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  • August 2002

Evaluation of the Lithrone S40

Mr. Yoichi Sumita, professor emeritus of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and representative of the expert judging committee, presented the judging results and critical evaluations. He gave this evaluation of the Lithrone S40.
"This product is a high speed, multi-color 40" sheetfed offset press developed on the concept of a "world-leading high-tech machine". It was designed on the basis of thorough canvassing of Japanese and foreign users, analysis of their needs and collation of industry trends. Before its launch, the Lithrone S40 was proven through stringent field testing, consisting of 22 hours a day of operation for one and a half years. Development followed these themes:
[1] Readiness for IT digitalization
[2] Realization of the highest print quality
[3] Reaching for the highest level of productivity
[4] Enhancing safety, durability and ease of operation
[5] Consideration of environmental issues
[6] Support for strategic development by printers

In readiness for IT and digitalization, this product can handle the print industry's printing data and workflow digitalization, and its digital on-press function enables plate preparation by laser. Print quality is enhanced by a new ink roller temperature control system which increases color stability in continuous printing. The skeleton structure of the transfer cylinder enables stable handling of paper stock ranging from 0.04mm to 1mm. Productivity is enhanced by the addition of a newly developed automatic plate changing system, which combines with automatic washing systems for ink rollers, blanket cylinders, and impression cylinders, an automatic ink film adjustment system and other elements to achieve a marked reduction in makeready time. Stable print quality is achieved at high speeds of up to 16,000 sheets per hour.

Environmental consideration includes the use of non-alcohol dampener, an ink cartridge configuration, oilless bearings and the adoption of new spray powder. These measures prevent environmental pollution and yield a major reduction in paper wastage, contributing to the conservation of paper resources. For safety, the press is equipped with all safety devices according to international safety regulations. The centralized touch panel control system, the oilless bearings which eliminate maintenance tasks, and other techniques are employed to make the press easier to use.
The design embodies Komori's philosophy of striving for harmony between humans, machines and the environment, creating a product with an extremely high level of finish. The pleasing form takes boldly chamfered units as its basic components, and the addition of metallic paint builds new image which gives a sense of reliability and quality. This press has raised a variety of functions to new levels of refinement, and it has moved into the field of precision machinery".

Guest's congratulatory address
Mr. Iwao Okamoto, head of the manufacturing industry office of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
In his congratulatory address, Mr. Okamoto raised the importance of the role of design, saying "it is important for design to go beyond the form of a product to meet society's demands, in areas such as ecological design".

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