High performance digital printing & finishing converge at Hunkeler Innovationdays

From February 20 to 23, 2017, Lucerne was the global centre for “high performance digital printing & finishing.” Around 6000 visitors from over 50 nations travelled to Hunkeler Innovationdays 2017 to witness this innovative show.

The Hunkeler Innovationdays (HID) event has become the industry's most important meeting place - something on which exhibitors, attendees and the international trade press all agree. This year, more than 90 exhibitors demonstrated their innovations, including Canon, Xerox, Pitney Bowes, HP, Kodak, Ricoh, Heidelberg, Screen, Muller Martini and, of course, Hunkeler, among many other companies. Most of the digital print vendors showed new production inkjet technology. Though half of the attendees hailed from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 7% travelled from the Americas.

New systems on display

Hunkeler AG displayed several new systems at the show, which included the new POPP8 generation finishing technology; POPP8 mailing production finishing line; Inline book production with technology from Hunkeler and Horizon; Inline book production with technology from Hunkeler and Müller Martini; Newspaper production with book structure; and High-performance variable-format book production.

Inline book production with technology from Hunkeler and Horizon: Inline production of variable-format softcover books was achieved by Hunkeler POPP7 book block production modules and Horizon perfect binding technology. The UW7 unwind module feeds a web up to 30 inches wide into the PF7 plow folder, where two longitudinal folding stations create either 4-, 6- or 8-page signatures. The web is then cross-cut in the high-performance CS6-HS cutting module. Dynacut capability allows non-stop production of variable spine-length book blocks. The signatures are dynamically gathered and glued into variable sheet-count book blocks , then exit via the SD7-I star wheel delivery. The book block stacks are then transported to the newly-developed BD7 book destacker which intelligently separates variable-format and variable thickness book blocks from the stack. The book blocks are then transferred for automatic presentation to the new Horizon BQ-480 perfect binder for spine preparation, gluing and cover application before being three-knife trimmed in the zero-makeready, fully-variable Horizon HT-1000V.

Inline book production with technology from Hunkeler and Müller Martini: Integrated system for book production offered variable-format soft-cover book production in an inline procedure from the roll to the finished book. It features production of the loose leaf book blocks on a roll-to-stack production system from Hunkeler, subsequent perfect binding on Vareo perfect binder and three-sided cutting on InfiniTrim from Müller Martini. Designed for greatest possible efficiency on mini print runs right down to a print run of just one, the paper web is fed from the UW6 unwind module, then slit into two, accurately registered and superimposed in the WM6 web merger (slit-and-merge function) prior to cross-cutting in the high-performance CS6-HS cutting module.

The Dynacut function allows dynamic change of book format length while running. The book blocks are laterally transferred (offset transfer) in the SE6 separation module and then delivered via the LS6 stacking module. The loose-leaf book blocks are transferred to the Vareo perfect binder using robot technology, followed by spine processing, gluing and merging with a soft cover. After perfect binding, the books are cut at head, foot and face in the variable-format three-knife trimmer InfiniTrim.

Newspaper production with book structure: This is a production line for newspaper on demand in broadsheet and tabloid format. Broadsheet newspapers with several themed sections and variable numbers of pages will be produced for a preprinted roll using the UW7 unwind module. The web is cross-cut in the CS7 cutting module, then sheets are collated in the DC7 drum collator. Sections advance to the buckle plate for the first fold, then to the knife folder for the second fold; sections are then collated into complete newspapers on the FC7 saddle system. The Innovationdays show newspaper was produced as a tabloid product. The web will be cross-cut in the CS7 cutting module, collated in the DC7 drum collator, then knife folded and transferred to the saddle system with automatic bypass of the buckle plate. It also features dynamic gluing in the spine for newspaper design with several sections, for newspaper supplements or glued brochures as an option. The line can fully and automatically convert from broadsheet to tabloid with non-stop production. The newly developed descending stacker will collect tabloid and broadsheet newspapers for easier packaging.

