You wait for years between Drupas for a new Heidelberg press, and two come along at once – and with no international exhibition in sight.
Both new machines were on show for the first time in the UK last week, the CX75 aimed at printers looking for a good value B2 press rather than the highest productivity offered by the XL75, and the CS92, an SRA1 format press that is pitched at a growing niche of the market.
This launch reverses the format creep that press suppliers have engaged in in recent years. For example, Heidelberg introduced presses at 104cm, 105cm and now 106cm while maintaining the 102cm classic B1 format. Others have followed suit. But with printers looking also at a product mix dominated by standard A4 sections, the SRA1 format capable of the same 8pp sections as the larger machines, has become in demand. It is simply less expensive to print this way.
The CS92 was introduced to the Asian market in 2015 and market trends have led to the decision to bring it to Europe. The press continues to be assembled in Heidelberg's Qingpu factory in China. It is built on the chassis of the CX102 using adapted plate, impression and transfer cylinders. This enables Heidelberg to print nine A4 pages to view, perhaps arranged as three three-page products. The extra area should appeal to online print businesses, says Heidelberg UK sales director Todd who can squeeze additional products into this print area.
“It can deliver the lowest cost per copy of the SRA1 sector,” says B2 and B1 product manager Rockley. “It accepts a Euro pallet, 1,320mm high in the feeder and delivery with plenty of room which also adds to the efficiency.”
There are thoughts about packaging applications. It comes in four-, five- and six-colour configurations with coater options and it is able to handle 0.6mm boards. But the press is not capable of being mounted on a plinth for specialist carton printers.
The smaller format equates to a 20% saving on plate material, Rockley says. “For large volume plate users with a five- or six-colour press, this is a significant saving.”
At the open house last week, the Speedmaster CS92 was fitted with Heidelberg’s own LED UV unit, which only fires the diodes when paper is underneath the lamps, further reducing the energy levels needed. It can also run with an LE-UV system or conventional hot air/IR unit.
“The press will sell for 15-20% of the price of a CX102,” says Todd. “And if high job volumes are part of the work mix, the saving on aluminium can be quite important. But as a printer you have to be certain you can work within the limits of the 92cm press.”
This is not a problem with the new B2 press. In the UK, Heidelberg predicts that sales of the Speedmaster SX74 will fade away as a consequence. It is a machine concept that Heidelberg UK has been pushing for some years, says UK managing director Gerard Heanue. It combines the engineering of the Speedmaster XL75, with functionality that suits a more cost conscious user. In addition it will make Heidelberg more competitive against Komori’s B2 presses. The company hopes to sell six to eight of the new B2 machines in the first year.
Like the Speedmaster CS92, the Speedmaster CX75 runs with Intellistart 2 and Easy Control, for measuring and ensuring colour accuracy, but not with Inpress Control, Heidelberg’s inline spectrophotometer. “It is about reducing the complexity of the XL75,” says Rockley. “It has the same print units as the high performance press with the pricing of the SX74. It will deliver the lowest cost per copy for printers producing 25-30 million impressions a year.”
Options are four-, five- and six-colours with coating, but those who want perfecting will be directed towards the XL75. There is a full range of drying options and a calliper range up to 0.6 mm for carton work. The delivery can be extended to give more drying time before reaching the stack. It has a top speed of 15,000sph.
A key feature of the Speedmaster CS92 is that it will print nine A4 pages to view, leading to the lowest cost per copy of any press in this format, says Matt Rockley. The machine was put through its paces at a UK open house last week alongside the new Speedmaster CX75.