innovationdays 2011: eighty exhibitors offering solutions with flexibility and scalability

Despite the fact that earlier focused markets of ‘Direct Marketing’ and ‘Transpromo’ etc not showing enough scope and the solutions so far offered not being utilized to the desired level, Switzerland based producer of excellence in paper processing – Hunkeler, in no way is looking back. Rather they are continuing investing further in R&D trying to bring in fresh solutions for newer applications like ‘books’ and ‘newspapers’ segments etc. Recently concluded ‘innovationdays 2011’ in the city of Lucerne (Switzerland) provided a unique opportunity for everyone looking for comprehensive yet easily accessible all information on various trends and developments in the field of digital printing and finishing. A brief report by SK Khurana, editor, P&P, who visited this trendsetter event for the third time. Emphasising the high efficiency of POPP (Printer Online Paper Processing) technology strongly with ‘huncolor ready’ – simpler operations/controls from the multicolor touch screen, achieving order-specific data functions and then fast execution of adjustment processes for job changes ensures the justification of investments in Hunkeler’s pre and post-press technology by getting ROI in a short time, with its reliable production, error minimization and highly efficient processes keeping the operating costs much lower.

According to the estimates of CEO Stefan Hunkeler, book and mailing production are the two markets most affected by the profound changes. He explained that due to lower circulation, logistic issues become more important. Digital production methods and finishing solutions provide precisely the right answers here. Conversely, there is a trend in book production towards digital printing conquering higher and higher circulation levels.

In mailing production too, Stefan further observed, the shift is driven by ever faster and qualitatively better colour systems which to a significant extent benefit from the full data variability of digital printing. In this area, automatic quality control implemented beyond the confines of individual production centers is rapidly gaining in importance.

Providing trailblazing technology for both pre and post-systems, Hunkeler AG has helped to shape these developments for decades. This trade show in Lucerne provided a befitting framework for impressively demonstrating, in the presence of the world’s elite of the digital printing industry, the technological and market leadership of the family company employing about 200 staff.

At its headquarters in Wikon, Hunkeler AG is making room for further growth. Following a project planning phase of several years, the ground-breaking ceremony for a new building connected directly to the existing building will take place in March 2011.

As the founder, organizer, and sponsor of the innovationdays, Hunkeler AG has always emphasized a top-quality, varied and very practical range of solutions. The possibility of being able to follow, in the compact room of a single hall, the whole value added chain of digital production processes was especially attractive. Entire practical processes could be observed in a continuous and complete workflow from the blank paper roll to the finished product. As part of in-line, near-line and off-line production, Hunkeler and its trade show partners presented a very wide range of scenarios. In addition to the world’s leading manufacturers of printing systems, developers of software solutions as well as producers of consumables and finishing materials offered their contributions of available products and the market as a whole.

The fact that for the innovationdays 2011, the number of exhibition partners has increased to 80 (compared to 60 in 2009), can be accounted for in terms of the larger net exhibition area (5,000 sq m). One of the most obvious indicators for the global significance of the trade show was that visitors came from all parts of Europe as well as Australia, Japan, North and South America, India (around 25-30) and South East Asia.

The great importance of the Hunkeler innovationdays is also shown by the fact that the exhibitors and especially the manufacturers of digital printing systems use this platform to present their latest developments. Once again this year, several exhibition partners presented entirely new products in Lucerne. As per Erich Hodel, sales manager, Hunkeler AG, “innovationdays – being a fully transparent event, offers not just a single application opportunity but as a ‘project’ bringing in a partnership concept between various manufacturers. Visitors, exceeding a 5,000 mark, not necessarily coming to the event as Hunkeler’s clients, with conventional background were seemingly willing to opt digital technologies. The presence of 80 partners as exhibitors showing over 30 print lines made the innovationdays 2011 a satisfying event for each one.” Arun Gandhi duo, with always smiling faces, well known in Indian print industry, engaged in distribution of Hunkeler products, were seen busy most of the time helping all visiting Indian professionals to make them understood the technologies available in the show.

