Fontain has added a Lithec closed loop colour management unit to its RMGT9 series LED UV perfecting press.
The press was ordered at Ipex and has been in operation at the company’s Southwark presses where director Huw Harcombe says: “It’s a wonderful press.” Its impact he adds has been to deliver a 400% increase in capacity thanks to the perfecting, its SRA1 sheet format and speed of makeready. This is being increased further with installation of what is the first Lithec system in the UK.
The unit positions scanning densitometers in the press to measure every sheet as it is printed and to make corrections on the fly. In many respects the technology is similar to Heidelberg’s Inpress Control 2, but where that measures sheets for spectrophotometric colour values, Lithec measures the density value of colour strips on each sheet.
The Lithec Flash unit was launched at Drupa 2016 with the first installation on a Ryobi 920. Since then a number of the Japanese presses in Europe have had the system fitted as have presses from Koenig & Bauer, Manroland and Komori. The system at Fontain also includes colour reference for Pantone colours, including metallics, says Harcombe.
It is an alternative to the RMGT colour control system. This ensures that the colour quality remains consistent once the pass sheet is achieved. In contrast, says Harcombe, the use of presetting data and density information helps cut makeready time. There is no need to pull sheets and measure them outside the press, as this takes place automatically within the machine.
“I have had three presses previously with Inpress Control, and while this doesn’t do exactly what Heidelberg does, it’s a pretty close competitor at a much reduced price. It’s still early days for it, but so far I’m pretty impressed,” he says.
The press is also being fitted with Technotrans Inkline ink dispensers. These will deliver Toyo Inks to the press. “We have found that their inks provided a better combination with the press,” he adds.
The company came across the Lithec unit which had been installed on a RMGT press in Belgium while on a site visit to a printer in Poland. “The dealer, who was acting as translator for us, had a video of the technology,” says Harcombe. It was also an eye opener to Apex Digital Graphics, UK distributor of the RMGT9 presses.
“This is the first Lithec unit that we have installed,” says Apex sales director Neil Handforth. “It provides for complete image control on the press for guaranteed optimum results. The system provides measurement and control of spectral, LAB and density values, as well as grey balance on an LAB-basis. It integrates very well with RMGT’s PDS-E SpectroDrive inline printing quality control.”