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Guideline for the determination of the operational

power consumption of digital printing machines

Draft 0.2, please provide comments to

1. Scope ................................................................................................................................ 3

2. Normative references ........................................................................................................ 3

3. Terms and definitions ........................................................................................................ 4

4. General conditions ............................................................................................................ 7

5. Annex A Measurement Data sheet ................................................................................. 11


This Fogra specification was developed during the project Energy for digital printing
environments (Fogra Nr.: 35.006) in cooperation with the Digital Printing Working
Group (DPWG). This specification defines provisions for the performance of electrical
energy related measurements and the results namely the energy efficiency.


Energy efficiency comparisons and estimates of operating costs for digital printing
machines as well as CO2 balances for printed products require that the determination
of the power consumption of the machines be practical and unambiguously defined
on an agreed-upon method. For conventional sheet-fed and web-fed offset machines
such provisions are already published [1]. Typical electrical consumption (TEC) for
household devices are defined e.g. by Energy Star programme [2]. Besides the
limitation to 230 V, which rules out the majority of professional printing presses, there
are many concerns regarding the application of Energy Star programme for printing
presses [3].
In most cases, the energy requirements are estimated using the connected load of a
machine, which results in values that are not practice-oriented. In many cases the
actual energy consumptions defers significantly from the estimated one [4]. The data
on power consumption published in the past were not comparable since there was no
common guideline on how peripheral equipment and the measurement cycle shall be
taken into account.
The availability of universal determined key energy figures might enable customers to
assess the power consumption of machines better than before. Such figures are the
energy efficiency reported in prints per kWh or specific energy consumption reported
in kWh per number of prints and can be used for:
The assessment of machines and peripheral devices regarding power
consumption and energy efficiency
The estimation of operating costs for investment planning schemes
Life cycle analyses
Proof of energy efficiency improvements
Calculation of climate balances for printed products (CO2 footprint)

1. Scope
This Fogra specification provides guidance on how to measure the electrical power
consumption of small and large format digital presses for different modes of
operation. It further provides means for determining energy efficiency figures of digital
printing presses based on two characteristic machine configurations termed best
quality and best productivity.

This specification is not applicable to:

determining power consumption of individual built-in components such as serve

motors, fans, compressors, control boards

digital presses not designed to print on paper such as textile machines

2. Normative references
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this
document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated
references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any
amendments) applies.

DIN EN 60204-1:2006+A1:2009 Safety of machinery Electrical equipment of

machines Part 1: General requirements

3. Terms and definitions
3.1. Electrical energy E
(Standard unit: watt seconds, kilowatt hours; Symbol: Ws, kWh)

Energy converted to other forms of energy (power, light, heat) for the operation of
machines and
devices. Electricity generated in this process is calculated using the formula:

where u(t) and i(t) are the instantaneous values of voltage and current.

3.2. Energy consumption

power consumption integrated over time

Note: In everyday language, the term used for required energy. In terms of physics,
Energy consumption is not the right word, since energy can neither be generated
nor consumed or stored. Energy can only be converted from one form of energy into
another one (examples of forms of energy: potential energy, kinetic energy, coal,
crude oil, gas, heat). Therefore, terms like energy requirement and power
consumption are better suited. It is, however, important to distinguish between
electrical energy which is a time-dependent value and power consumption which is
an instantaneous value.
3.3. Connected load
The theoretically possible maximum power consumption of a machine which must be
expected when the components of the printing machine are running at maximum
Note 1: Maxima of energy consumption occur, inter alia, as a result of the following
conditions: Start-up of a cold machine, maximum printing speed, maximum printing
pressure, use of a substrate with the highest possible basis weight, maximum sheet
size, very tacky printing inks, dryer(s) set to maximum performance, increased mains
frequency, as well as fluctuations in the mains supply.
Note 2: The connected load is the power specified by the manufacturer which is used
to dimension the electrical power supply of the printing house (power rating, fuse
rating, cable cross section). This ensures fail-safe operation of the machine under
any operating condition that might occur.
Determination of the connected load value has not been regulated in a uniform way
and is, therefore, handled differently by the machine manufacturers.
Note 3: The connected load can not be used to derive the actual power consumption
of the machine which is always lower and, in most cases of application, significantly

3.4. Operational power consumption
The power consumption of a machine or of aggregates in a defined operating
condition (operational mode). A distinction is made between active power, reactive
power and apparent power. Typical modes of operation are standby, print-ready and
3.5. Active power P
(Standard unit: watt, kilowatt; Symbol: W, kW)

Electrical power which is available for conversion into other types of power (e.g.
mechanical, thermal or chemical power). In general, the active power of a consumer
in a periodic AC voltage system can be determined with the formula
= 1/ ()

3.6. Reactive power Q

(Standard unit: volt ampere reactive; Symbol: var, kvar)

Is caused by inductive, capacitive and non-sinusoidal consumers and places

additional burden on the supply network.
3.7. Apparent power S
(Standard unit: volt amps, kilovolt-amps; Symbol: VA, kVA)

The geometric sum of active power P and reactive power Q and/or the product of the
effective values of voltage and current. It can be calculated as follows:
= !"" !""

