Day two of Heidelberg Innovation Week: Heidelberg highlights Versafire’s offset-digital switching capabilities

The German equipment manufacturer highlighted the integration of its new Digital Cluster production mode in its Versafire presses, which are integrated into Prinect workflow.

20 Oct 2020 | By Aultrin Vijay

Marc Schmitz, product manager, Versafire

During a video presentation at the ongoing Heidelberg Innovation Week, Marc Schmitz, product manager, Versafire explained how to switch between offset and digital at any time with the help of its new technologies. 

He said Versafire presses enabled a flexible choice of offset or digital printing. “Our Versafire is integrated into the Prinect workflow. Once the data for the print job is entered, it serves as the basis for all output medium, both digital and offset printing.”

Schmitz said the Prinect Digital Front-end (DFE) helps simplify production, as job creation, preflight check, colour management or imposition are automated. “Even short runs that were previously produced in offset can be reproduced quickly. Pre production samples can be produced quickly and cost effectively."

Boasting more than 1,600 installations in the graphic arts industry Versafire is, according to Heidelberg, “an established digital printing solution”. In addition to digital integration, it also features a wide range of printing substrates such as synthetic, structured, metallised, preprinted materials. 

He added that Versafire also offers embellishment options, a fifth colour and banner print of up to 1,260mm in length. However, Schmitz mentioned the growing demand for high quality print products with short runs. 

“Individualisation plays an important role where digital printing offers impressive possibilities in this respect. The colour management and screening technology in the Versafire is identical to offset and the difference in the print quality is often undetectable,” Schmitz said.  

During the presentation, Schmitz also introduced its new Digital Cluster networking solution, which can combine several machines together. “The Digital Cluster production mode is a new functionality in the Prinect DFE. It enables several new-generation Versafire presses to share a job queue so the jobs can be organised with the optimal distribution.”

According to Heidelberg, the close integration of offset and digital printing means that the customer can still decide which printing method is the most economical for the specific job and the current workload before the printing starts. “Even short runs previously produced using offset printing can be post-produced using digital printing without any trouble. The operators are familiar with the workflow sequence, and neither need to specialise nor switch with another operator. Sources of errors go down, flexibility and profitability go up,” Schmitz added.

For print shops with a high volume of digital print jobs, Heidelberg has developed a functionality for the Prinect DFE with the new Digital Cluster production mode. According to the company, it enables smart job management in a productive cluster of two or more Versafire presses, connected via the Prinect DFE.

The Digital Cluster production mode is said to be a scalable solution requiring little up-front investment for growing the digital production volume with an eye on value for money.

Rainer Wolf, head of segment management commercial at Heidelberg said, “The Versafire offers print shops a wide product portfolio, flexible tailoring and expansion of their range of print jobs, and thus new business models, and all with an attractive price-to-performance ratio, especially compared with liquid toner or inkjet systems. Over 1,600 installations are proof of the Versafire’s success in the professional printing environment. It is an integral part of our portfolio and a growing area we want to expand further.”

Reasons to run a Versafire

  • Use banner prints to create high quality applications such a posters or six-pagers with a spot on registration 
  • Add value to the print job with personalisation and the ability to print on a wide variety of substrates
  • Short-run digital packaging jobs
  • Discover new applications such as security features with invisible red toner. Also available: white, clear, neon yellow and neon pink
  • Smart job management and connectivity of multiple Versafire.
  • Digital, offset and workflow, all under one roof. Use advantages such as common colour management to combine offset and digital
  • A clear outline of all functionalities along with a live preview of your print job lets you handle print productions with ease