Heidelberg Speedmaster SX 74

The Speedmaster SX 74 was launched at Drupa 2012. Built on Heidelberg’s perfecting legacy with eco-friendly overtures, the SX 74 is an ideal press for print firms who are looking to upgrade, reports Rushikesh Aravkar.

29 Nov 2013 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

Heidelberg’s Speedmaster SX range was announced at the pre-Drupa International Media Conference in February and launched at the show in May. Heidelberg says that the range forms its “performance class” of sheetfed presses, positioned between the standard SM range and its top-end XL machines.
The automated press is also ideal for short-run jobs and is designed to run on thin sheets of 0.03mm thickness as well as on  board of 0.6mm thickness. Peter Rego, sales head for Heidelberg India, says, “The Heidelberg Speedmaster SX 74 is targeted at printers who look for versatility in a press and want to produce both commercial and packaging jobs in the mid-size format.” 
The SX range comprises the SX 52, SX 74 and SX 102, covering everything from B3 format up to a B1 sheet size. Rego says, “At the time when we move into this middle ground following the success of the CX 102 press, the Speedmaster SX presses would offer productivity improvements of up to 30% over their SM counterparts, but at a lower price point than their XL cousins.”
The SX 74 builds on Heidelberg’s perfecting legacy, combining the technology of the XL series with the Speedmaster SM 74 platform, to give print shops a crucial competitive edge by delivering consistently high print quality on both sides of the sheet at maximum production speeds.
The SX 74 configuration and equipment can be individually customised, ranging from two to 10 printing units, with perfecting device or coating unit as optional. The press has a top speed of 15,000sph and takes sheets of up to 530x740mm. The maximum substrate thickness is 0.6mm.
Speed and versatility
Speaking about the speed of the press, Rego says, “I feel urged to draw an analogy when it comes to speed of SX 74. For instance, one may have a top-notch car like a Mercedes Benz 500 class which can go up to 300 kmph, but we need to have the roads and other infrastructure in India to be able to run it at such speeds. The same applies to printing.” 
He further adds, “A smart printer will know that it is not necessarily the speed, but the cost per sheet which helps him to make profit. And this is where Heidelberg Speedmaster press scores over the rest. And invariably when you look at the overall picture and compare, Heidelberg press is much more productive than the rest. For the record, Heidelberg Speedmaster SX 74 press is engineered to consistently run at a speed of 15,000 sph in both straight printing mode and perfecting.” 
One of the unique selling points of the new range is that the machines can be custom built to suit individual user requirements. “You can have a configuration that is highly automated with features such as perfecting, fully automatic job changeover with the Intellistart software coupled with Prinect Inpress control system and Autoplate Pro fully automatic plate change, which offers unparalleled makeready potentials,” explains Rego.
Heidelberg’s Prinect Press Center essentially controls every operation in the pressroom and manages the relevant job information and production data all in one central place. “It enables the user to see what the SX is printing, how fast it is running, how many sheets of paper it needs to makeready, whether it is idle and for what reason. It means that at any stage the user is able to manage the machine from the office,” Rego says.
In addition to offering the “highest flexibility”, the machines come with a host of features in standard configuration. These include a new surface technology for the exchangeable jackets of impression and transfer cylinders – PerfectJacket Blue and TransferJacket Blue – which has been installed across the SX range to ensure a far longer service life and extended wash-up intervals.
Equipped with Venturi technology at the front lays ensures optimum sheet alignment even with difficult substrates and uninterrupted paper feeding. The SX series comes with Color Assistant Pro for fully automated monitoring of the ink fountain liner, self-calibration of the ink zones with automatic adaption of the characteristic profiles, and customised optimisation of the ink presetting. “Its Color fast solution speeds the inking unit response by 50 to 70 percent. In addition, the speed-compensated Alcolor dampening systems enable stable ink-water balance, with Vario function to prevent hickeys,” adds Rego.
Eco-friendly credentials
Speaking about the eco-friendly credentials, Rego says, “As a pioneer of ecological printing, Heidelberg has developed solutions to eliminate or reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), process emissions and cut waste. The Speedmaster SX 74 sets standards beyond productivity. Its resource efficiency makes it very environment friendly.”  The basis of this success is the tried and tested cylinder concept, which ensures reliable sheet travel with minimum air requirements. Low air consumption reduces energy requirements significantly, thus making it eco-friendly. “Reducing or completely eliminating the use of alcohol by equipping the press with special rollers in the dampening system and recommended peripherals makes another important contribution to ensuring environmentally friendly print production,” adds Rego.
“The Speedmaster SX product range is designed to be as energy-efficient as possible,” says Rego. “Features such as the Airstar Central air supply system consume around 30% less energy than available systems from other vendors. Our presses are driven by brushless sinusoidal synchronous motors, which have the highest efficiency of 95% compared with regular DC motors with 90%.”
“Combined with Heidelberg’s patented frequency control that allows the feedback of braking energy to the intermediate power circuit, the efficiency is unmatched. These motors benefit from wear-free operation, are quieter and produce less electromagnetic interference.”
Training and support
Heidelberg India has more than 80 people in the service department who take care of consultancy, hands-on training for operators, round the clock service and spare parts support, and web-based remote service. “All this comes as a standard offering when you buy any Heidelberg press,” says Rego.
 Because the platform for the SX models is the established Speedmaster range with XL technology, upgrades and spare parts are readily available through existing spare part channels. Heidelberg ships spare parts worldwide within 24 hours from its existing world logistics centres based in Germany and regionally in Hong Kong and Atlanta.
This combination of a proven technology mixed with new technology, in addition to the eco-friendly overtures and first-rate service and availability of spare parts make a compelling argument for printers looking to upgrade.
Heidelberg announced it had shifted more than 1,000 SX units worldwide, exceeding its original target by 25%. “Since this press was recently launched at Drupa 2012, we will see some of the units coming into India shortly,” concluded Rego.

The Alternatives

Mitsubishi Diamond 1000
The Diamond 1000LS is the standard model and the Diamond 1000LC is specially configured for folding carton applications. 
Max sheet size 520x 720mm
Speed   up to 15,000 sph
Sheet thickness range 0.04 to 0.8mm
Contact Provin Technos / +91 11 41555717
customersupport@provin.in / www.provin.in
Manroland 200
The Manroland 200 is a 13,000 sph, 20 x 29-inch format sheetfed press available in 2/0, 4/0 and 5/0 configurations 
Max sheet size 520x740mm
Speed   13,000sph
Sheet thickness range 0.04 to 0.8mm
Contact Manroland India / +91 11 4700 2929
     natasha.tandon@manroland.in / www.manroland.in
Komori Lithrone S29
The Lithrone S29 offers a high-speed (12,000sph) initial printing function, a maximum printing speed of 16,000sph
Max sheet size 530x750mm
Speed   16,000sph
Sheet thickness range up to 0.8mm
Contact Insight Communication / +91 11 30882442 
  sangamk@insightwithin.com / www.insightwithin.com