Note: With non-ohmic consumers, the apparent power is always higher than the
active power. The electrical connections must be sized analogously to the apparent
power that can be transferred.
3.8. Power meter
a power analyzer, which records voltages and currents as continuous values and
uses them to determine power parameters like active, apparent and/or reactive
power by numerical integration. Note: These devices are designed for industrial use
and excel in high precision.
3.9. Standby mode
A condition during which the printing machine is switched on and stands still.

3.10. Print-Ready mode

A condition during which the printing machine is switched on and all aggregates are
ready for use. The production run can start immediately.

3.11. Production mode
A condition during which the printing machine is printing in a representative and
typical fashion.
Note 1: A production mode is characterized by a stable power consumption lacking
peaks or ramps.
Note 2: The production mode is also known as the steady production mode.
3.12. Transitional-Mode (T-Mode)
A condition that is characterized by non steady state, i.e. peaky, power consumption
3.13. Machine combination
interplay of the driving (Digital frontend including colour management transforms and
RIP resolution) and the press settings (print mode, print speed, print resolution,
number of passes or colorants, used substrate width, drying setting etc).
Note: The machine combination is also known as the digital printing combination
whereas the settings strongly depend on the used RIP and printing technology.

4. General conditions
4.1. Condition, age and machine configuration
The amount of power consumption of the machine and the peripheral devices
depends on many influences such as the used print mode, equipment, machine
condition, ambient conditions, printing speed, machine settings and in particular as
far as dryers are concerned on the printing substrates used.
The machine and the aggregates must be clean and set for production in accordance
with the manufacturers specifications. The count on the number of prints of the
machine, the climatic conditions (relative humidity and temperature) and the year of
manufacture shall be documented.
The room climate should comply with the following conditions and shall be
Temperature: 20 - 25 C

Relative air humidity: 45 - 60 %

Measurement of the climate parameters shall be made immediately before the start
of the power measurement at a distance of 1 m to the front side of the sheet feeder
at a height of 1.60 m above floor level.
In order to reflect the paramount influence of the machine configuration onto the
digital press power consumption and hence resulting efficiency figures two printing
modes shall be configured and used for printing and measuring. Further machine
configurations might be used and should be reported the same way, see paragraph
Best quality combination

A machine configuration shall be selected by the manufacturer of the printing system

that is known to result in the best achievable print image quality. A reference printing
condition shall be identified and the resulting colour accuracy shall be level C
according to PSD [Ref] or better for either absolute or media relative colour
Best productivity combination

A machine configuration shall be selected by the manufacturer of the printing system

that is known to result in the highest productivity of the printing system. A reference
printing condition shall be identified and the resulting colour accuracy shall be level
C according to PSD [Ref] or better for either absolute or media relative colour
Special equipment will result in higher power consumption. Therefore, only those
aggregates that are required for typical production shall be used and hence

4.2. Connection parameters
Digital printing systems, including the used aggregates, that are designed for 1- and
3-phase connection, 50-60 Hz and 220-650 V may be used to comply with this
specification. Measurements may be performed on more than one outlet. Typical
connection points are:
Main printing unit (main switch cabinet)
Paper feeder of the press
Paper delivery unit
External cooling units that can be directly attributed to the printing system
Digital front end (RIP), viewing cabinet

Care should be taken that measurements are not performed close to wasted heat
areas. The climatic conditions should also be monitored during the entire period of
printing and measuring. The power supply quality and the voltage tolerance shall
comply with DIN EN 60204-1 [1].
4.3. Printing conditions and operational modes
The printing conditions shall reflect the two machine combinations best quality and
best productivity and may also cover additional machine configurations. All machine
combinations shall be documented in conformance with Annex A (Measurement data
The testform Fogra image quality test suite [Ref] shall be used for printing. The PDF
file contains 25 DIN A3 pages. For large format presses the first pages shall be
imposed that fill the available substrate width. For small format production machines
page 3 shall be used. Two-sided printing (duplex) may also be used. In this case this
fact shall be reported and used for calculation of energy efficiency figures, as defined
in 4.11.
The used printing conditions are applicable for the production mode. For standby and
print-ready operational modes no printing is required.
4.4. Measuring conditions
The power meters shall fulfil the following requirements:

