Presses come and go.

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Deleted member 16349

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Another press manufacturer has called it quits. Muller Martini will stop manufacturing web presses.

Print Business: Printing/Print Company Profiles

Manroland is introducing a new advanced press called the Roland 700 evolution.

Print Business: Printing/Print Company Profiles

The evolution press is reported to have advanced features such as an improvement to the paper feeder, new bearings for the cylinders and a nice touch screen for operator controls and really nice curved side panels.

I am sure all the added features are going to be good but where is the innovation. It is the same old press concept but with a little more lipstick. oink. There is no vision or imagination here.

You probably can guess what I think about press manufacturers who do not want to try new concepts out. The eventual result is that they go out of business.
 

Ret Heidelberg Instructor

Well-known member
Wow! I still learn something new every day. All my years in printing and never knew that Muller Martini made a web press. I thought that they were only into finishing systems like perfect binders etc. I guess that Marinoni and Harris later OMSCA bit the dust. LOL Just kidding, I knew about Harris and Marinoni was before my time. I see packaging printing as still be quite viable, although flexo has been really coming on. Innovations can work if they are accepted by the masses. However, there is a lot of (If it ain't broke don't fix it.) in this industry.
 

discountprinting

Active member
I see the same or similar problem for small commercial printers and quick printers...there are not any options for new duplicator/offset presses in the US other than a couple of Ryobi models & one Baum (formerly built by Heidelberg)...Hamada, Toko, Multilith, Chief, Gestetner and others have all gone by the way side for small offset presses. Digital machines are great for certain jobs, including DI and toner based presses/duplicators but there are jobs that just need to be run via offset as either the most economical method, for production/time efficiency, quality, or a combination of all 3. There are jobs that I can print offset or digital, but offset is faster and cheaper even paying an operator to run the machine in most cases. I know the market is flooded with used equipment but every used equipment is a gamble...I believe there are some manufacturers of small presses around the world that don't distribute in the U.S. for whatever reason but I believe if they did they would sell presses here. Especially if they bring new concepts and press designs to the table....I think the perfect press in today's world would be a hybrid digital/offset press that could do both, meaning print in digital mode using toner for short runs or print in offset mode for long runs, and at normal press speed ranges of 5000 to 10000 iph for either mode.
 
D

Deleted member 16349

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Especially if they bring new concepts and press designs to the table....I think the perfect press in today's world would be a hybrid digital/offset press that could do both, meaning print in digital mode using toner for short runs or print in offset mode for long runs, and at normal press speed ranges of 5000 to 10000 iph for either mode.

I really don't know if there is a market but I do like the idea of the development of a new small offset press.

There are a lot of things that can be done. The science for doing this is the same for a large press as it is for a small press and the potential of developing new science, which is my particular interest, and using it can result in much lower cost technology that performs better.

Hybrid presses might be one option but just thinking about the offset lithographic potential is very promising if the press manufacturers would stop trying to survive by only cutting costs and start the effort to survive and prosper by developing new ideas.

But there is a problem, the press manufacturers and the print related technical schools in Germany and elsewhere, don't have the science to explain the process well enough to develop new ideas and therefore they are still stuck in refining old ideas that are now over a hundred years old. That approach only can go so far and it will not meet the present and future need for lower cost technology that performs significantly better.

Curiosity and courage are lacking.

I would add that since the science is the same for a small press as it is for a larger press, developing new knowledge can be done at low cost by developing that knowledge on a small press. There really is little excuse for not developing the required knowledge.
 
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Green Printer

Registered Users
Mueller's VSO press is the cause of the division being shut down VSO presses have now shutdown 2 press manufacturers first Drent and now Mueller
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
Mueller's VSO press is the cause of the division being shut down VSO presses have now shutdown 2 press manufacturers first Drent and now Mueller

You might be right about the VSOP web press being a factor in the demise of these companies. Even though it is an interesting concept, it is not unique enough or in demand enough to sustain a press manufacturer alone. Of course the VSOP press was only one of many presses in the press line of these companies but possibly too much hope was placed in it as a revenue generator.

Also part of the problem is that web offset is possibly losing ground to more advanced flexo printing technology for packaging. I used to work for Tetra Pak and they are in the process of shutting down their last offset plant which is in Holland. After almost 30 years of experience running offset for their packaging operation, in which they also had Chambon presses and lately VSOP presses from Drent Goebel, they have decided to go to advanced flexo in some of their other plant locations.

This was a 30 year experiment with offset and for the most part, Tetra Pak is giving up on that process and going back to flexo and gravure, which they have been doing for a much longer time. They gave up on offset about 20 years ago in Canada and the USA and now in Holland.

