Innovationdays: bringing together masterminds!


From February 23 to 26, Lucerne was the global center for “high performance digital printing”. Almost 5,400 visitors from over 50 nations travelled to Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015. The trade show was well-received, with most visitors spending more than two days. Compared to Innovationdays 2013, this year’s event was bigger and included many more international visitors. Nevertheless, Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015 retained its unique character and impact. Hunkeler AG, a family-run company, has managed to preserve the appeal of what was formerly a small company exhibition, it has grown over the years. The focus remains the same: Hunkeler Innovationdays brings together supply sector experts and print service provider decision-makers in a practical and focused way.

Innovationdays is a unique platform for presenting real world, high-performance digital printing solutions for transactional printing, direct mail, and the commercial printing of books, brochures, and newspapers in a relaxed and comfortable setting.

Interestingly, at the event, Hunkeler also demonstrated its production monitoring system that uses web monitoring and tracking with a focus on practical applications throughout the entire value creation chain. The high-calibre and clearly focused audience at Hunkeler Innovationdays encourages exhibitors to use the unique platform as a launching pad for world and premieres, meet decision-makers in Lucerne and convert these leads into actual projects.

Change in the markets…

Hunkeler AG is seeing growing complexity in how markets and technology are changing. There is a noticeable shift away from the previous product-focused approach and towards more consultative projects, which is making close cooperation with customers and printers manufacturers increasingly valuable. Hunkeler has pursued this strategy with significant success for many years, and it has contributed – among other things – to the elevated global importance of the Innovationdays event.

Hunkeler Control Platform: In a bid to cover the entire value chain, focus is also shifting to end-to-end process planning, control and monitoring – from electronic document templates right through to the finished product. With solutions such as the Hunkeler Control Platform (HCP), Hunkeler is well positioned to meet these requirements. HCP offers a complete solution for the planning and control of production processes, including quality monitoring and logging. The W16 web inspection system checks the quality and content of the print per page in terms of colours, positions, contours, smearing, jetouts, etc. With the help of state-of-the-art digital camera technology, the system scans the entire breadth of the paper web, creates high-resolution images of the print image, compares these with the ‘golden sample’ and uses this to carry out many different kinds of quality and content check. The web inspection system enables a consistently high print quality to be ensured for a diverse range of applications. Printing and content errors are identified at an early stage, thereby triggering immediate action. This reduces both downtimes and the amount of paper waste. While, the tracking system monitors ongoing production in terms of completeness and accuracy. The consistency of ongoing production is constantly compared with the target data and missing pages or duplicates are identified. Defective products can be automatically fed out of the production workflow and missing documents reprinted, thereby facilitating fully automatic operation and rendering manual controls superfluous. Standardised interfaces enable communication with superordinate systems (host computer) to take place and support monitoring across multiple lines and even multiple production sites.

Hunkeler did identify a shift in the markets. Although transactional printing still accounts for a large proportion of revenue, the company is also witnessing steady growth in the traditional printing markets. Falling print runs, greater product diversification, personalisation, the need for inexpensive storage, and the move towards decentralised production are all factors influencing the print-on-demand trend in job, book, catalogue, newspaper and magazine printing.

With over 200 production lines sold, 2014 proved to be a very good fiscal year for Hunkeler AG. One particular highlight was the successful sales of high-end book lines for manufacturing pre-glued book blocks. Since these were unveiled at drupa 2012, Hunkeler has sold more than 30 book lines into the market.

Just three years after finishing a new building to house its visitors and training centre, Hunkeler AG has launched its next expansion project at its Wikon headquarters. The 2,000 square meters offer new space, most of which will be available to customers and partners in the form of demonstration and training centers. Hunkeler thereby once again shows its strong commitment to progress, continuity and market leadership, an ambitious goal which will continue to be of value in future.

The overall exhibits…

There were 80 exhibitors, including digital printer manufacturers, substrate manufacturers, finishing equipment makers and workflow solution providers. Hunkeler solutions showcase Premiering in the Hunkeler booth was the DP8 Dynamic Perforating module from the new POPP8 generation, which offers improved productivity with even greater functionality and speed for dynamic perforation and punching of payment forms, tear-off coupons, mailings and security applications. A touchscreen editing tool allows fast and easy setups. The DP8 can be equipped with up to three cross perforation cylinders and up to eight longitudinal perforations, as well as file hole punching tools. The system offers customisable, independent processing of two web lanes in 2-up production for highly variable jobs, and supports job storage and automatic retrieval of the proper perforation and punching patterns at speeds up to 800 fpm. A 22″ version of this model will also be available.

