Digital vs. Offset. Even with today’s technology advancements, deciding how to print a job is often times still a confusing choice. Short runs mean digital, right? But if it’s a demanding client, should I sacrifice the makeready costs and run it offset? What if I told you, you can get the best of both worlds? That’s where Anicolor 2.0 comes in. Digital runs lengths, offset quality. Makeready as little as 5 minutes.

No, Anicolor technology isn’t new. In fact, we introduced it over 10 years ago, but we’re continuously working on making the technology better and more efficient – what we call Anicolor 2.0. Below, I’ve outlined how Anicolor technology works. I’ve also included a link to our Anicolor Technology Review, if you’re interested in learning more.

How does it work?

Anicolor combines both Flexo and Offset technologies into one machine. The conventional ink train is replaced with two full sized rollers: an anilox screen roller and a format sized inking form roller. Ink is supplied automatically from the ink chamber as there are no keys to adjust — this makes it simple to operate. With a traditional ink train, it uses a doctor roller that pushes ink into the rollers. However, the plate cylinder of the Anicolor “pulls” ink from the large format size ink form roller, which pulls it from the screen roller.

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Because of this very short ink path, waste sheets are minimized, and stable color is achieved in only 15 to 20 sheets. The advantages can be summed up with the 90-50-50 formula. Fast and consistent inking results in 90 percent less paper waste as a new job is brought to color — using only about 20 sheets of waste. This cuts the set up time by 50 percent and also increases productivity by 50 percent — making Anicolor technology a real game changer when producing short run work. With that said, since the machine is an offset press, it can also be utilized for larger press runs as well without having to worry about additional cost per sheet.

What should I use Anicolor 2 for?

“What do all printers have in common?”

Let’s look at the market today. It’s no secret that we’re all dealing with shorter and shorter run lengths, frequent job change overs, printing on a wider range of substrates, and pricing pressure. A printing shop must be able to optimize all processes in order to achieve maximum profitability and throughput. This is where the Anicolor technology really shines by offering an ideal and cost effective solution for the flexible production of limited print quantities from multicolor process work, PMS colors, and on substrates ranging from 0.0012 to 32pt board.

A recent study of XL 75 Anicolor technology, verified by PIA GATF, shows that the cross-over for producing static type work is only 250 sheets between XL 75 Anicolor technology and a 29-inch digital device. On the plus side, the Anicolor comes free of click charges or forced consumables, and offset means that longer runs are produced with a much cheaper price tag. With the wide range of substrates the XL 75 Anicolor can produce and with the make-ready of only 20 sheets in four minutes or less, the XL75 Anicolor makes a lot of economic sense for printers running standardized short run work in the label, commercial, or packaging markets.

Where do I get more information?

Contact your Heidelberg sales representative who can provide you with technical and financial benefits of this technology. You can also visit our website and download a free Anicolor Technology Review here.

Jim Tillery
Product Manager