High-performance variable-format book production: Built for industrial book block production in the lower to mid-range volume segment, variable-format glued book blocks can be produced inline from a roll on a book-on-demand production line. The CS6-HS cutting module's Dynacut function enables automatic alternation of book block spine length from one stack of book blocks to another. A paper web up to 30 inches wide (760 millimetres) will be processed into 4-, 6- and 8-page signatures in the PF7 double plow folder. This system allows completely variable book thickness from one book to the next. The high-performance CS6-HS cutting module and double SD7-II star wheel deliver non-stop book blocks at a web speed of 200 meters per minute. The integrated book block gluing allows simple, reliable handling for downstream processing. The book blocks are continuously monitored for integrity and to report production progress.

Few of the other companies at the show included:

Kodak: Kodak demonstrated the KODAK PROSPER Press Platform which has been used to print more than 30 billion pages around the world. This was used by Kodak and Hunkeler at HID to produce a full-colour 12-page show publication. The publication was pre-printed on the KODAK PROSPER 5000XLi Press in both tabloid and broadsheet format, and finished onsite using Hunkeler’s new Advanced Newspaper Solution.

The company also showcased samples made using the KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Colour Press, which offers extensive creative possibilities with options to add coatings, special colours and even embossed effects inline.

Also on offer was KODAK PROSPER S-Series Imprinting Systems, which customers have used to add variable data capability to their web-fed offset presses, but which are increasingly being used by sheet-fed commercial print customers as well.

Canon: Canon presented three of its digital production presses, the highlight being the first showing of the new Océ ProStream continuous feed colour inkjet press. Designed to offer highest quality and extended media choice for high-volume commercial print work, the ProStream will print roll-to-roll at Hunkeler Innovationdays, producing a range of material including direct mail, books, catalogues, and brochures.

Alongside the new ProStream, Canon also demonstrated the capabilities of its flagship sheetfed devices – the imagePRESS C10000VP toner press and the Océ VarioPrint i300 inkjet press. Together, the three presses showed the extended spectrum of output quality and the vibrant colour reproduction that can now be achieved with digital print across both toner and inkjet technologies, even at very high production volumes, and on standard substrates.

All three presses were in live production on the Canon stand throughout the event, producing a range of finished commercial print applications, many illustrating the potential for sophisticated personalisation and inclusion of variable content.

Xerox: Xerox showcased the highly capable Impika eVolution, which is a highly scalable aqueous inkjet at up to 833 feet per minute and with up to 4 colours.

The company also unveiled new technology and products, including the new Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet Press, which is an inkjet for any size production floor in a small package. This innovative roll-to-cut-sheet press is one of its kind. Also introduced was the Xerox Trivor 2400 Inkjet Press, a next-generation inkjet platform that provides incredible scalability, flexibility and enhanced productivity. At 168 meters/minute, it's the most productive full-colour system in a small footprint. The company also displayed Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press, which can accommodate up to eight different paper drawers, handle stock weights from 60-220 gsm, and up to a B3 Plus sheet size. Its iGen paper page has the mechanics built-in to ensure front-to-back and colour to colour registration.

Pitney Bowes: At the event, Pitney celebrated the two-year anniversary of the Epic Inserting System by announcing several innovations that will make the company’s first multi-format inserter even more versatile and user-friendly. Pitney Bowes is showcasing the latest model of Epic.

Pitney Bowes also announced an agreement with TagG and HP to develop a new native IPDS (Intelligent Printer Data Stream) Controller for the Pitney Bowes IntelliJet and HP PageWide Web Press printing systems to deliver higher-value communications. The new controller will allow Pitney Bowes to serve transactional print and mail clients who value native IPDS printer controllers to leverage AFP (Advanced Function Presentation) workflows.

HP: HP announced the launch of the new HP PageWide Web Press T235 HD, part of the T200 HD Color series.

The T235 HD is a low total-cost-of-ownership platform for publishing, production mail and commercial printing needs. It operates at a maximum duty cycle of 48 million full-colour impressions per month and a speed of 400 fpm (122 mpm). It can be upgraded to the HP PageWide Web Press T240 HD for increased productivity. Pitney Bowes will also sell the T235 HD as part of its IntelliJet 20 HD series for transactional print and mail operations.

The company also demonstrated the HP PageWide Web Press T240 HD, HP Indigo 12000 digital press and the ability to create book blocks from rolls printed on the new oversized B1 duplex HP Indigo 50000 digital press.

Ricoh featured the innovative Ricoh Pro VC60000; demonstrating both roll-to-roll and roll-to-cut finishing capability with dynamic perforation enabled by Hunkeler systems. Also on show wasthe Ricoh Pro C9100 colour cutsheet digital production press.

