The new Auto Pallet Loaders (APL) for the Suprasetter 106 and VLF formats support the uninterrupted loading of up to 1,200 printing plates in 106 format, or 600 in VLF format. That makes them a flexible, high-performance automation solution for highly efficient plate production.
Lean processes and extensive automation are key factors when it comes to standing out from the competition and delivering smooth industrial print production and consistent quality. That is particularly true in prepress, which is precisely why Heidelberg has developed these new products. To achieve flexibility for changing up to three plate formats, print shops can also run the 106-format Suprasetter in combination with the Auto/Dual Cassette Loader. “Unlike the Auto/Dual Cassette Loader, the APL does not require manual plate insertion,” says Volker Becker, CtP Product Manager, outlining a key benefit of the new solution. Instead, the printing plates stay on the pallet, which is simply moved up to the Auto Pallet Loader using a hand pallet truck – from either side, as required. The APL for the Suprasetter 106, A106 and 106 UV can be loaded with up to 1,200 printing plates in this way. When using the APL for the VLF 145, 162 and 190 formats, the total number of plates is up to 600, depending on their thickness. The desired loading side for this model is optional.
„Both APLs can be retrofitted, support the maximum speed of the relevant Suprasetter and − once loaded − run fully automatically.“
Product Management Prepress, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
“Both APLs can be retrofitted, support the maximum speed of the relevant Suprasetter and − once loaded − run fully automatically,” says Becker. When running, the APL 106 removes the slip sheet without leaving any marks and reliably separates the individual plates using suckers and blast air. The APL for the large format uses a transfer table to transport the plates to the platesetter.
As the coated sides of the plates in the VLF format are face-up, the Auto Pallet Loader is fully encapsulated to prevent light penetrating and reaching them. Optional loading modules can be used to extend the APL by up to three additional pallet holding areas. On the APL 106, the coating on the printing plates faces down and the plates are turned before being transported over the conveyor to the Suprasetter. Becker sees the APL first and foremost as an automated means of safeguarding quality: “Manual loading leads to a growing number of stoppages in production because some printing plates are scratched. Automatic loading stops that happening.”
However, the APL has even more to offer than that. It transmits regular status updates via the Suprasetter that can be used to analyze errors or enable integration into Heidelberg Remote Service. Depending on the level of automation, the Suprasetter can be flexibly combined with prepress to boost efficiency. For example, it can be linked up with the Auto/Dual Cassette Loader or Auto Pallet Loader with additional automation features such as automatic plate edging with subsequent plate sorting or storage in magazine systems.
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