Type: Power line analyser with storage function

Measurement parameters: Voltage, current, active power

Range of measurement: Adjusted to the amperages to be measured

Accuracy: 1%

The type of measurement device shall be documented. Valid test or calibration

certificates shall be reported.
The internal sampling rate of the measuring device for the current and voltage values
shall be 5 kHz or higher. The recording frequency shall be 1s or shorter and the
power consumption over time shall be reported.
4.5. Measurement cycle
The power values shall be measured and documented for a printing period of at least
5 minutes. Measuring shall be started when a stationary process can be monitored
for the main printing unit (machine at operating temperature after warm-up phase). It
is recommend to repeat production mode printing for each machine configuration 3
All measurement points, see paragraph 4.2, shall be measured at the same time with
separate measuring devices or separate measurement value inputs. For each
operating condition defined under 5, the power value of the machine is the measured
value of the main switch cabinet minus the power values of the peripheral devices
insofar as they are connected to the main switch cabinet. The values measured for
peripheral devices of the same kind are summed. If there is, e.g., an additional
separate air supply system, its value shall be included in the value of the air cabinets.
If the machine or the peripheral devices are connected via transformers in order to
obtain the connection parameters, the respective power loss shall be included in the
value measured at the main switch cabinet or the value of the respective peripheral
4.6. Documentation of measurement results
The measurement results shall be documented together with the machine
configuration, the measuring conditions and the selected process parameters in a
clearly arranged form in accordance with the Measurement data sheet in Annex A.
The produced printed matter (production unit) is m2 for large format printing systems
and number of A4 sheets for small format production presses. Those numbers shall
be measured for each print run and not taken from a data sheet.
In addition a graphical evaluation should be compiled for both mandatory machine
configurations namely best quality and best productivity and the three operational
modes namely standby, print-ready (if present) and production as depicted in Fig. 1.
Production(2 x 9,82 m, 1 x 12,86 m)

power consumption [kVA]

Print-Ready-Mode (PRM)

Start-up < 10 min., Heat-Up< 1 min.


Fig. 1: Typical flow of power consumption over time showing typical operational modes.
Florian Betzler | 089.431 82 253| 1

The reporting for each printing press shall contain the energy efficiency (defined in
m2/kWh for large format systems or A4 pages /kWh) for best quality and best
productivity machines configurations. Reporting of efficiency (production unit per
kWh) shall be reported in relation to 1000 A4. If duplex printing was used this shall
also be reported.
Additional machine configurations, e.g. reflecting user specific material combinations,
might be reported additionally. In this case the same reporting shall be used.

5. Annex A Measurement Data sheet
The following information shall be reported in a table for the standby operation mode
and should be reported for the print-ready mode. The following information shall also
be tabled for both machine configurations (best quality, best productivity) when
operation in (steady) production mode.
In case additional machine configurations are tested the following information shall
also be reported.
Main Data:
Manufacturer, Printer, Format, Ink type, Operation mode, Combination, Power drain
[kW], Energy efficiency [m/kWh], Specific energy input [kWh/m]
Metadata (printing condition):
Used substrate, used Substrate width, Resolution [dpi], Colorants, Passes, Print-
Mode, Drying / Curing description, Printing time [min], Printed Area [m], Productivity
[m/h] Annotations

Below is an example for a typical large format printing machine without a dedicated
standby mode. Hence only Print-Ready and production mode ought to be reported.
Table 1 contains the main data while Table 2 contains to corresponding printing
condition meta data.
Main Data:

Power Energy Specific


nal mode


Drain efficiency energy


[kW] [m /kWh] input


[kWh/m ]

Guten- Hell 200 UV- Print- N. A. 10.0 -- --

print cm ink Ready

Guten- Hell 200 UV- Print- Best Quality 15.6 0.8 1.2
print cm ink Production

Guten- Hell 200 UV- Print- Best 15.8 3.2 0.31

print cm ink Production Productivity
Table 1: Main data for reporting the operation specific power consumption of a digital press. Since there
is no output in standby or print ready mode there are no energy efficiency figures.


time [min]
Print Mode





-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

adhesive maximum 600 6 1 Uni- Medium, 3.09 51.3 3.6 -

directional shutter

adhesive maximum 1000 6 3 Uni- Medium, 3.09 13 14.3 -

directional shutter
Table 2: Meta data covering the corresponding printing condition (machine configuration) description

6. Bibliography

1 VDMA Specification No. 8873-1, 2011
Guideline for the determination of the operational power consumption of sheetfed
offset printing machines, Part 1: Printing machines with and without sheet reversal,
2 N. N.
ENERGY STAR Qualified Imaging Equipment Operational Mode Test Procedure
3 Ondrusch, M., 2013
Energy efficiency of digital printing technologies with focus on large format printing
and small format production printing
Presentation at DPWG-meeting, 4.3.2013, URL:
4 Ondrusch, M.
Energy for digital printing environments
Munich, Project report Nr. 35.006,