Heidelberg Platens

Heidelberg 13 x 18

It’s these presses that you’ll see in many modern printing works.  They have a versatile automatic feed but the machines are more often used for cutting, creasing and numbering than for printing.  Second-hand machine often have had their inking equipment removed.

The machine uses air suction to pick up paper — contrast this with the Arab which had no automatic feed even for the last machines produced in 1959.  The suction system uses two arms — one lifting paper from the stock while another draws paper that’s just been printed away from the platen.  This mechanism gives the press the nickname the ‘windmill’.  While the small printer will use lay gauges to position paper on the platen, different Heidelberg models used different approaches — the paper was held by the windmill while printed; or was dropped on to lays on the platen; or was shifted in to position by register guides.

Inking is through two forme rollers with an optional rider roller.  Ink reaches the forme rollers from the duct, via. a duct roller; four rollers and then to the inking drum which reciprocates.

There was a gap in sales during World War 2, but new British machines following the war were sold as ‘Original Heidelbergs’.  In 1957 the machine cost £1000 and was supplied with installation and a week’s worth of guidance from the manufacturer.

In 1958, two models of press were available badged as “Original Heidelberg” platens.  Their specifications; along with the 1958 publicity are shown below.

Heidelberg Platen Specifications

Original Heidelberg 10″ x 15″ Original Heidelberg 13″ x 18″
Largest Paper Size 10.25″ x 15″ 13.375″ x 18.125″
Smallest Paper Size 1.5″ x 2.75″ 3.5″ x 4″
Inside Chase 10.25″ x 13.375″ 12.625″ x 17.75″
Maximum Running Speed 5,000 iph 4,000 iph
Floor Space Required 5’8″ x 3’11” 4’9″ x 6’6″
Power Required 1.1kW / 1.5hp 1.5kW / 2.5hp
Net weight 2,400 lbs 4,600 lbs
Impressional Strength 40 tons 60 tons

Original Heidelberg 10″ x 15″

Heidelberg 10 x 15
Heidelberg 10 x 15

Original Heidelberg 13″ x 18″

Heidelberg 13 x 18
Heidelberg 13 x 18