According to COO Neil Sutton, the biggest printing industry challenge of 2020 was a lack of capacity for many companies, except those in the packaging and labels sectors. ‘Many print service providers (PSPs) could not keep their machines busy and started chasing business, which, unfortunately, brought down prices,’ he stated. ‘The keys to improving profitability are enhanced production efficiency and cost reductions. PSPs can benefit from partnering with Komori because our equipment has one of the lowest cost-of-ownership ratios in the market. The G37 platform, for instance, challenges traditional B1 sheet size thinking with its more compact footprint, job versatility-enhancing capabilities, and automation features that boost throughput and reliability.’
Neil added that although the packaging sector has been stable throughout the pandemic, PSPs are looking at automation, colour stability and other equipment and technology improvements to maintain their competitiveness. ‘This makes our Lithrone GX40 and GX40RP flagship highly-automated, high-performance presses, featuring the H-UV accelerated drying process and enabling almost immediate finishing, compelling return on investment options.’
Advance notice of productivity improvements
The summit also introduced Lithrone GX40RP/G40 Advance line-up and process automation developments, powered by the KP-Connect Komori Solution Cloud system, plus a new feeder/delivery and Komorimatic dampening system.
The automation improvements to the feeder/delivery system have promised high-speed, stable operation and perfect alignment of light or heavy sheet stocks. The Komorimatic dampening system is now more suited to high-speed, long-run printing thanks to quick colour acquisition during makeready and enhanced stability and dot sharpness.
The advanced control system supports connected automation via the strengthened integration of KP-Connect Pro, which automatically facilitates preset job data such as feeder, register and ink duct settings, as well the integration of the KHS-AI (advanced interface) self-learning start-up control system and other Komori-developed mechatronics devices. For instance, the all-in-one PQA-S print quality assessment system carries out inspections, and controls colour and automatic register adjustments. In combination, these systems and devices enable completely automatic job changeovers and produce pass sheets after only a few sheets.
The GX40RP Advance also features single-edge gripping, which eliminates sheet reversal and makes the margin on the tail edge of the sheets unnecessary. The benefits are sheet size minimisation and stable sheet transport that handles light and heavy stocks through four double-size transfer cylinders.
During a virtual demonstration from Komori’s Skuba factory in Japan, the Lithrone GX40RP Advance one-pass, double-sided offset press completed two jobs in just eight minutes – the first, 500 sheets on 0.11mm uncoated paper and the second, 1 000 sheets on 0.07mm paper. This was possible with parallel makeready and touchless autopilot printing features. The latter moves the press up to full production speed – a maximum of 18 000 sheets/hour – as soon as the ink densities reach the set target. The press accommodates thin sheets for commercial printing and board for package printing.