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drupa announcement: Dataform and Hunkeler gear up for record drupa

Tuesday, 27 March 2012
By Print21

The past two years has seen Australia and New Zealand’s transactional, direct mail and book printers re-equip with the latest high-speed inkjet digital web presses at a rate that, per capita, outstrips anywhere else in the world. This growth shows no sign of ceasing.

At the last count, no fewer than nineteen new digital web press lines have been installed, with signs that this market explosion is set to continue. While the major digital press manufacturers have enjoyed the limelight, there is a quiet achiever in the shadows; without who none of this stellar success would be possible.

Dataform Paper Processing, representing the Swiss-made Hunkeler paper processing equipment, has supplied reel unwinding and finishing components to all but two of the new breed of digital web presses in the ANZ region. Looking at some of these installations, there is more of Hunkeler equipment incorporated than the actual press itself.

Reels of paper traveling at up to 200 metres per minute and requiring sheeting, folding, perforating, punching, binding and trimming; demand extreme precision for paper handling. Even the seemingly simple act of unwinding the reels as they enter the imprinting stage presents engineering challenges that need to cope with weight, tension, dust, static, squareness, moisture and distortion.

Once printed, the moving web is either re-wound for offline finishing; or sheeted and finished inline to produce a wide variety of products from simple A4 folded and personalised sheets, to complex multi-page direct mail pieces; even a 300-page paperback novel or a newspaper. Hunkeler has addressed this industry shift to on-demand colour digital production like no other manufacturer.

WHO IS DATAFORM?

Few outside of its customer base know much about Dataform Paper Processing. The Australian operation was established in 2004 as a subsidiary of the large Dataform Group of Vienna, Austria – established in 1973 by Klaus Entrup. In 2009, Dataform Group achieved worldwide sales of €30 million and employed 131 people, with 11 staff and service contractors in ANZ.

Initially a forms printing house counting banks, insurance companies, governments and the UN as clients, Dataform expanded into the supply of paper handling equipment with Hunkeler and Kern as its flagship products. Partnerships are also in place for Tecnau, ATS, Buhrs, W&D, Lake Image Systems and Weko. Dataform Paper Processing Australia, under the leadership of Les Hardy, Robert Cornish and Bert Post, has consistently grown and is projecting sales in excess of $6 million for this drupa year of 2012.

“Our customers are our working partners,” says sales manager Robert Cornish, “the critical nature of their businesses dictates this. Our business model is heavily technical and engineering-based since no two installations are the same – a custom and bullet-proof engineering solution must be developed well before equipment is installed.”

“With our principal supplier – Hunkeler – introducing ever-more sophisticated finishing solutions, no less than four major new products at drupa alone; we are entering new fields where previously ‘high-end’ finishing techniques such as plough folding, web inspection, complete book-on-demand finishing and newspaper production demand higher levels of knowledge and technical support.”

THE HUNKELER-DATAFORM CONNECTION

Hunkeler has a sizeable 2-deck stand of 270 m2 at drupa but for the first time it is not in one of the finishing Halls. Hunkeler can be found right in the heart of where the digital press manufacturers are – in Hall 9, stand C39. Additionally, Hunkeler equipment will be in use on fifteen other stands in eight Halls – a clear indication of the ubiquity of Hunkeler reel paper processing technology in high-speed digital printing.

New products will include a complete offline book block line using up to a 30” (762mm) web, plough folding and the new SD7 stacker. Also new in the 30: web width is the LS7 large format sheet stacker and the PC7 primer coater which pre-conditions papers for inkjet printing – something that offers great hope to printers wanting to use regular offset or uncoated stocks. For security printing, a new laser punching roll-to-stack prototype will be shown. For the 20.5” (520mm) web width the new dynamic perforator DP6 will be performing roll-to-fold printing and finishing with punching and both straight and cross perforating of direct mail and forms.

Pictured: the new Hunkeler 30” (760mm) book block finishing line with PF7 plough-folder and SD7 stacker – ideal offline finishing partner to digital book printing.

Hunkeler personifies all that is precise in Swiss engineering. The Wikon headquartered firm celebrates 90 years in business at drupa 2012. Established in 1922 by Josef Hunkeler, today second and third generations – Franz and Stefan Hunkeler – lead the company. Today printers of transactional, security, direct mail, books and newspapers are just as familiar with Hunkeler technologies as they are of the core digital printing engines.

“Dataform Australia staff will be based mostly on the Hunkeler drupa stand, “says Cornish, “and we welcome all ANZ visitors to come along and meet us in Hall 9, C39."

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