Hunkeler also demonstrated its newly enhanced Plowfold Signature Book Block production line with variable format sizes featuring fully automatic longitudinal format changeover, high flexibility, and excellent book block quality. Rolls were processed into 4, 6, or 8-page signatures on the PF7 double plow folder and transferred to the new CS6-HS cutter and SD7 double star wheel delivery unit for non-stop operation up to 650 fpm. The system delivers up to 4,500 96-page books/hour in A5 format with multiple book blocks on top of each other, and is ready for integration into a JDF/JMF workflow. These “budget bound” books are trimmed and ready to use, ideal for coupon books, benefits booklets, or other products with short shelf life.

The new and improved Hunkeler PC7 Coater module adds post-print gloss and print protection to inkjet-printed products but now offers a fully automated cleaning process and simple roller removal without tools. Operating in a Roll-to-Stack configuration in the Hunkeler booth, the PC7 was applying a varnish to the paper web fed from the UW7 unwinder. The web was then cross-cut in the CS7 module and sheets were delivered to the LS7 large-format stacker, which can handle formats up to 43″ x 30″ and stack height up to 31.5″. The PC7 features energy-efficient NIR (near infrared) drying technology, which allows up to 4 grams/m2 of varnish to be applied.

Also unveiled and running as part of a Rollto- Stack configuration, the new Hunkeler HL6 Laser module was demonstrating fully dynamic, zero make-ready, customised punch and perforation patterns, ideal for highsecurity applications such as forge-proof checks, IDs, lottery tickets, coupons, mailings and more. The laser system supports virtually unlimited complex patterns, including curved lines and even engraving effects. The system can produce up to 500 fpm in 1-up or 2-up mode and can also be equipped with an inline WI6 web inspection system for print quality control and document integrity.

Horizon Solutions Showcase

Standard partner Horizon International showcased a range of integrated finishing solutions including the Smart Binding System for perfect bound books. This system produces short-run, variable books of different sizes and thicknesses from a 20”-wide roll with no manual touchpoints. Rolls are fed from the Standard Hunkeler UW6 unwinder through the CS6-I rotary cutter to the in-line Horizon AF-566F folder. Folded signatures are gathered and glued into book blocks, then transported to the Horizon SB-09V dynamic perfect binder with cover feeder. Final three-knife trimming is performed in-line on the Horizon HT-1000V with zero make-ready.

Horizon also demonstrated the new RD-4055 Rotary Die-Cutter which can die-cut, crease, perforate, slit, hole punch, and round corner in one process for digital and offset printed sheets. Die-cutting and kiss-cutting can be performed at the same time to produce stickers and labels. And, a repeat register function allows multiple-up applications from a single-up die to minimize costs.

Other solutions displayed
at Hunkeler Innovationdays
2015 included:

Mail-inserting system: Feeding of highperformance inserting lines from Pitney Bowes in continuous operation with proven unwinding technology. Pitney Bowes showcases two exciting new solutions, one of which was premiered globally for the first time ever, and another which has never before been available in Europe.

Pharmaceutical applications on lightweight paper: Full-colour production of pharma package inserts and outserts on the Xeikon 8000.

Printing on offset paper with the Ricoh Pro VC60000: Full-colour duplex printing on a paper web from roll-to-roll on the Ricoh Pro VC60000, using latest-generation Ricoh inkjet heads with a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi.

POPP8 generation on Prosper technology: High-speed operation at 300 meters per minute. Roll-to-roll production on the Kodak Prosper 1000. Book and magazine printing on a 30-inch paper web. Combination line for books and stitched brochures: Production of books and booklets on the Canon Colorstream 3000. New Dynacut function in the CS6-II crosscutting module for automatic resetting of the trimming and stacking lengths.

Kern-Data Mail-inserting system: Feeding of the Kern-Data MK series high-performance mail-inserting system with proven unwinding technology in continuous operation.

Feeding of the Böwe Systec: Highperformance Fusion Cross mail-insertion system with proven unwinding technology in continuous operation.