Personally, I think Drent Goebel made a mistake just over ten years ago. At that time, I gave them a seminar on press design related to density control and they also tested a simple prototype of my ITB technology. There was even talk about developing a new press design based on some of my knowledge. They used my ITB technology on their test press for about four years for running their normal tests of different substrates and inks etc. They kept the ITB on that press because it worked better than what they had. And that prototype ITB was only a simple piece of nylon scraper blade and a new roller. Very crude but still effective for their test needs.

I think their mistake at DG was that the owner did not allow the engineers to develop the ITB and other press concepts and just tried to market the VSOP. Personally I think developing the capability to have consistent and predictable printing with no ink water balancing is a much more important development than having the light weight VSOP cylinders. That would have made a bigger impact in the industry and it could have also been applied to their other press models. Just my opinion for what it is worth.

Yes, decisions of managers have a big impact on the health of companies. Without hindsight, many wrong decisions are made that seem to be the right ones at the time. Most of the key bits of knowledge I learned and developed about the offset process were done at Tetra Pak but Tetra Pak could not commit to taking the opportunities when they were offered.

The Drent Goebel engineers liked my concepts but were not allowed to develop them. Mueller Martini for over ten years never thought they were in need of help although last Spring, I was asked for an opinion from one of their executives who stated that their customers had basically no operating window when running UV inks on plastic. He thought there was an opportunity but had to wait and see what upper management would do. I waited for months until I realized what the delay was when I read that press manufacturing was to be discontinued.

Decisions are what cause the problems not technologies, but it is very hard to know what the right decisions are. But on the other hand, I would say that for the general printer, most would not care about variable repeat length and more would care about consistency and predictability that results in very short makereadies.
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
Erik,what do think is the cause of no operating window when running UV inks on plastic?

That is an interesting question but it is not really an important question. The reason I say this is because once one finds the fundamental cause of a problem, the very numerous secondary causes are not so important. Also for me personally, I am not so interested in studying the numerous modes of failure since I am more interested in finding a fundamental solution.

Printing with UV inks and on plastic substrate adds two factors that make it difficult. The plastic substrate does not absorb water and therefore can not take water away from the roller train as well as when printing on paper. Also this free water on the plastic substrate will affect print units down stream.

With chemical properties of UV inks, it seems that water behaves differently in the roller train than it does with conventional inks. Exactly what happens is not so important because in the end, whatever happens causes a change in ink feed at the ductor which affects the equilibrium. Trying to describe how this happens in my view is pointless since it will not lead to a solution to the problem and also any description will probably be wrong due to the complication of the factors.

I would not argue against the idea that work on formulating the UV ink and fountain solution can help but I would argue that that is not the right direction since there is a better way to deal with this problem and that is to correct the fundamental problem of ink feed. When the ink feed problem is corrected, the ink and fountain solution chemists can optimize the formulations for better performance without trying to solve a problem that is not really due to the chemistry of these components.

On the first day that I was at the Drent Goebel plant and this was before I gave my seminar, we tested the ITB on their test press. We ran UV inks on coated, uncoated and plastic coated substrate. The press was run from low speeds to up to mid 400 meters/min. Water setting were run from normal to excessive (plate soaking wet).

In all tests the density was quite consistent under these different conditions. I was very surprised that when they measured dot gain on the coated and uncoated substrates, there was little difference in dot gain between low and high water rates. This consistency of dot gain may be related to the particular inks and fountain solutions used and I would not say that it was a result one might see for other combinations. Certainly something that would need further investigations. Possibly, UV ink perform better with regard to this than conventional inks due to the difference in how they deal with water. Just an idea.

Printing on plastic did show print quality problems due to the excess water interfering with edges of the print but there was no sign of washout. But this was seen when printing at excessive water setting levels one would never see in normal production.

So basically one could greatly increase the operating window for printing UV inks on plastic. This would also be true for printing on metal.
 

Green Printer

Registered Users
That is an interesting question but it is not really an important question. The reason I say this is because once one finds the fundamental cause of a problem, the very numerous secondary causes are not so important. Also for me personally, I am not so interested in studying the numerous modes of failure since I am more interested in finding a fundamental solution.


Is every problem with offset always solved using the ITB? It appears that ink and fountain chemistry have very little influences according to your observations.
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
Is every problem with offset always solved using the ITB? It appears that ink and fountain chemistry have very little influences according to your observations.

Your comment is an over simplification of what I have been try to say for a very long time. I have never said the ITB was the solution to every problem. There is a problem of ink feed in offset presses and this does affect how people perceive the process. The ITB is only one way to address that issue and there are other ways to correct the ink feed problem.

Most of my comments over a very long time are related to the density control problem. The variability of print density and the problem that operators have in balancing ink and water. This is not a chemical problem.

