State-of-the-art sheetfed offset technology targets vast market potential with outstanding price-performance ratio

The Speedmaster CX 104 is the new universal press from Heidelberg for virtually all commercial and packaging printing requirements.

  • Unique operating philosophy with intelligent assistance systems as standard
  • New coating unit for efficient and flexible top-quality surface finishing
  • New Speedmaster CX 92 combines flexibility, productivity, and cost-efficiency for signature production

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is presenting its latest world premiere – the new Speedmaster CX 104 – live at this year’s largest customer event, China Print from June 23 to 27 in Beijing, and also online at its simultaneous IT’S SHOWTIME! digital customer event.

Just one year after unveiling the drupa 2020 generation of presses, the company is showcasing the next product innovation in its core business of sheetfed offset printing, thereby emphasizing its innovative strength and technology leadership in a challenging market environment. With the new Speedmaster CX 104, Heidelberg is looking to further build on its strong position in the expanding packaging segment and meet the growing demand for flexible printing systems with a variety of automation solutions and variants in the commercial sector. The new 104 sheet format press offers commercial, packaging, and label printing customers access to cutting-edge sheetfed offset technology from Heidelberg with an outstanding price-performance ratio. When selecting equipment variants, these customers benefit from the system’s free scalability – which extends all the way through to Push to Stop functionality – and also from tailored configurations with as many as 15 printing/coating units.

“Heidelberg is investing in the industry’s future. With the new, intelligent Speedmaster CX 104, we’re making our customers and Heidelberg itself far more competitive,” says CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “We’ve developed the press for a broad cross-section of customers and a wide range of applications to target the vast market potential. With our new universal press in the 70 x 100 format, Heidelberg is making state-of-the-art sheetfed offset technology available to a large number of print shops worldwide,” he adds.

Unique operating philosophy with intelligent assistance systems as standard
The Speedmaster CX 104 boasts a new, ergonomic design with excellent accessibility and offers a completely new operating philosophy (Heidelberg UX), together with a whole host of assistance systems included as standard. This provides the best possible support for operators at the Prinect Press Center XL 3 control station and at the press itself. To ensure makeready times are always kept short, the patented Intellistart 3 system automatically determines the makeready processes required for the jobs to be produced. This involves continuously monitoring the press status and comparing it with the upcoming jobs. Intellistart 3 initiates the makeready process and carries it out automatically. Intelliguide and the Intelliline color-controlled LED elements on the printing and coating units tell operators the press operating status at any given time and indicate any manual intervention that is required. The newly developed Intellirun software takes operator navigation beyond the makeready process, providing a preview of several planned jobs. This gives operators information prioritized according to the situation, which helps them prevent unnecessary downtimes by taking prompt action.

There are also a number of assistance systems based on artificial intelligence, such as Wash Assistant and Color Assistant Pro. These systems enable user-friendly, intuitive end-to-end operation, ensure stable processes that can be controlled precisely, and boost performance thanks to minimal makeready times, less waste, and lower energy consumption. Various Prinect color measurement systems also provide optimum, reproducible color stability with minimal waste. All in all, this means Heidelberg offers an integrated solution portfolio for the globally increasing level of industrialization at small and medium-sized print shop businesses.

New coating unit for efficient and flexible top-quality surface finishing
One highlight of the Speedmaster CX 104 is its new coating unit. It is based on XL technology, which places the focus on simplified operation, faster makeready, and a further improvement in coating quality.

Accessibility is optimized thanks to the arrangement of key elements. A 30 percent lower roller weight of the anilox roller makes the changeover process more ergonomic and far faster. A time saving of up to 75 percent based on one-person operation has already been confirmed under real-life conditions by pilot customers. The new coating blanket cylinder will make changing coating forms easier and up to 25 percent faster. A combination clamping system for coating blankets and coating plates maximizes the number of possible applications. The pairing of a new, compact bearing unit and a new chambered blade concept ensures homogeneous application of coatings, even at the highest speeds. The Speedmaster CX 104 is the first press to use as standard the new “pulse laser process” (PLP) screen rollers manufactured by Heidelberg. This patented process with targeted laser pulses enables particularly gentle engraving, which results in homogeneous coating surfaces and thus uniformly high gloss levels. These advantages come into their own with UV coatings and when using a helical engraved anilox roller with the new pressurized chamber blade system. Consistent pressure in the chamber suppresses foaming by preventing air pockets in the coating. Even at maximum printing speeds, excellent gloss results and effects can be achieved under stable production conditions. All functions can be operated intuitively on the coating unit itself, and many functions can also be controlled efficiently and adjusted remotely from Press Center XL 3.

Innovations in inking/dampening unit increase versatility
The inking/dampening unit on the new Speedmaster CX 104 is geared to optimum quality and productivity. Additional functions are also available for customers that are looking to further boost the performance of the inking/dampening unit, especially in UV printing. For example, integrated ink mist extraction cuts pressroom emissions, in particular at high printing speeds. An automatic ink agitator ensures high printing quality by keeping the viscosity of the UV ink constant. An additional washup solution supply is optionally available for mixed operation with conventional and UV inks. Switching between UV and conventional operation means the correct washup solution is used fully automatically and this makes the washup process far faster. The Auto Protect option protects the rollers in the inking units without a color assignment by applying Saphira Roller Protection Liquid. Intellistart 3 controls this process automatically based on the job data and printing unit assignment, which means no manual intervention is required. This also applies to deep cleaning – another extra – which is automatically suggested when switching from dark to light colors so that the operator can complete other tasks in parallel, saving around five minutes per printing unit.

“Series production of the Speedmaster CX 104 has already started and anyone anywhere in the world who is interested in ordering the new press can do so,” says Florian Franken, the Heidelberg product manager responsible for the Speedmaster CX 104. “A number of European pilot customers in the various market segments are already working successfully with our new solution and are reporting productivity gains of up to 20 percent, which exceeds even our own expectations,” he adds.

New Speedmaster CX 92 combines flexibility, productivity, and cost-efficiency for signature production
To coincide with the market launch of the Speedmaster CX 104, Heidelberg is also unveiling the new Speedmaster CX 92. Like the Speedmaster CX 104, it benefits from a new, ergonomic design, the newly designed coating unit, and the innovations in the inking/dampening unit.

This model also comes with the new Press Center generation and Intellistart 3 as standard, with even the basic version offering a high level of flexibility and productivity. With the launch of Prinect Inpress Control 3 and Intelliline for the Speedmaster CX 92 autonomous printing based on the Push to Stop philosophy is now possible for the first time – a step forward compared with the previous model. In addition to the cost-efficiency achieved by using 20 percent less printing plate material, process efficiency is also improved thanks to faster makeready and a reduction in waste. That makes the Speedmaster CX 92 the ideal press to meet the challenges associated with shorter runs on the commercial market.