Innovative saddle stitching and the world premiere of a new perfect binder: The Presto II Digital saddle stitcher from Muller Martini introduced with a Stahlfolder TH 56 folding machine including a flat stack feeder. The overall system demonstrated new opportunities for digitally printed products. Muller Martini also introduced a new universal perfect binding machine for small to mid-sized runs for offset or digitally printed brochures.

Lightweight paper processing from GUK: Production of pharma package information leaflets from pre-printed rolls to a product folded in a miniature format.

Gramag/CMC: High-performance mailinserting system with proven unwinding technology in continuous operation. Fujifilm Jet Press 540 W: Four-colour job printing and book production on a Jet Press 540 W from roll to stack. Heidelberg small run brochure and book production: Production of signatures for brochures and books in customisable small print runs.

Meccanotecnica books in hard and softcover production: Book production with thread-sewn or perfect binding. Gluing of the gauze and the endpaper in hardcover production, milling of the spine, and perfect binding with cover feeding in softcover production. Barcodes were used to dynamically control the automatic opening and closing of the clamps from book-to-book, for variable book block thicknesses.

Domino K630i: Domino unveiled its K630i high speed continuous feed monochrome printing press in a roll-to-roll configuration. Printing variable data (2D codes, QR codes, numerics, small-point text and images) onto concert tickets, utility bills and book pages at speeds of up to 150 m/min at 600 dpi resolution.

The Indian perspective…

There were over two dozen visitors from India, who took keen interest in understanding the technologies shown there. Most of them, while interacting with Print & Publishing, agreed that future is with digital and that too with continuous feed because the substrate cost remains less in web form apart from other features. Some of the visitors included professionals from companies like Repro India, Mail Order Systems, Surya Offset, Tara Art Press, Avantika, to name a few.

According to Engbelbert Stranegger, director – business development, PL Ink & Dry Toner solution, Oce Printing Systems GmbH & CO KG, Germany, they have a market share of 45 percent on continuous feed and they have already tested Indian paper without priming on their machines and it has given good results.

Shaayak Mukherjee, manager – CF (Production Printing – Business), Ricoh India Ltd, told that the displayed continuous feed machine VC60000 has 20” width and can handle paper upto 260 gsm, protective coating unit is optional. “The cut-sheet 9100 model can print a paper of length upto 27.5” and up to 400 gsm substrate can be used,” he added.

Also, there were a number of small solutions, best suited for Indian customers. These included spiral/spico binding solutions, offline coating, banding, photobook making softwares, etc.


Franz Hunkeler, chairman of Hunkeler AG, in a
brief conversation with P&P editor SK Khurana

Franz HunkelerThe very purpose of creating ‘Innovationdays’ has been to motivate all organisations engaged in digital production from all over the world to come and be part of the event, where Hunkeler could ensure the right audience to have a look at. The secret behind is not how much sales are happening, but to ensure that the visitors who come all the way to Switzerland should find it justified having found new products with innovative nature, shares Franz Hunkeler. Offerings at


“With around 80 exhibitors offering varied nature of products and services, to the interested crowd of over 5,400 professionals from all walks of trade spending few fruitful days, which include digital web presses, cut sheet printers from companies like Canon, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Screen, Xeikon and Xerox. Then paper processing equipments from Hunkeler, make the visitors a part and parcel of innovations. These visitors start conceiving their new projects here itself. As one of the visitors was heard conveying his plans to one of his senior staff back home over the phone that he will be returning with few new ideas to execute the same ASAP,” he adds.


As per Franz, as of now transactional activities form around 60 percent of web digital printing which is otherwise reducing too. And the gainer is book printing segment, where the concept of POD is taking up fast. Gone are the days, when publishers would get larger lot of books and put in the warehouse for long time distribution all over the world. “Though as of now digital book printing is costing more to publishers as compared with conventional process, but if one takes into account the total cost per copy, considering the warehousing and remainder cost, etc, the digital book printing will be a better bet,” he adds.

Finance options…

Talking on the topic of financing of the Hunkeler products, which obviously require higher investments, how the company is helping the companies in this regards, Franz conveys that the Swiss organisation – SERV (Swiss Export Risk Insurance) has been helping Swiss based companies to earn more foreign exchange by exporting. For the much larger and established companies, financing facilities have been feasible. Generally graphic industry does not have funds readily available for such large investments, and this kind of financing help them greatly.

