Last updateThu, 24 Sep 2020 6am

Fully automatic AutoPlate Pro plate changing system from Heidelberg also available for Speedmaster XL 75 and Speedmaster XL 106 in future

  • Comparison between Heidelberg plate changing systems based on the example of a Speedmaster XL 75 five-color press. Plate changing times some 50 percent shorter than with AutoPlate
  • Easy to operate and enables staff to carry on working during plate changes
  • Initial installations with Speedmaster XL 75 and Speedmaster XL 106 a big success

The fully automatic AutoPlate Pro plate changing system will be available for the Speedmaster XL 75 and XL 75 Anicolor from this fall and for the Speedmaster XL 106 from spring 2015. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) introduced AutoPlate Pro at drupa 2012 for the new Speedmaster CX 102, SX 102, and SX 74 models launched at this event. The system offers a cost-effective alternative to the AutoPlate XL. Unlike this simultaneous plate changer, the plate cylinder of the AutoPlate Pro remains in the gear train and is not disconnected. Consequently, the printing plates are not clamped in place at exactly the same time, but in a time-optimized, staggered process. AutoPlate Pro achieves plate changing times around 50 percent shorter than the semi-automatic AutoPlate system, which results in faster makeready. More than 100 presses with over 600 AutoPlate Pro systems between them are now in operation at the print shops of satisfied customers all over the world.

Easy to operate and enables staff to carry on working during plate changes
The benefits of AutoPlate Pro are now also being made available to commercial and packaging print shops that opt for the XL 75 and XL 106 series. Thanks to its fully automatic operation, this plate changer, too, enables operators to carry on working while the machine changes the printing plates autonomously - in the same way as a pile change at the feeder, for example. The system is easy to operate. A plate change for a new job is initiated via pre-programmed processes of the Intellistart process-oriented operator guidance system or directly at the Prinect Press Center. Sensors monitor the entire procedure, which ensures excellent process stability and thus high availability.

The differences between the three plate changing systems - AutoPlate, AutoPlate Pro, and AutoPlate XL - therefore go beyond the time required for plate changes and extend to whether or not operators can perform other tasks during this period. Take the example of a Speedmaster XL 75 five-color press. While AutoPlate requires 4 minutes and 10 seconds, AutoPlate Pro enables the five printing plates to be changed in 2 minutes and 5 seconds and AutoPlate XL in 1 minute and 42 seconds.

From this fall onward, the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor, which is also designed for frequent job changes, will come with AutoPlate Pro as standard. AutoPlate XL will be offered as an option. AutoPlate will still be supplied as standard with the Speedmaster XL 75, but the AutoPlate Pro and AutoPlate XL options will also be available to customers. The Speedmaster XL 106 will still come with the semi-automatic AutoPlate Advanced plate changing system as standard, with AutoPlate Pro available as a new option alongside AutoPlate XL.

Initial installations with Speedmaster XL 75 and Speedmaster XL 106 a big success
Anderhub Druck-Service AG in Rotkreuz has been operating the world's first Speedmaster XL 75-5+L with AutoPlate Pro since January 2014. The Swiss family company has 18 employees and specializes in print jobs for industrial and pharmaceutical customers. It often prints jobs in three different languages and print runs mostly range from 1,500 to 5,000 sheets. "Given the large number of short runs, a fully automatic plate changer is an absolute must for cost-efficient operation in our format. AutoPlate Pro won us over with its excellent price-performance ratio. Based on an average of 18 job changes each day, it gives us up to 1.5 hours of extra production time," explains company owner Peter Anderhub.

In addition to faster makeready thanks to AutoPlate Pro, the Speedmaster XL 75 also benefits from high availability and reduced waste. This is due in part to the Prinect Inpress Control inline color and register measuring system. And in conjunction with the functions of Color Assistant Pro - which include precise adjustment of color presetting profiles to paper, ink, and coloring standard at the touch of a button - it delivers maximum productivity.

The world's first Speedmaster XL 106 with AutoPlate Pro has been in operation at Gmähle-Scheel Print-Medien GmbH in Waiblingen since April 2014. Heinz Wurzel took over the Scheel print shop twelve years ago and today it forms part of the Wurzel media group, which has 270 employees spread over nine companies that cover all sectors of the printing and media industries. In the sheetfed sector alone, the headcount has increased from 30 to 85 since the takeover. The print portfolio ranges from high-end books in very short runs to flyers and high-quality annual reports. Customers include well-known companies such as Daimler, Porsche, Hans Grohe, Stihl, Betty Barclay, and Mey.

The new Speedmaster XL 106-6+L with AutoPlate Pro has got off to a very good start. "The Speedmaster with AutoPlate Pro has already won us over with its excellent efficiency. It makes the company more competitive," stresses media entrepreneur Wurzel. The machine is also equipped with the FoilStar cold foil unit and boasts a wide range of surface finishing options that extend the company's portfolio.



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