Heidelberg has unveiled a new vision of autonomous printing presses at Drupa with its ‘Push to Stop’ philosophy promising massive increases in productivity. It will also ship the first Primefire 106 B1 inkjet press to a packaging printer by the end of the year.

The press manufacturer described Push to Stop as “charting a course towards the industrial print production of the future”, and said it would pave the way to potentially double the net productivity     of a press. 

Chairman Gerold Linzbach said the firm was showcasing “the new Heidelberg”.

“It’s like the birth party for the new Heidelberg. We have changed our mindset, culture and approach – everything is open. In the past we were sometimes talking without doing, and this is worth nothing,” he stated.

 Heidelberg showed the Push to Stop concept on two Drupa-generation Speed-master XL 106 presses: a six-colour with double coater targeted at packaging and label printers, and an eight-colour perfector aimed at commercial and web-to-print printers.

“Whereas today the operator must actively start processes on the machine, in future the machine will, wherever possible, do this itself,” explained Stephan Plenz, Heidelberg board member for equipment, who likened the technology to autonomous driving systems. 

Faster makeready times are achieved through the new Hycolor Multidrive system, whereby inking and dampening units operate independently from the main drive.

Prinect Press Center XL 2 and Intellistart 2 software, in combination with the new Wallscreen XL, provide operators with an easy-to-use interface.

“All customers who have seen this so far are delighted,” Plenz added. “Today we are already capable of printing jobs with a similar structure completely autonomously.”

Also new is Heidelberg Cloud, a cloud-based service platform that uses ‘big data’ gathered from more than 10,000 networked presses worldwide with the goal of scheduling preventive maintenance before problems actually develop.