The postponement of Drupa until April 2021 not only robbed printers of the opportunity to see new presses in action, it removed the stage for suppliers to demonstrate the technologies that they have been working on since 2016.
While much of the attention would have been directed towards inkjet and other digital print technologies, most printers are still investing in litho presses for printing B1 sheets. Hence we have watched the videos, listened to the presentation and studied the specification sheets to understand the strategy each of the key suppliers has developed.
Unsurprisingly there are common themes: speed of makeready, automation and integration with other processes and finally print speed. Along the way there are differences in approach, some brand new engineering and much for printers to contemplate.
Unfortunately we could not be impressed by automated plate logistics, as promised by Koenig & Bauer and Heidelberg, nor by robots to move pallets of paper, as promised from Japan. Assessing these will have to wait until next spring.
Here though are the salient points from five major press suppliers able to address the needs of a print business looking at printing eight up sheets.
The RMGT 970.
The preparations for Drupa were close to completion when the pandemic forced the postponement of the show until 2021. This has left exhibitors to decide whether to unveil their latest developments or to keep them under wraps and turn a concept into a ready for market machine.