01 September 2013 Print Companies

Hertford Offset order breaks Komori UK's duck on H-UV

H-UV has proved popular in Japan, North America and France, anywhere but the UK. That might now be changing.

The UK has at last joined the H-UV age with Hertford Offset becoming the first in the country to buy a Komori Lithrone S429. The press will replace one of three L26 machines when it arrives at the end of the year.

Sales director Hedley Wilkerson is already an enthusiast for the technology. He says: “We first became interested in the considerable potential of Komori’s H-UV drying process when it was announced three years ago.”

That initial interest was kindled through further research and visits to Komori’s Graphic Technology Centre in Utrecht and to customers in Japan. “We were very impressed with the H-UV system’s immediate drying and its ability to print superbly on any type of material. Our opinion was confirmed when we saw it operating in commercial conditions in Japan.”

The question that has hung over the technology has concerned the price and availability of the special inks needed to match the single lamp that H-UV uses. However, says Wilkerson that issue has disappeared with a number of ink suppliers now able to provide an approved ink, bringing the price down to acceptable levels. “We have done the calculations and because we do not have to pay to apply a barrier seal, there will be a saving made,” he says. “And instead of having to buy a five unit press we have ordered a four unit machine.

"This will open up a huge marketfor us. Our pre-announcement to our existing clients has already created a lot of interest and we’ll be able to offer even faster turnaround whatever the substrate. In fact, we’re particularly looking forward to printing on plastics and the several other new initiatives which H-UV will provide for us. My aim in the future is that all our presses will be H-UV.”

The 50-year-old family owned business also runs Konica Minolta C8000 digital presses and operates to a tight environmental ethos. The ozone-free UV system, reduced energy requirement for drying and alcohol free and mineral oil free printing will strengthen that.

Wilkerson adds: “Additionally the complete elimination of any need for spray powder will improve the working environment and enhances the finish and colour of the printed image.”

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Hedley Wilkerson (left) and production director Chris McCormack were impressed by site visits.

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