To take an overview of all the production lines demonstrated at the event shall be quite interesting for all. Hunkeler AG showed highly flexible book production line with folding process in Double Plowfolder PF7, cross and longitudinal cutting in CS6-I and integrated book block fixing by applying glue in the new non-stop delivery SD7. Processing of up to 760 mm wide paper webs into signatures with 4, 6 and 8 pages, with quickly executed adjustments, it enables production with different folding types, at a capacity of up to 200 meters per minute. There were roll-to-roll processing UW6/RW6 with dynamic perforation module DP6 and additional unit for dynamic file hole punching (technological study). For delivery for large-format sheets, POPP7 production line for the on-demand edition of individualized posters was shown, feeding from the unwinding module UW7, cross section in the cutting module CS7 with transfer to the newly developed large-stack delivery (technological study). For broadsheet and tabloid products, Combo newspaper line of the POPP7 generation featured unwinding module UW7, cutting module CS7 and collection module DC7.

Kodak announced new solutions and enhancements at the event: worldwide debut of the Kodak Prosper S20 imprinting system; European premiere of the Versamark VL6200 printing system and NexPress SX press. Designed to meet the needs of magazine, newspaper, and commercial insert printers, the Kodak Prosper S20 imprinting system is the newest offering in the successful Prosper S-series, which has speeds matching those of web offset presses. Powered by Kodak Stream inkjet technology, it boasts a 4.16-inch imprinting width with speeds up to 2,000 fpm (600 mpm) at 600x300 dpi. The new Kodak NexPress SX digital production colour platform with Print Genius offers improved quality and productivity, and has been designed to meet the needs of commercial printers, in-plant printers, and data centers. New features include speeds up to 131ppm, smaller ink particle size with the new Kodak NexPress HD dry inks, denser black ink, new NexPress light black HD dry ink, and a new matte printing effect option. While the Versamark VL6200 printing system is a high-quality, high-speed machine based on a flexible drop on demand (DOD) inkjet printing platform, and operates at up to 150ppm. The VL-series is well equipped to handle complex variable data applications, such as transactional documents and direct mail. Transpromo production on a roll-to-roll system UW6/RW6 was demonstrated with Versamark VL6000. New processor module PP6 for inline file hole punching and register mark printing (TOF) were placed before the Kodak printing system: dynamic longitudinal / cross perforations following the printing process with individual perforation patterns in the dynamic perforation module DP6, and 2-up production with different patterns for each web half facilitated by divided perforation units. There was technological break through by a new sensor from the Hunkeler Control Platform for inline colour control on the rewinding module RW6.

Roll-to-roll production line with rewind module RW6 after the web de-tensioning module was behind the Océ JetStream 1000: compact full colour duplex printing system with 75 m/min production speed, showing application for POD and transactional/transpromotional.

Full-colour personalized fashion brochure for the top quality segment was shown on Xeikon 8000 with variable number of pages: inline process with paper web feeding from UW6, dynamic longitudinal / cross perforation in the dynamic perforation Module DP6, cross cutting in CS6-I and collection, folding, stitching and cutting process in the StitchLiner 6000 Digital by Horizon. The high performing Xeikon 8000 flagship press is pitched perfectly to print the highest image quality at the best price. As a web-fed system it offers greater reliability and assures data integrity while allowing product flexibility for even the most innovative campaigns. Aside from providing true 1200 dpi imaging quality, this system offers an extended roll width of maximum 512 mm and guarantees printing speeds of up to 260 ppm or 19m/minute.

Leveraging its proprietary solid ink technology, Xerox introduced the world’s first high-speed waterless inkjet system to enable vivid image quality on low-cost paper for printers looking to produce high-volume, high-value jobs. Xerox’s production inkjet system can produce 2050 images per minute A4 two-up duplex or 152 metres per minute – driving the most lucrative jobs in the $100B global digital print market, such as personalised direct marketing, transpromo and publishing applications. Building off of its proprietary solid ink technology, Xerox has developed a patented, granulated, resin-based ink formulation to serve the high-speed production market. The key benefit is the elimination of water so that vibrant, consistent colour can be printed on low-cost, offset paper that comes out flat with no ink soaking through. Pages can be produced quickly and reliably, saving money in labour and waste – and because jobs are printed on demand, there’s no need for warehousing preprinted materials. In addition, the formulation of the ink enables document deinking, which can be difficult to achieve with other inks. Light paper application with 28-inch delivery and roll-to-roll production at a capacity of 152 meters per minute were shown on Xerox machines.