On manufacturing…

Generally speaking, all Hunkeler machines are manufactured within Switzerland. “Earlier one or two models were manufactured in the US, but not any more. We do procure certain components of our machines from other parts of the world, with strict adherence of quality and the final assembly is done here in Switzerland. Nevertheless, looking at the perfection of Swiss people in producing components, I am of the view that we need to encourage local people even if it is costing little more to us,” he says.

Asking about whether they would like to start manufacturing in China, Franz replies, “We can think of going to China for manufacturing if a particular model becomes of great demand (may be 30+ numbers).”

Talking about Indian market, Franz showed his happiness with the people in India opting for newer and latest printing machines and has a great hope to see Hunkeler machine installations in good number in the years to come! Digital boons @ Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015

Kodak leads market transformation with digital inkjet technology

Kodak’s Stream Inkjet Technology proved to be the number one choice at Hunkeler. The show was marked by huge interest in the KODAK PROSPER Press Platform from customers and prospects from around the world as well as the launch of the world’s fastest black and white inkjet, the KODAK PROSPER 1000 Plus Press. The PROSPER 1000 Plus Press boasts speeds of up to 4,364 A4 pages per minute, making it well suited to the changing needs of book publishers who require high quality, world-class speed and job customisation.

“The book printing and publishing industry has been greatly impacted by emerging digital technologies,” said Will Mansfield, worldwide director of sales and marketing for Inkjet Presses at Kodak. “Printers are searching for ways to produce shorter runs quickly and profitably. The PROSPER 1000 Plus Press meets these needs head on, delivering print quality and productivity akin to offset, but with the immediacy and versatility of an all-digital workflow.”

Kodak also announced at Hunkeler a new offline coating solution to increase PROSPER Press productivity, the PROSPER IOS (Image Optimiser Station) Offline Coating Solution, which provides an alternative source for inkjet treated paper and is destined to reduce bottlenecks in operations and supply chains. Users will benefit from a high degree of paper flexibility and cost savings by using commercially-available regular coated, uncoated and glossy papers of varying weights.

Canon Europe celebrated new milestones in digital print leadership In addition to announcing its 500th Océ ColorStream system installation worldwide, Canon also launched its new Océ ColorStream 3000Z series, a high speed inkjet engine, available in parallel to the existing Océ ColorStream 3000 range, which is designed to occupy a smaller area for installation in space critical environments.

The new Océ ColorStream 3000Z was the centrepiece of the Canon stand at Hunkeler, combined with the latest Hunkeler cutting system and the new IBIS Smart Binder, to demonstrate a powerful and flexible end-toend production printing solution.

Canon used this example installation to produce a wide range of example applications, including personalised consumer retail catalogues provided by Baur Verlag and Canon customer Digital Print Group; advertisement brochures from GU Verlag; daily editions of the VISCOM report; and copies of the Canon Cross Media Guide, designed to help print businesses to understand and sell cross media print services to their customers.

Xerox propels inkjet accessibility

The Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet Press offers first-of-its kind features and carves out a new space within the booming production colour inkjet segment. The world’s only fully-integrated roll-to-cut sheet, narrow web inkjet press is designed for print providers who produce 1.5 to 5 million impressions per month. It has the smallest footprint of any inkjet press on the market – 11.9 x 5.1 feet/ 3.58 x 1.55 metres (including the press tower) – a cost-effective option for various production environments. To help lower the entry point into production inkjet technology, the Rialto 900 prints duplex jobs, oneup on the smallest, narrow web (9.84 inches/250 millimeters).

The device offers the speed and image quality required to take on full-colour, personalised direct-mail, statements and book production. Its all-in-one design means the front-end controller, paper roll and finishing components are housed within the machine – a space saver and service convenience.

Automating and simplifying production is seamless with a range of workflow offerings, including XMPie PersonalEffect StoreFlow, Xerox FreeFlow Core and VI Suite and solutions from GMC and Solimar – all driving the press at rated speed for maximum productivity.

The Rialto 900 Inkjet Press is the first product jointly developed and launched by Xerox and Impika, accomplished within just two years of the acquisition. Additionally, Impika’s portfolio is now fullyintegrated into Xerox’s production family and brand.

