of POPP8 generation of equipment and the recent ribbon-cutting on a corporate expansion of their Wikon (Switzerland) headquarters. Shortly after Drupa 2012, Hunkeler was able to move into its newly completed headquarters in Wikon. Included in the 1800 square meters addition is a well-equipped demonstration and training center, designed to serve customers and partners. Hunkeler AG, which relies primarily on export business, continues to enjoy commercial success despite unfavorable global financial conditions and the strong Swiss franc. A healthy order book and strong demand during the past few months have led the company to increase staff levels from 250 to 300 employees. Hunkeler AG closed fiscal year 2012 with decidely positive results. Stefan Hunkeler, CEO of the family-owned company, attributes the business success to continued reinvestment of earnings into the development of new solutions. Coupled with a passionate focus on helping customers transform their business, this has led to a steady stream of new products and services. Hunkeler used Innovationdays as the platform to announce even further investments in the future: to continue to meet the demands of customers and partners, a new assembly and shipping facility will be added to the new buildings at the Wikon headquarters, creating new space that is urgently needed for manufacturing.

A glance at the past illustrates the advances in digital printing technology and pre/post-processing systems since the first Hunkeler innovationdays event was held more than 15 years ago. At the end of the 1990s applications focused primarily on monochrome printing systems for transaction printing and forms manufacturing, while more recent events have been characterized by increasingly faster colour systems. Digital printing and processing lines have found growing application in markets that until quite recently were reserved for other printing methods. This has been accompanied by a growing trend towards short print runs, publishing on demand, and the desire to reduce or even eliminate warehousing costs. At the same time printed products with variable content and other emerging market requirements have created fertile ground for the fast-paced development of suitable production solutions. From the start, Hunkeler has played a leading role in guiding this process through innovations for pre/post production in digital print manufacturing systems.

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