Hunkeler still innovative

Hunkeler control module
Hunkeler W16 camera verification system

The Hunkeler Innovation Days has gained an enviable reputation as an unmissable event, used both to showcase practical applications and to launch new equipment. This year’s event lived up to expectations with several new digital presses announced.
The highlight of the show was probably Xerox’s unexpected showing of the new 8250, a cut sheet system capable of producing some 8250 colour A4 impressions per hour. It has some of the features of the iGen series, but is targeted at transactional rather than graphic arts users and designed to work with uncoated papers. The print quality is adequate for the intended market but it won’t be available for another couple of months.
Xerox also showed off a single engine duplex version of its CiPress inkjet printer. It uses a narrow web of just 241mm – with the media being printed on one side, then passing through a turnbar before passing the printheads again to be printed on the other side.
Kodak announced a new version of its colour Prosper press, the 5000XLi. This will replace the existing 5000 and has a number of improvements, including a new Intelligent Print System, which essentially means multiple inline cameras to monitor the print quality and make adjustments during the run to ensure the prints remain in registration.
Hunkeler itself launched the first of its new POPP8 systems in the shape of the UW8 unwinder paired with the RW8 rewinder. These take rolls up to 762mm wide and 1500kg. They run at speeds up to 305 mpm and use a semi-automatic splicing system for fast roll changes.
Overall, there was a strong emphasis on short run book production, with everyone from Horizon to Heidelberg showing book finishing lines. There was also a noticeable bias toward the faster inkjet presses and to roll-fed solutions in general. The event seemed even busier than the last time around, with some 5000 visitors and a general atmosphere of purposefulness. But then, that’s what makes the Hunkeler event worth attending.

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