KBA very pleased with Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015

Making the most of the space available: the 1.68 m-high reel printed on the KBA RotaJET VL was used a screen stand and the 89-high rolls from the KBA RotaJET L doubled as seatsEven though KBA was unable to show a RotaJET press live in operation at the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne due to the space available, the company was extremely pleased with the amount of visitors and talks at its stand during the four-day digital printing fair. The stand featured 89 and 168 cm tall paper reels printed on the new KBA RotaJET L and RotaJET VL that symbolised the inkjet presses’ enormous range of applications in classic market segments, such as book, advertising and publications printing as well as further industrial application fields, like decorative and packaging printing. Interest in the application-specific solutions for various priorities in new markets within the high-volume inkjet printing segment was therefore great.

As an experienced press manufacturer with an extensive product portfolio KBA is also trusted in the digital printing sector with mastering large web widths and challenging substrates. This is reflected in the partnership with Hewlett Packard for the development of the HP T1100 Simplex Color inkjet web press that has a maximum web width of 2.8 m (9.18 ft) designed for the corrugated packaging market and the delivery of a KBA RotaJET VL with a web width of 1.68 m (5.5 ft) to a leading German printing firm. Potential new digital printing users in particular value the level of flexibility offered by the modular RotaJET L (web widths from 895 to 1,300 mm/35 to 51 in) which can also be upgraded after the initial installation.

Hunkeler – a helping hand in evolving the new print technology

Innovation is a dream for human beings to come up with new things and reap the benefits thereafter. Hunkeler Innovationdays is an extension of these dreams from the printing world. Here SK Khurana, editor, Print & Publishing, who attended this well attended event in Lucerne (Switzerland), shares his views on the same.

There are always two basic parameters in creating a communication medium as far as a specific ‘print’ is concerned. These can be termed as actual printing on any substrate and then converting the same into the required format. This required format could be a simple brochure, collateral, pamphlet, or even a book. Now let’s talk about the challenges posed to us in this everchanging world today. As regards to ‘print’ as a process, offset technology has practically ruled considerably alongside screen printing, flexo, letterpress, gravure, etc. The people engaged in research have always been trying to make the offset print process more user-friendly, looked into efficiency and tried to meet the ‘print’ quality at par with photo quality. And the results have been too good. But the ‘quench’ of the human being has always been to keep ‘challenging’ and try to remove any ‘ifs and buts,’ ‘why and why not’s out of any ongoing practices. This passion has led to evolve a new ‘print’ technology which could offer primarily a ‘variable printing’ facility not only in text but also in images. It is a great pride to admit that considerable/commendable results have been achieved, which also have paved the way to innovate in substrate and other consumables equally well. The progression in the process really has not been too fast in creating ‘digital’ printing as it has taken considerable amount of time.

Starting from the 1990s, when a simple black-and-white printer as a tabletop model was introduced, the journey has been a long one and we can proudly say – Yes, we are ready with a new process of print which may rule now amongst all other processes majorly. In this ongoing ‘digital’ technology advancement, other real challenge harbors as how to handle the ‘printed piece’ and convert it into the required format and this format too has been changing invariably with the new creative ideas coming out of the minds of creative people sitting at the desks in ad agencies and marketing development organisations. To make their ‘print’ product look like in a ‘never before’ format, the challenges have been actually coming out to the professionals engaged in producing finishing or better called as converting machines. These companies too have been moving with the times, understanding the progress the ‘digital’ printing machines have been evolving and thus keeping track of varied requirements so as to keep inventing the finishing process side by side. Amidst such companies, Swiss based Hunkeler AG has been pretty successful in coming out very regularly with newer products in an ‘auto’ mode, meeting almost every expectation of digital printer manufacturers as well as an end-user of ‘print’ per se. Over the years, with this kind of development with all zeal and innovative focus, the breed of people engaged at Hunkeler made all digital machine producers to recognise the efforts of Hunkeler greatly and made use of their varied products alongside their print engines. This available solutions by Hunkeler has brought them a great relief as they do not need to put any effort on ‘converting’ and rather keep all the focus on ‘print’ and its further developments. With this journey over the years, Hunkeler has been termed as the finishing partner with all digital print machine suppliers, specially wherever ‘web printing’ by digital technology has been in existence.

You might also like More from author

Comments are closed.