No 52                      Press Gallery          December, 2008

Heidelberg
Automatic Platen
'Heidelberger Tiegel'
1930

Maximum Sheet Size
Maximum Speed
Floor Space
Weight
Power

10.25" x 14.2" (260 x 360 mm)
3,000 impressions per hour
42" x 47" (1060 x 1200 mm)
1.05 ton (1070 kg)
1 horsepower (1.1 kw)


MANUFACTURED BY
Schnellpressenfabrik AG., Heidelberg
(Heidelberg Rapid Press Works)

HEIDELBERG, GERMANY

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This model, called the "Super Heidelberg" by the German company ("Super-Speed" in Australia and possibly elsewhere and nick-named 'Windmill' by some, due to the action of the twin feed grippers) was introduced to the market around 1924, the same year as an assembly line - the first of its kind for the production of printing presses - was set-up to cater for heavy demand for the product.
Designed and built by skilled craftsmen, the platen features a solid one piece frame with heavy base, combining quality metal alloys and highest quality steel shafts and facings. The platen itself was driven from below it's hinge (fulcrum) by a toggle lever arrangement which 'pushed' the platen onto impression (see diagram), could be regulated for different pressure settings and also acted as a 'throw-off' device. The twin gripper blades held the sheet through the complete cycle.
Contrary to popular belief, the 1930 model was not equipped with register guides, they did not appear till early 1931, so accurate register was impossible, naturally Heidelberg do not mention this. This however did not effect its popularity!

The first issue of "Heidelberg News" appeared in January, 1930 and was intended to educate and up-date printers with the development of the press and technology in general. It stated "11,000 printing [platen] presses are scattered across all nations of the world where the printed word fulfils a mission", an incredible output considering production only really began in 1921 after the cessation of WWI.

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