The Secret Lies in the Surface Structure
Thin coatings have a big impact on productivity and quality
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) unveiled more
than 50 customer-focused product innovations at drupa 2004, thereby
underlining its commitment to pioneering technology. Heidelberg
takes the full range of parameters into account when designing a
new press or enhancing existing ones. In addition to ink and
blankets, a number of factors are key at high production speeds in
determining the quality of sheet travel and, consequently, print
quality. These include cylinder geometries, cylinder surfaces and
the properties of these surfaces.
Productivity and quality can only be maintained and even
enhanced by using special print-protecting surfaces for all
transfer and impressions cylinders after the perfecting stage.
These specially coated, exchangeable jackets - known at Heidelberg
as TransferJacket Plus and PerfectJacket Plus - are available for
both Printmaster and Speedmaster multi-color models. TransferJacket
Plus cuts cleaning times by up to 80 percent in some cases. On
perfecting presses, the jackets ensure the familiar high quality on
both sides of the paper. This is one of the reasons for the success
of Speedmaster SM 102 models used as long perfectors. Heidelberg is
the market leader par excellence in this sector, having a global
market share in excess of 70 percent. This corresponds to an
installed base of over 900 machines in the 70 x 100 centimeter
TransferJacket Plus - technologies of the future deliver top
When transported through the press, the freshly printed sheet
may deposit ink on Superblue, stuck-down films or the jackets of
the transfer cylinders, leading to a build-up of ink. This ongoing
soiling may even lead to marking on the print sheets. This is an
all too familiar story for printers - under some circumstances
these surfaces have to be cleaned or even exchanged after just a
short period of use. TransferJacket Plus with its ink-repelling
coating has significantly reduced the amount of washing required
since it was first unveiled at drupa 2004.
Heidelberg is the first and - to date - only manufacturer to
supply transport cylinder jackets treated with an innovative
coating technology based on nanotechnology (see site promotion).
This technology employees a special, ink-repelling Sol-Gel coating.
Once Heidelberg's developers had identified the optimum surface
coating through extensive studies and laboratory tests, the coating
underwent practical trials. The results at all four field test
customers were extremely positive and more than satisfied the
requirements of the performance specification. Customers state
that, in some cases, wash-up times have fallen by up to 80
percent for long large-format perfectors.
|Requirements from performance
|Reduction in washup times as
||50 - 60%
|Prevent ink drying on within up
to 2 hours
|Surface cleaned completely -
|Wash-up chemicals: - 50 %, better
|Coating service life of at least
|Table: Compliance with performance specification; feedback from
Heidelberg installed a new production facility at its
Wiesloch site specifically for this innovative coating process and
has been series-producing its "nano coating" there since March
2004. Several thousand jackets have already been supplied. A
quality check constantly ensures that the properties profile
required by the customer is being adhered to. Feedback from print
shops that have used this new product has been positive throughout.
Customer benefits from TransferJacket Plus:
- Better print quality in both recto and verso printing,
particularly with con-tones and solids.
- Increased productivity through reduced wash-up times.
- Increased flexibility through a broader bandwidth of printing
- Faster production speeds.
PerfectJacket Plus - perfecting at its very best
There are very few innovations which have revolutionized
the throughput time for each job as significantly as perfecting
technology, which can reduce processing time by up to 50 percent.
Heidelberg's tried-and-tested perfecting technology is based on
three-drum perfecting, consisting of a reversing, storage and
transfer drum. The challenge lies in transferring the sheet
reliably with register accuracy to the next printing unit - at
speeds of up to 13,000 sheets an hour. This is where
Heidelberg's 30 years of experience really comes into its own.
The unique selling points are the storage drum with its eccentric
rotary suckers and the reduced-diameter reversing drum. The
reversing drum also uses a patented pincer gripper system which
ensures the familiar level of register accuracy at any speed.
Experts at Heidelberg developed special ceramic jackets to
guarantee high quality and smooth sheet travel. These jackets have
been fitted as standard since drupa 2004. The PerfectJacket Plus
exchangeable jacket gives the impression cylinders downstream of
the perfecting device an extremely ink-repellent and finely
structured surface. Here, too, Heidelberg makes full use of its
manufacturing expertise which, honed through many years of
development work and standardized production processes, ensures
uniform, consistently high quality coating over the entire surface.
Customer benefits from PerfectJacket Plus:
- Virtually identical high quality on both sides of the paper,
even with critical paper grades and thick ink coatings.
- The ink-repelling properties prevent the ink from smearing.
It is therefore possible to process a wide range of printing
stocks and achieve high productivity through simple
- High press availability thanks to this innovative
The three-drum perfecting offered by Heidelberg and the use of
PerfectJacket Plus is a cross-format feature which is used in
small, medium and large formats. It is the secret behind the
success of the One Pass Productivity philosophy and is synonymous
with high print quality and flexibility, register accuracy and
stability in the production run.
The illustration shows the differences in the
ink-repelling properties of the old surface (left: chrome) and the
new TransferJacket Plus surface (right: Sol-Gel nanotechnology
coating) with a colorless test liquid simulating the properties of
The new TransferJacket Plus serves as a sheet transport
surface in the press. A liquid with ink-simulating properties
illustrates the drip-off qualities of the new Sol-Gel
nanotechnology surface on a transfer cylinder.
Image 3 +4:
This direct comparison clearly shows the difference
between the finer surface structure of PerfectJacket Plus and the
earlier PerfectJacket technology.