Sakurai -Flatbed Letterpress

I am having difficulty finding ANY information on a fine letterpress that was made by Sakurai of Japan. This press had a nomenclature of “Express DX” and was a flatbed letterpress of considerable sheet size. The press had the feed pile and the delivery pile on the same end of the press like the KORD offset, and would feed the sheet into the impression cylinder in two moves like the KORD offset. Properly set up, they would run trouble free for hours. Harland in Orlando had 2 of them at one time. Every search I have made so far for info or photos of this press is like finding info on Area-51.

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Printer neil:
I owned and operated a Sakurai Express DX in the Columbia, SC area for 15 years, until it was destroyed when the shop burned in 2008. I’ve owned many presses over the years, and would match that press with any similar format press, such as the Heidelberg KSBA. It was a sweet press to run. It had a pre-loading device, and even though the feed tray was not large like a Miehle 29, you could keep it running with probably less than a minute between loads. It had a metric sheet size that worked out to approximately 24x16.9 inches, but we ran 23x17.5 all day on it. We also lost the last of our Miehles in the fire, and have switched to all Heidelberg and Kluge presses in our new building. Since I am a first-time poster, I am going to attempt to attach an image, one of the only pictures we have of it before the fire. I tried to upload a picture of it after the fire, but I don’t think it went through.

image: Sakurai.JPG


I remember when those 2 presses came up for sale. They were advertised in a print publication, As I recall I spoke to a printing equipment salesman on the East Coast that was handeling the sale for Harland. I was interested but didn’t buy one. Instead I bought a V50X Vert. from Harland thru him. Shortly later I bought 4 more V50X’s from Harland out of San Diego, always wondered about missing the Sakurai’s but at the time I backed off because of there small numbers in the USA. Still have the Verts, run ‘em everyday…. love ‘em. I hear the Sakurai is also a great press.

Sakurai has a large showroom and offices in Schaumburg, Illinois, they may be able to dig up some old information for you. Good Luck

Very Nice Picture of the Sakurai Express DX and thank you for posting it. Does your Sakurai have a label that read “PRESSER” for pressure/air blast..The plate affixed to the cover of the ink fountain read..”Do Not Place The Anything on Cover” and one label that read, “No Use GASORINE for Clean Rollers”…and yet another above the switch to activate the anti-static bar that read, “IORIZER” instead of ionizer I reckon?
I was a pressman running a vertical when the Orlando plant received the two Sakurai Express DX presses when they were new in crates. There were only 2 or three people that were trained on them in the custom voucher department, but the press was overkill for the product Harland had chosen to produce with it. Washup times were much longer than on the Miehle Vertical. So, the machines sat unused for a long time until a decision was made to put Deposit tickets on it. We would set up long runs in black for Deposit Tickets, 2-part, 12-up. The press did a great job. One design flaw was that there was no reverse jog button. Forward only, and I saw one misfed sheet of 26lb CB white safety paper stall the press. The only solution, being that it was three-phase, was to have the plant mechanic/electrician, reverse the wiring to make the motor run backwards, then jog the machine to remove the misfed sheet, then rewire the machine back to its proper configuration. BTW, I checked with the Sakurai people in Illinois and the person that I spoke with wasn’t aware of that model. Thanks for reading.