18 August 2020 Analogue Printing Technologies

RMGT offers lean and trim alternative

The new RMGT press is larger than its SRA1 machine, but still below the full B1 sheet.

RMGT has been very successful with the 920 series SRA1 press, effectively reviving a format that had been pushed aside by format inflation as B1 presses became incrementally larger.

The format allows eight A4 pages to view to be printed, but for some customers there has had to be some compromise in terms of colour bar positioning. With the RMGT 970, which had been planned as the flagship launch for Drupa, the Japanese press supplier can answer these questions without losing the advantages that the format provides over the standard B1 format.

The company claims a 20% saving on plate costs, a 30% saving on energy compared to the equivalent B1 machine and a 30% space saving. There will also be a capital investment saving, but that is implied not detailed.

The 650x965mm print area is a perfect fit for US sizes, which may explain why RMGT describes the machine as “the ideal A1 plus press”. In straight configuration it will run 0.04mm to 0.6mm substrates at 16,000sph. When running perfecting, throughput drops to 15,000sph and the upper limit on thickness is 0.5mm, with 10mm lost on the sheet for the reverse side grippers.

Larger transfer and impression cylinders than on the 920 series smooth the transport path and enable it to print the heavier papers. Other aspects of the new machine have also been taken from the Series 10 presses that have a Mitsubishi rather than Ryobi heritage of heavier presses. This includes the same feeder as on the full B1 format model.

RMGT has been successful with the machine with LED UV curing, positioning the press as not only against larger format presses, but also competitive against digital printing in terms of turnaround and cost, thanks to the ability to handle sheets immediately off the press.

This is to be enhanced through a new operating system that includes a function that is so far unique to RMGT, a button to summon an AGV to remove a pallet of printed sheets and transport it to finishing. The company’s Drupa video presentation explains how JDF data has brought prepress and press together. The network link to AGVs is necessary to extend this connectivity to postpress. This would have been demonstrated at Drupa, as it had been at the Horizon open house in Japan at the end of last year.

The company’s Smart Assist Printing concept was to be demonstrated in Dusseldorf, though is not quite ready for commercial launch. Data from prepress is used to preset ink ducts, blanket washing and plate changing are automatic while once the prepared and pre inked rollers are dropped into position, the PQSD system kicks in.

This is a camera system aimed at a slit in the delivery which scans every sheet for defects, for colour and for register. It will identify scumming, slurred text, scratches and other blemishes at full press speed. The colour control system reads a density strip and firstly runs to the profiled densities and then to a locked pass sheet. Each sheet is printed with coloured dots which are used to bring register into precise position.

There are three options on plate changing: a standard semi-automatic changeover, a fully automated system and a simultaneous fully automated system. In the latter guise, a complete makeready can be performed in four minutes with all makeready functions taking place simultaneously.

The operator interface starts with a huge wall screen showing all press functions with three cameras directed at critical aspects of the machine. It shows the press status, where colour and registration is in real time, speed and the good copy count.

The jobs are sequenced according to a smart scheduling algorithm to batch jobs of similar size, the same substrate or other parameters, together to minimise changeover times. When using the Smart Assist Printing, the next job in the sequence is loaded automatically, leaving the operator to press the start button – and at the right time to call the AGV.

Information about job status is delivered to the Press Information Cloud, allowing it to be shared by managers, production office staff and others away from the press with an internet connection. This real time data can also be passed to an MIS for accurate accounting and estimating. Mission critical functions, making adjustments to colour or registration for example, take place at the press using the Edge computing concept.

The press is available as a straight machine with coating options and up to ten units in a convertible version to allow perfecting. The RMGT 970 will be available at the end of this year, says the supplier.

The company also planned to show an eight-colour RMGT 10 B1 tandem perfector, using the same PQSD quality control system and Press Information Cloud environment, with AGVs playing a prominent role, as according to the company “all equipment within a printing factory will be interconnected and AGVs will relieve operators of the repetitive workload of transporting paper and printed materials to the next process.

RMGT's automation and labour saving technologies relieve operators from time consuming and labour intensive tasks and burdens, enabling printing companies to capitalise on their expertise and maximise their potential.”