The Original Heidelberg Platen was the press of choice for jobbing letterpress printers in the UK and they continue to feature in many modern commercial printers, taking on the difficulty jobs of printing onto unusual shapes, numbering, creasing and perforating. However, this does mean that second hand machines often no longer have their inking equipment.
The platen refers to the flat metal plate holds the type or polymer plate which is then inked by the machine and pressed against the paper to cause an impression in letterpress printing. The Original Heidelberg uses air suction to pick up paper using two arms (one to lift blank paper and one remove printed paper); this mechanism gives the press the nickname ‘windmill’.
The firm was established in 1850 with its headquarters based in the German town of Heidelberg. The company continues to be leaders in print technology and have a 47% global market share in printing presses.
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