Komori’s new Lithrone GX/G advance series of sheet presses

Pressroom connected automation uses cloud, self-learning & robots

The Komori Lithrone GX/G advance series of sheetfed offset presses

In the past week, Japanese press manufacturer Komori Corporation announced that it has developed the Lithrone GX/G advance series, which the company says are self-learning sheetfed offset presses. The presses are an answer to the increase in short-runs and the need to decrease human resources on the shop floor. Improvements from loading to moving printed sheets to folders and cutting machines will use a robot. The idea is to increase automated handling of sheets between the Apressia cutting machines, the Komori press, and MBO folders.

The company planned to show the Lithrone GX/G advance series of B1 presses at drupa, now postponed to April 2021. It will now show them at open houses, virtual events, and webinars. The Lithrone GX/G advance series presses make it possible to attain high productivity and quality through a more effortless operation. There has been a significant improvement in the high-speed stability of the feeder and delivery, which provide the underlying performance of a press, Komori said.

The Lithrone GX/G advance press also has improved suitability for high-speed, long-run printing, while the performance of Komorimatic, which is a key to high print quality, is unchanged. Also, there has been a reduction of touchpoints by using a self-learning function and a new control platform for the linkage of high-level printing systems.

Komori says that by optimizing the dampening system, the minimum-water Komorimatic, dot quality sharpness, and stability is maintained while suitability for high speed/long-run printing is improved. The linkage with various mechatronics devices that maintain quality from print start-up to the end of the job is centered on KHS-AI, which handles overall control and an easy-to-view operation screen.

Automated press set-up, postpress and MIS

In addition, Komori provides collaboration with its KP-Connect solution cloud, enabling the smart factory concept, including MIS, prepress, and postpress. The cloud-based collaborative solution is based on Komori’s Connected Automation concept. By connection with the KP-Connect Pro solution cloud, job data can be sent to the press by direct presets.
“This realizes strengthened collaboration and optimization between processes and high-level automation with presets based on information from high-end systems, thus contributing to productivity improvement throughout the entire printing process,” the company said.

The Lithrone GX/G advance presses are claimed to obtain a significantly higher ROI than with the conventional Lithrone. Komori asserts that the ease of use with operator skill further minimized, the improved feeder and delivery, performance stability at high speeds with minimal losses will spell overall improvement in productivity.

Orders for the new presses, the Lithrone GX40 advance, Lithrone G40 advance, Lithrone GX40RP advance, and Lithrone G37P advance models will be accepted beginning on 1 October 2020. The lineup of models will be successively expanded. The presses will be distributed in India through Komori India headquartered in Faridabad in the Delhi NCR.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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