World premiere of Heidelberg’s new Speedmaster XL 106

Entire machine system adapted for high-speed operation at 21,000 spa

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Heidelberg
Speedmaster XL 106 from HEIDELBERG boosts productivity and is world’s fastest sheetfed offset press (Photo: Heidelberg)

Heidelberg is premiering its new Speedmaster XL 106, claimed to be the world’s fastest sheetfed offset press.

The option to increase the printing speed of the Speedmaster XL 106 to 21,000 sheets per hour makes this high-performance system the world’s fastest sheetfed offset press and means an annual output of over 100 million prints is now also possible in folding carton production, the company said in a release.

The press is particularly a good option for companies producing packaging in the 70 x 100 format, who are calling for ever higher machine outputs and end-to-end automation. The increase in printing speed from 18,000 to 21,000 sheets per hour on the Speedmaster XL 106 is especially attractive to these users. 

The economic benefit is an 8 to 10% higher net output and – provided the full potential productivity is utilized – amortization in around two years. In order to achieve this, Heidelberg has optimized some 200 components throughout the entire system, from feeder to delivery. 

For example, two servo motors now drive the feeder directly and, in the delivery, the weight of the gripper bars has been reduced and they have been adapted to the new printing speed to ensure stable and reliable operation.

“Right from its market launch in 2004, [the] XL technology from Heidelberger has set the benchmark in terms of productivity, performance, and reliability for high-end applications in our sector. Heidelberger has continuously enhanced this successful machine platform ever since,” says  Ludwin Monz, CEO of Heidelberg. 

“With the newly unveiled Speedmaster XL 106, Heidelberg is taking sheetfed offset printing performance to the next level and enabling folding carton manufacturers in particular to become more competitive,” he adds.

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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