When the ink feed is corrected so it is consistent and independent of variables such as changes in water, roller train temperature and press speed etc. (a positive ink feed system) then there is no balancing. The operator sets the ink feed to what is required for the print density and he sets the water feed to provide the right quality of print. Adjusting the water will not affect the amount of ink printed.

I never try to discuss the chemical issues related to the separation of inking of the non-image and image areas of the plate. That is not my area of interest and basically I don't see that as much of a problem since it seems to work well every day for most printing operations all around the world. What does not work so well is the control of density with respect to consistency and predicability.

Of course chemistry is important but it is also good to know what the cause is for a specific issue and address it properly. Not all problems are corrected by chemistry.
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
Isn't the film transferred a combination of ink and water? Adjusting the water would change the volume of film transferred.


Absolutely right. Basically what is important is the amount of ink in that combined film that is transferred. It's the ink that provides the print density and not the water. Also the water eventually evaporates, which on its own does not change the print density.

When some people talk of density being related to ink film thickness, its not quite correct. It not the total film thickness but the amount of ink in that film that relates to the density.

So adjusting water will not change density if the amount of ink remains consistent.
 

Green Printer

Registered Users
Doesn't the film always split about 50% during transfer from plate to blanket to substrate. If there is more water in the film wouldn't there be less ink in the film to transfer?
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
Doesn't the film always split about 50% during transfer from plate to blanket to substrate. If there is more water in the film wouldn't there be less ink in the film to transfer?

The idea of the 50% split is used as a convenient way to think about ink splitting in general. When doing a calculation of the ink distribution in the roller train, a 50% split is used without any consideration of the water. So the 50% split is most probably not true and would depend on the specific conditions in a nip. Temperature differences between rollers can change the split ratio and so can differences in water content in the films, which you would get in areas near the dampener.

When thinking about ink transfer in general, one should think in terms of the total system from the ink feed to the substrate. This is a dynamic system and the ink films on all the rollers will find their own levels based on the splitting of the ink and water films in the nips and the amount of ink being fed into the press and the amount of ink being printed.

Whether one has a conventional ink feed, which is not a positive ink feed or if one would have a positive ink feed, at steady state conditions, the ink being printed out of this system must be equal to the ink being fed into the system. This is based on the principle of Conservation of Mass where the mass is the ink and is independent of split values. Split values do not matter.

The dynamics of the system with a conventional ink feed will be affected by changes in nip setting, water, or the amount of ink that gets printed or temperatures etc. because the change in those kinds of variables will change the ink distribution in the roller train and this affects the ink feed into the roller train at the ductor. The system then eventually settles down into a new equilibrium which will have a new ink transfer rate to the substrate.

The dynamics of the system with a positive ink feed at steady state, will not be affected by changes in those above variables because with a positive ink feed, the ink feed is not affected by design. Therefore the system when disturbed might see a temporary shift in the distribution of the ink on the roller train and a small shift in the amount of printed ink but that is only temporary and the system when it gets back to steady state, it will be printing the same amount of ink it did before the disturbance.
 
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Razman

New member
Erik,
I am new to this Forum and have read some of your past threads. I am interested in your outside
the box ideas and theories and am interested in learning more about them. I am a pressroom supervisor
for a shop that has 2 XL 105 presses one UV and one conv. I am curious about your opinion on the Anicolor
press that we just installed. The lack of roller train, extremely fast MR times and ability for it to hold
color consistantly is very impressive. Is this new technology in anyway similar to your ITB system ? I am
very interested in your outside the box thinking and would like to learn more about it.
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
Erik,
I am new to this Forum and have read some of your past threads. I am interested in your outside
the box ideas and theories and am interested in learning more about them. I am a pressroom supervisor
for a shop that has 2 XL 105 presses one UV and one conv. I am curious about your opinion on the Anicolor
press that we just installed. The lack of roller train, extremely fast MR times and ability for it to hold
color consistantly is very impressive. Is this new technology in anyway similar to your ITB system ? I am
very interested in your outside the box thinking and would like to learn more about it.

The Anicolor press is interesting and I am sure for the most part, you will be happy with that press concept. Personally, even though I think it is an interesting press, I don't think it is the press for the future.

The Anicolor press is a lithographic offset press and as you have said, it has a very short roller train and comes up to a reasonably consistent print density in a very short number of impressions. I like this because it shows that offset lithography can have those capabilities.

I won't go into the details of my ITB technology again here but I will add a link to the patent and hopefully you can get an idea from that.

Patent US6857366 - Printing press ink transfer mechanism and employment of same - Google Patents

As you can see from the patent, the ITB is meant for conventional offset presses with open ink fountains and is not suitable for the Anicolor concept press.

Hope this helps.
 

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