Heidelberg showcases folder integration in Push to Stop

Jo Francis
Monday, October 19, 2020

Heidelberg is claiming a world first after it showed the latest iteration of its autonomous production including jobs being folded without operator intervention.

Unattended transport system moving sheets from press to folder
Unattended transport system moving sheets from press to folder

The demonstration of the new setup was held at its Wiesloch-Walldorf site in Germany earlier this month.

Output from a latest generation Speedmaster XL106 eight-colour perfector was transferred to a Stahlfolder KH82-P 15,000sph high-speed folder using a robotic transport system.

The press was fitted with a  DryStar LED Pro drying system to enable sheets to go straight to post-press.

The manufacturer also showed its new Plate to Unit system that fully automates printing plate logistics on-press.

“With industrial production of short runs, we get to ten to twenty job changes per hour in no time at all, explained head of commercial segment Rainer Wolf.

The Stahlfolder is included in Heidelberg’s ‘Push to Stop’ system and can detect signatures using barcodes.

Heidelberg has also integrated a waste sorting gate into a perfecting press for the first time, which means the stack of sheets that transfers to finishing is classed as a “zero-waste pile”.

“The press detects waste sheets and automatically ejects them. The ejected sheets are immediately shredded and disposed of via a vacuum unit. This means there is no more collection bin to empty,” the manufacturer explained.

Although the highly-automated systems lend themselves to commercial printers with standardised workflows and large volumes, Wolf said that the technology had appeal beyond the obvious market of industrial-scale web-to-print specialists.

“We speak provocatively about doubling productivity with Push to Stop – end-to-end. That is quite possible for the majority of print shops – a small number are already demonstrating this in real life, and not just the web-to-print printers, either,” he stated.

“It’s our mission to enable our customers to unlock this potential. Because our customers’ success is ultimately our success, too.”

Push to Stop has also extended to Polar’s cutting systems, with a new fully automated system for jogging, AirGo Jog.

Separately, the new Stahlfolder TH 56 Pharma also received its worldwide debut, boasting new features and “extensive automation” for pharmaceutical work.

Sessions on autonomous production for commercial and packaging printing applications feature in Heidelberg’s worldwide Innovation Week event, which began today, with videos on different topics also available for viewing on-demand.

 

Update:

Intelligent Finishing Systems has pointed out that Japanese manufacturers Horizon and RMGT showcased AGV technology collecting a pallet of printed sheets from the RMGT 920 SRA1 press delivery and transporting and loading the pallet of printed SRA1 sheets onto a Horizon AFC-746F B1 folder with pallet feeder, which was connected in-line to a Horizon StitchLiner to make the Horizon FoldLinr System during last November's Think Smart Factory event in Kyoto.

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