Anicolor Technology from Heidelberg Helps the Environment

Posted: May 6, 2014

Proving that eco-friendliness and economy are not mutually exclusive, the ABC Print Group in Hereford in the U.K. has been printing for over a year with a Speedmaster SM 52 with an Anicolor short inking unit. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) unveiled Anicolor technology at IPEX 2006, enabling customers to cut waste by up to 90%.

"We estimated we'd save one million sheets and are pleasantly surprised to find that this figure is actually over 1.5 million sheets for the year," says Mike Greene, managing director of the ABC Print Group. "We therefore save over 32 tons of paper each year and reduce the impact on the environment by around 40 tons of CO2 a year."

The short make-ready times enable the print shop to produce up to ten 180-sheet jobs an hour. The new Anicolor technology caught the print shop's imagination at IPEX 2006, where it ordered a conventional Speedmaster SM 52 10-color press with perfecting device and two Suprasetter A52 CtP platesetters. This equipment enabled the ABC Print Group to quickly win new customers and expand its pressroom at the end of 2007 with a Speedmaster SM 52 four-color press with coating unit and Anicolor technology.

The Speedmaster SM 52 with Anicolor can be set up to print coated or textured paper, board, or envelopes in less than seven minutes, although Greene says they often achieve change-over in around five minutes—easily 40% faster than a conventional press. This is possible because Anicolor technology works without ink zones. And thanks to the Alcolor dampening system, conventional printing plates can also be used for Anicolor.

The Anicolor press prints up to 15,000 sheets per hour in A3 format or 30,000 sheets per hour in A4 format, offering high quality with total color stability. Anicolor technology thus enables cost-effective production of short and very short runs and shifts the boundary between digital and offset printing further in the latter's favor. In addition, Anicolor's strengths can also be exploited to the full with long runs, which is not the case for digital printing.

One other interesting fact that Greene points out is that their previous conventional Speedmaster SM 52 with coater, which they replaced with the Anicolor press ran for two or often three shifts, but now they clear their work in one single day shift of about 10 hours. "The savings in labor costs and electricity are pleasing to say the least," he says, emphasizing the win-win situation for the environment and customers.

For more, contact Hilde Weisser at +49 (0)6221 92 50 66 or