29" DI Press

AP90

Well-known member
Hey guys,

So I was doing a little thinking and I have been wondering why Heidelberg or Presstek never developed a 29" DI press? I know KBA did the Karat and it was pretty much a flop, but the QMDI and Presstek were pretty reliable and quality presses from what I understand. To me it seems like the biggest drawback for them is that they are limited to the same size as a digital press, and while when they were developed they might have been a much better option, now they are not. But If they were a 29" press, they would be much more effective in the gap between offset and digital because they could be competitive in the 3-8k magazine jobs. Or at least I think they would. Just wanted to get your guys' thoughts on this since it seems like it obviously won't happen could have been an option for shops like us where it would take a lot of us to add a huge 4 color 29" or 40" press to handle our magazines jobs.
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
Problem with the DI press in this format is that it take longer to expose the plates on press than it takes to mount a set of plates on a conventional press. Thus reducing productivity.
 

PrintIT

Well-known member
Problem with the DI press in this format is that it take longer to expose the plates on press than it takes to mount a set of plates on a conventional press. Thus reducing productivity.
I worked in a shop that had a Karat that seemed to suffer from the same problem - They ran it for like 6 months, then wrapped it in plastic and spent the next 2 years trying to sell it. That's what the pressman that ran it said about it - It took forever to create the plates, and set up a job. And if there was a problem with the art? Well there's another half a shift down the drain.
 

Ret Heidelberg Instructor

Well-known member
Heidelberg did make a SM74 DI press. It could have multiple units and a coater. It had a Creo imaging head on every printing unit. It ran operated with an Alcolor dampening system and could run conventional plates if needed. The plates were imaged on the press in register with ink profiles.and processed when the dampening system was engaged. I was involved with several installations of this model of press. It was a great concept but costly to implement. Komori also had a 40 inch model with the Creo imaging heads. Most of these presses ended up running conventional plates.
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
I worked in a shop that had a Karat that seemed to suffer from the same problem - They ran it for like 6 months, then wrapped it in plastic and spent the next 2 years trying to sell it. That's what the pressman that ran it said about it - It took forever to create the plates, and set up a job. And if there was a problem with the art? Well there's another half a shift down the drain.
We installed an A3 size UV DI (Ryobi/Presstek) in 2006, we ended up replacing it with a conventional A3 offset press, promised performance and ROI on the DI did not eventuate.
The A3 format presses have long since been replaced with Indigos and Ricoh machines, we now have just one offset press left (Heidelberg 74-8)
 

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