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Under the Hood

Komori G37P

Brian Sims tunnels into the daring Komori G37P and finds out why and how a press with standards outside of the norm has been so successful

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Operation stand

Keeping it simple with Komori

When engineers sit around a table trying to come up with the next step change in press design, they can spend ages searching for new ideas which can be extremely difficult. Engineers by nature, use maths and science to improve things or resolve problems; we technically very rarely discover or invent anything new.


Engineers by nature, use maths and science to improve things or resolve problems

Komori had one such meeting two or three years ago and decided why not use a SRA1 sheet rather than the commonly accepted B1 sheet size. Why did it decide to do this is the obvious question?

Traditionally, presses distributed in Europe have their design basis in the B1/B2 paper size for bread and butter production. SRA2 and other larger sizes are found, but wander into most commercial sheetfed printers and you will find the aforementioned format.

Komori chose to design a press with a format that sits outside of our well trusted standard for very good reasons. Basically, it is more about adaption than deliberate design, other geographical areas use different paper sizes, so with a very keen eye on waste reduction, the 37" format can be used for A4 format of papers producing a product eight-up, including space for a colour bar. If you are a worldwide player like Komori, its design team can cleverly accommodate different regional paper standards on presses previously designed for one specific market.

Roll forward three years and after the success of the G37, the same group of engineers sat down for a similar meeting being tasked with the same challenge, step change. As the saying goes, “KISS; keep it simple stupid” and Komori did just that. Why not make the press an eight-colour machine with a perfector?

G37P perfecting

Well that is exactly what Komori has done and the G37P can print and perfect sheets of 640 x 940mm in size at a very impressive and industry leading 15,000sph. The sheet size allows a maximum print area of 620 x 930mm, which is why a 16pp double-sided A4 format is possible on this press. A configuration and speed combination Komori believes to be unique.

You might think it is a straightforward issue, just cut the press down from 40" to 37", but it is far more complex than that. Feeder furniture needs to have the scope to transport the sheets with full flexibility of movement, cylinders need to have correct repeat length, and importantly, gripper positions throughout the press need to be strategically placed so that the edge of more exotic paper widths fall under a full gripper tip and not on the merest of edge, or worst still, rub the side of one.


The numbers


What are the numbers that underpins this change to design and make it viable? The narrower width means you can shave paper costs with the A4 eight-up perfected format catering for large amounts of publication, report, and accounting work.

Buying rubber by volume, as you inadvertently do in the form of blankets and rollers, with reduced width comes reduced volume, and hence reduced costs. Plates are much the same, aluminium is an expensive commodity, so if you can reduce the plate costs on the perfector by approximately 20%, then plate costs drop too.

Considering the press as a whole, we have said it is overall smaller in size than a B1 comparison, so naturally the capital cost is lower and more importantly ownership costs are equally attractive.

They say, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’, so where is the catch? Well basically there isn’t one; apart from the need to consider the formats you wish to print. We use B1 presses for a reason, but providing you do not need the capacity for a larger sheet size, then the 37" format basically comes down to economy of scale.

So much for the concept, what do you get for your money? As you would expect from one of the industry leviathans, there is absolutely no compromise on print quality. Looking around the press, it clearly comes from the thoroughbred stable known the world over as lithrone. All lithrone series presses are famous for the dot reproduction and the G37P is no exception.

Komori has not only focused on reducing the size, and hence cost, of ancillary or consumable items, they also have, as always, ensured that the running of a press like the G37P is as efficient as possible.

The G37P has a number of new features driving the most time consuming elements of press preparation further lower. A-APC is the asynchronous plate changing system meaning plates are changed in one minute twenty five seconds and parallel blanket washing which comes from being able to detach plate cylinders from the main drive.

The G37P comes with the most up-to-date version of its makeready system KHS-AI (Advanced Interface). This system is the hub of why Komori quite rightly claim makeready sheets at one of the industry’s lowest values.

Smart Sequence prepares the next job, even whilst the previous job is coming to an end. KHS-AI not only gathers all information from previous production, but also makes decisions on future runs based on the knowledge it has amassed.

KHS-AI is combined with PDC-SX Spectral Print Density Control, the most up-to-date closed loop colour control system and registration system. In a single measurement process, the key data from the first sheet is fed back into the press so it can simultaneously make adjustments or corrections.

Quality control on the fly can be easily and accurately accomplished by the use of PQA-S V5 which is an online print quality assessment tool. Scanning each sheet passing through the press, it picks up errors such as scumming, hickies and other errors such as missing text. As well as errors, the PQA-S V5 is intelligent enough to provide automatic registration and ink density all whilst in production. 

The GL-8370+PQA-S

You would imagine controlling all these systems would require a degree in computer engineering, but that is not the case. New to the market is Komori’s control panel known as KID. KID can graphically display, on a large LCD screen, any of the equipment deployed throughout the press. Intuitive software seamlessly guides you from control to control, and if KHS-AI has done its job correctly, operator intervention should be minimal.

The G37P is intended to be used across all traditional markets using conventional inks. But by hitting the low make-ready and quick turnaround button again, Komori can supply the press with its H-UV and H-UV (LED) drying system, which has now become synonymous with short-run print and dry production.

All of these waste reduction devices come wrapped in Komori’s Offset on Demand system, which bundles all of the gadgetry up to produce a press that will facilitate short runs and quick turnaround production, ensuring the investment you make in a G37P returns your faith in it.


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