Roll-to-sheet line for duplex black & white printing was demonstrated on Xerox CF1300: typical light-paper application with cross cutting in the cutting module CS6-I, job division in the offset module SE6 and stack formation in the LS6-28 for sheet length up to 28 inches (711 mm). While new high-performance production system for full colour printing on a 520 mm wide paper web presented roll-to-roll processing with UW6/RW6 at a speed of 152 meters per minute, inline quality assurance of a transpromo application using the web inspection WI6 from the Hunkeler Control Platform.

With Ricoh Infoprint Solutions, the highlights were pinless merging with offset on the fly and roll-folding line with perforation and punching module PP6: computer center application with colour print in the 2-up process on the printing system InfoPrint 5000 GP, and transaction print on the modular colour printing system InfoPrint 5000 MP. The InfoPrint 5000 inkjet family offers customers a choice of three platforms that operate at a variety of speeds with colour, monochrome and MICR capability, all using proven, scalable, highly reliable, drop-on-demand inkjet technology. The modular system design provides corporate customers, service bureaus, direct mailers and commercial printers with unmatched configuration flexibility for growth while maximising their investment.

Combo line for demanding heavy paper applications, and roll-to-roll production in full colour were the highlights at the stand of Hewlett Packard (HP). Production line with HP Indigo w7200 was for the production of high-quality photo albums, book covers and mailings in full colour quality. Combo configuration with optional roll-to-roll and roll-to-sheet processing of printable paper materials of up to 300 g/m2, and cutting module CS6-II with double cross cut cylinders for demanding print products with full bleed-off print were presented. Hunkeler roll-to-roll system with unwinding / rewinding module UW6/RW6 on the DJM base frame was equipped with HP inkjet print heads.

Cost-effective black & white direct mailing production in 2-up mode was witnessed on Nipson Digiflex: feeding of the paper web via the unwinding module UW6, cross and longitudinal cutting in CS6-I, stack delivery in LS6 with delivery belt. Mailing and commercial roll-to-roll production with UW6/RW6 was on the new inkjet printing system Jet520ZZ by Screen, with speeds of 220 meters per minute in variable full-colour print.

IMPIKA unveiled the iPrint 250, latest addition to its line of continuous feed production colour printers, designed, in the image of the company’s new slogan ‘Print your difference’. The iPrint 250 drew attention with its evolutive architecture and large flexibility of configurations (360x600 dpi or 600x600 dpi and optional 1200x600 dpi) with according speed.

With Hewlett Packard, Pitney Bowes presented roll production with new IntelliJet 20 / T200: compact duplex production system for full-colour roll-to-roll production, having capacity between 61 meters per minute (colour) and 122 meters per minute (black & white); further processing of the printed rolls on Pitney-Bowes inserting line, with feeding via the Hunkeler Unwinding Module UW6. GUK showed small folding line for package inserts off the roll: feeding via an unwinding module UW6 with cross section in the high-performance cutting module CS6-II, folding process on the new multiple bag folding machine FA 53/12 and on the bag folding machine FA 35 by GUK.

Awe-struck customers, impressive demonstrations and interesting shop talk about high-performance production solutions for digital printing – the Primera Digital saddle-stitching system at Muller Martini’s stand really captivated the crowds. Promoted with the slogan ‘Grow with digital solutions’, this industrial manufacturing solution opens up the market for full-colour digitally printed magazines, periodicals and brochures, with a new, innovative processing folder with gathering station, as well as highly automated technology from the Primera modular system, including a cover folder feeder, stitching machine and three-knife trimmer. The system was demonstrated in conjunction with an unwind unit and a sheeter produced by Hunkeler. In a continuous cycle, various products were manufactured right there at the event, on the fly.

Mailing line with paper wrapping was attraction at the stand of Sitma. New gathering and packaging line by Sitma was shown, feeding of the packaging materials from the paper roll via the unwinding module UW6. Inserters with unwinding module UW6 were also highlighted with Böwe, CMC, Kern, MB: feeding of the high-performance inserting lines with tried and tested unwinding technology in onstant use.

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