The new press will replace an older Ryobi and maintains the link with litho printing. At the same time the company is moving from polyester plates to UV presensitised aluminium plates with a Cron package.
“We are a short run commercial printer,” says managing director Chris Perry. “We have been getting more and more work that is suited to digital printing in the last five years, so this fill the gap nicely.” This is because the LED UV means sheets to the floor will be dry, ready to print on the reverse or to proceed to finishing.
“We will be able to turn jobs in a few hours,” he says. Corsham will be able to take longer run jobs from its Ricoh digital presses, making these more effective as well as becoming more productive on litho thanks to the drying ability, preset up of ink profiles from the platesetter and the benefits that a new machine has over the nine-year-old press that it replaces.
“This is the final part of an 18-month upgrading project,” Perry says. “We are doing a lot of short run books work, we added a Horizon StitchLiner in October last year as well as the Ricoh. The press is the final part of that really.
“We have a five-year plan that will take us up to 2020 and this investment will give us the capacity we need to fulfil that plan.”
It will need it. Perry says that volumes are running 25% higher than last year having been increasing throughout the recession. The company has found that demand for uncoated papers has also risen, and LED will help both with the speed of turnaround and with quality as most of the ink is dried on the surface of the sheet rather than soaking into it. This will reduce the amount of ink needed and mitigate the extra cost of UV ink.
The business benefit comes also from the switch to standard plates, considerably less than the polyester version, as well as offering a more robust product.
Despite the growth of the business, Perry says Corsham is committed to B3 litho. “We considered moving to B2 for about a week. We have always been B3 and our market is B3. There is plenty of B2 capacity in this area and while a few of our clients have a need for B2, it is not enough to justify that level of investment.”
The LED UV press will be a first Ryobi in the area which has become the centre of interest for UV in commercial printing with Komori, Heidelberg and KBA all with installations in the Bristol-Bath-Yeovil triangle.