DryingMonitor from Heidelberg - a World's First in Drying Technology
- Objective information on drying quality now available for print jobs involving coating
- Saves energy and protects the environment
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is now offering a world's first in the form of DryingMonitor, the latest addition to its Star peripherals. Thanks to the system s innovative sensor technology and inline measuring process, press operators now have access to objective information on the drying quality of coated sheets. This is obtained by determining the amount of coating applied in the coating unit and by equipping the delivery and any drying units with sensors that record all drying-related parameters. These include the amount of water introduced by the coating, the volume of air and the temperature and humidity of the incoming and outgoing air. DryingMonitor uses all these parameters to produce a recommendation for the press operator, indicating whether they should use a lower or higher dryer output for a perfect drying result.
This puts an end to sheets in the pile sticking together as a result of inadequate drying or the coating yellowing due to excessive heat. Energy consumption can also be reduced significantly. A survey by Heidelberg revealed that, in practice, most dryers are operated at a 20-25 percent higher output than is actually necessary simply because, until now, the press operator has had no means of assessing the drying quality objectively.
DryingMonitor will initially be available for the Speedmaster XL 105, from September 2008, and there are plans to make it available for additional press models, too. The drying quality can only be measured when working with water-based coatings. The unit is not yet able to conduct inline measurements of ink alone or UV ink used with or without UV coating. Heidelberg will be showcasing the final version, with DryingMonitor integrated into the central press control system, at drupa 2008.
Targeted control of drying performance with DryingMonitor
The Knauer folding carton print shop in the German town of Biberach has equipped both its Speedmaster CD 102-6-LYYL-X3 and its new Speedmaster XL 105-6-LYYL-X3 with DryingMonitor. "We had an extremely demanding job that we were unable to dry properly - we kept noticing a reduction in gloss levels but were unable to explain why this was happening. DryingMonitor quickly identified the problem. The data showed us the point at which drying stopped being effective and by how much the infrared or hot-air component needed to be increased," explains Head of Printing Gerhard Kammerer. Press operators required less training, reliability increased and both energy consumption and operating costs fell. "DryingMonitor has become an essential part of our operation. We are now able to regulate drying performance without flying blind in terms of drying results," concludes Kammerer.
Environmental protection in practice
In addition to its operating benefits and greater reliability in production, DryingMonitor is also an effective way of further reducing a press' energy consumption. After all, the dryers account for around 40 percent of the total energy consumption on a press equipped with a coating unit. This makes the system attractive to print shops that are keen to be green. In many countries, environmental incentives or environmental loans at favorable rates can be applied to purchase presses equipped with DryingMonitor.
Heidelberg drives "eco printing"
Environmental protection has been an integral part of Heidelberg company policy since 1992. In 1996, the foundry in Amstetten was the very first site operated by a press manufacturer to be granted an eco-certificate. Environmental management systems to ISO 14001 are now in place at all sheetfed offset locations. Besides its own production, the company focuses on developing innovative, environmentally friendly presses. For example, the new Speedmaster XL 105 has increased productivity by 30 percent with the same, and in some cases even less, energy consumption. Key components of the Star System also reduce the environmental impact of the printing process. The PowderStar AP 500 ensures lower powder application and dust levels, the AirStar air supply system reduces energy consumption by 30-50 percent, and the new DryStar dryers achieve greatly enhanced performance with the same energy consumption.
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