Hunkeler has added further modules to its Popp 8 reel handing systems for high speed web printing and the incremental increase in reel widths. And the company has more than one eye on the commercial print sector where inkjet press developers are headed.
For Hunkeler this is a sensible approach. The traditional transactional market accounts for 50% of sales, but is in slow decline or stable at best. “We are seeing growth in the commercial printing market, book production as well while newspaper remains a niche market,” says Graf Josef, area sales manager. “We have more than 30 installations worldwide and interest is growing but it has not yet made the great breakthrough, because the cost of production is still high.”
The Popp 8 will expand to offer all functions that its systems deliver in earlier versions. “It will increase post processing at speed and web widths,” he continues, “and we need increasing flexibility for offset replacement commercial printing.”
Currently the range includes cross perforation, laser perforation, variable cutting and the ability to merge webs to create more sophisticated direct mail products. The cutter-stacker will be ready at the start of next year.
The line includes barcode recognition and high speed cameras to spot errors and ensure the integrity of products running at up to 300m/min. The Web Inspection 8 unit is also due next year. “We can detect errors, incorrect density, colour registration at maximum production speed,” he explains.
The inspection file is delivered with the reels and will link to an inserter to that the sub optimal elements can be ejected. No partnerships have been announced unlike in book production where Hunkeler is now partnering with Horizon and Muller Martini to create fully integrated production lines.
At the Innovation Days a Hunkeler Bookline was producing loose leaf book stacks, picked up by a robot and fed into a Muller Martini Vareo perfect binder and Inifinstream trimmer for book of one production.
This relies on the exchange of production information between the two suppliers. For Muller Martini it is an extension of its Connex workflow that drives digital presses feeding its own Sigmaline equipment. The functionality of this can now include Hunkeler’s technology where there is almost no overlap between the two suppliers.
A similar approach was feeding a combination of digital and conventional equipment to demonstrate a highly flexible Horizon book production line.