A broad range of pre-printed and show-produced samples demonstrated a variety of creative possibilities. There was also a direct mail application featuring three different duplex A4 mail pieces output to different devices.

Ricoh’s Digital Book Printing Solution (which is designed to manage the challenges of on demand book printing) with TotalFlow BatchBuilder and an integrated workflow for a direct mail application was also on display. Furthermore, the automated configuration of imposition and setup of inline finishing using Ricoh ProcessDirector 3.5 will be demonstrated.

Ricoh also sponsored the DOXNET lectures and networking event.

Xeikon: 2017 marked the seventh time Xeikon exhibited at Hunkeler Innovationdays. This time, Xeikon featured a demanding security application on its Xeikon 9800 press that featured precision, quality and reliable data integrity. The security application was centered around a personalized mailer that included a high value personalized entry ticket. The substrate was a top quality security paper and the inline finishing was performed on Hunkeler and GUK equipment. The goal was to highlight the opportunities offered by security features such as variable data, UV clear toner, barcode, spot colours, microtext, guilloches and raised images.

Screen USA:
During the event, the Screen Truepress Jet520HD press printed onto standard offset coated paper using new Truepress SC inkjet inks for the first time – expanding the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of this powerful system. These inks provide the same wide colour gamut and stability as Truepress inks, while also featuring Screen’s absorption technology. The inks are also compatible with printing on a range of paper types, including popular standard coated paper and high-quality inkjet paper, as well as standard plain paper. The Truepress Jet 520HD was also integrated with a Hunkeler roll-to-stack solution with Dynacut function to show automatic cutting and stacking of variable sheet lengths.

At drupa last year Screen announced the Truepress Jet520NX model and HID2017 marks the commercial launch of this press. It is equipped with a newly developed 5?printhead module and supports a maximum resolution of 600 by 1,200 dpi plus advanced ink volume control. This press can be fitted with an extra printhead for a “fifth colour” that enables the use of MICR black ink and other special inks. At the event, the Truepress Jet520NX was integrated near-line to a Hunkeler roll-to-stack solution featuring the HL6 laser module and printing value-added transactional applications.

Riso: At Hunkeler Innovationdays, Riso highlighted two concept models in the production inkjet space.

The Riso T2 uses the main engine of the ComColor GD. By using two ComColor GD engines in a twin-engine design, the T2 will allow high productivity of 300 A4 pages a minute duplex.

The Riso T1 full-colour continuous-feed production inkjet printer features a small footprint (78.6 sq. ft.) with a duplex printing capability. Riso’s newly developed Quick Dry ink provides vibrant colours with high density, quick drying inks on uncoated paper. The combination of the Quick Dry inks and Riso’s inkjet technology helps to achieve energy savings by eliminating the ink drying and cooling unit usually appearing in inkjet printers. Moreover, paper waste is also reduced by optimizing the paper feed path.

Heidelberg: Heidelberg, together with Muller Martini and Polar, presented a range of finishing solutions aimed at print shops and bookbinders. A highlight of the joint booth was the presentation of the Digital Presto II saddle stitcher from Muller Martini with an integrated Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH 56 producing brochures live. Also, visitors saw the Stahlfolder BH 56 buckle plate folder. On the Kodak booth, a Hunkeler machine was producing two jobs, showing quick job changes together with the Inlinefolder Stahlfolder TH 56.

Horizon: Horizon offered Smartbinder for completely variable book production with perfect binding and three-knife trimming. The UW6 unwind module can roll-feed the web into the high-performance CS6-HS cross-cutting module. Dynamic sheet-length parent sheets are then folded, accumulated and glued into a finished book block for transport to the SB-09V PUR perfect binder with cover feeder. Books are then conveyed in-line to the Horizon HT-1000V zero-makeready Three-knife Trimmer.

Global Graphics Software: Harlequin ScreenPro, the screening technology that allows single-pass inkjet presses to achieve better print quality, and a new engineering service, BreakThrough, were highlighted by Global Graphics Software.

The next edition…

The dates for Hunkeler Innovationdays 2019 have already been set. It will take place in the Messe Lucerne exhibition facility, from February 25 – 28, 2019.

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