11 April 2016 Events

Komori prepares to launch B2 flagship as nano takes place in Drupa spotlight

Komori's nano press will grab the attention at Drupa, but a new B2 offset press is just as significant.

Komori is introducing a new B2 sheetfed litho press at Drupa. But the highly automated Komori Lithrone GL29 will not be available until the new year. The Lithrone LS29 will continue to be available, with the new press becoming the 18,000sph flagship model.

As well as the high speed feeder, it includes additional closed loop control systems for monitoring colour and quality and has the same style of delivery as the G series B1 machines. An ink mist collector prevents ink fly escaping from the press; V5.0 of PQS will spot defects of 0.25mm in size; high speed roller wash; it will run almost three-quarters of paper types without needing to change gripper settings.

For Komori, the goal is that the G29 “will be developed into a system with productivity surpassing digital printing systems” according to Komori president and COO Satoshi Mochida.

Like many of the machines that the Japanese press manufacturer plans to bring to the show, this was seen at the Igas event in Tokyo in September last year. However, missing from that event and present at Drupa will be the Lithrone NS40/440 the B1 sheetfed press that has Landa nano technology under licence. This will be by way of a technology demonstration there will be no deliveries "this calendar year", according to Komori Europe sales director Neil Sutton.

Komori's financial year ends in March. “We believe that visitors will experience the technical innovations and performance improvements that have been made in the four years since Landa announced the systems at Drupa 2012,” says Mochida.

While the core technology and sheet transport is the same as the Landa S10, the Komori machine has a different control system and quality monitoring equipment. It will be offered in the same four or seven colour versions and straight and convertible machines.

It is a different matter for the IS29, the B2 inkjet press jointly developed with Konica Minolta. This is now a fully commercial machine and will be sold during Drupa. According to Sutton, the first batch of production presses is being prepared. He cannot say yet what the list price will be. That is dependent on the application and business mode, he explains.

At Drupa Komori plans to show it running carton jobs as well as posters on three different materials. The press can be configured to handle substrates from 0.06-0.45mm or to 0.6mm. Sheets are immediately dried by LED UV allowing the press to print on synthetic materials as well as standard offer papers. With ColorSimulator, there will be a perfect match between sheets printed offset and those from the digital press.

This will make the IS29 a complement to the GX 640+C H-UV carton press that will be on show. The inkjet machine will handle those jobs that are too small to put on the offset press, to produce an advance batch of an order or make up an unexpected shortfall.

The Lithrone GX will have a similar 18,000sph feeder, fast wash up inking rollers, new synchronous plate changing system and improved quality control technology to check colour, that there are no defects in the sheet and that it is in register. An inkjet head as part of the feeder will sequentially number sheets to make it easier to track start up sate or defective sheets. This is tied to mask creation software, using the file to set the die cutting data, to spot errors in printing. Comparison between the original PDF and the printed job at high speed will pick up errors in barcodes, missing accents and similar.

A paper version of the machine at Drupa will be configured as a tandem perfector with the reverse of the sheet printed before the top side without tumbling. Both sides are dried with H-UV and it will run at 18,000sph. The advantage of this style of printing is that there is no need to leave a margin for a gripper on the tail end of the sheet.

The Drupa demonstration is intended to short ultra short makeready and running almost non stop.

A new press is the Lithrone G37, the first Komori press to be fitted with H-UV L for LED. It is an A1 press with a speed of 15,000sph and with a 200mm pile height. “We will use LED for entry level machines, with standard four colour printing,” says product manager Peter Minis. It uses a PQA-S SG as a cost effective model for closed loop colour management using density control to monitor a printed colour bar.

All the Komori presses are linked to a K-Station 4, the interface between its presses, workflow systems and MIS. This is being shown as a technical demonstration and points to a future where the press is part of an automated production system, what the Germans are calling Industry 4.0. It will deliver data to a mobile device for remote monitoring of production, including by KP-Connect to cloud data and services.

For Komori, the cloud is not so much to benchmark performance between presses as to provide alerts to managers, recording production data for improvement analysis. It will also link to training videos to help less skilled operators develop skills. The idea is that high quality production is not dependent on the individual skill of an operator.

The development has support at the highest level within Komori and is key to the Connected Print sub theme that the company is developing for the show. “This is a project that is being taken very very seriously,” says Sutton.

The Drupa presses will also be running with Komori’s own brand of H-UV ink as like Heidelberg it moves into consumables supply.

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