Three years after installing a first Komori Lithrone LS-829 with H-UV, Southampton printer Indigo Press has returned for a second machine.
The first B2 perfector replaced a five-colour press, the new eight-colour machine has replaced a ten-colour press, moving the company to an all H-UV house. Despite the additional cost of the inks, joint managing director John Ellis says there were no qualms.
“We found that three out of five jobs were going on the H-UV press, partly because there were no gutters needed for rollers or tapes so we could print A4 landscapes and solid colours across the sheet and we also have a lot of uncoated work where H-UV is far superior than conventional printing.
“There was no issue for us in taking the ten-colour out and putting the eight-colour in. A number of customers, including universities, were already insistent that we print their work on the H-UV.”
The company has retained the original set up used on the first press, regarding inks, rollers, washes and so on, with installation of the second machine. ‘There was a bit of a learning curve for both Komori and us,” he adds. Once the set up had been settled, the company has not wanted to tinker with it. Having both presses run with identical plates, inks and so on will make switching between machines straightforward. "H-UV does print sharper," says Ellis.
Indigo Press switched to Agfa’s Elite Eco plate shortly on installation of the first press three years ago and has had no problems with run lengths since. Jobs can range from a few hundred copies to 50,000. The plate's surface needs to be resilient to cope with the harsher on press conditions when running UV inks.
Thanks to the instant drying that the H-UV technology delivers, there is no waiting before a job moves into finishing. There the lack of spray powder and lack of set off on the folders is what Ellis calls a hidden advantage to the technology. These and others more that mitigate the additional cost of the ink.
It has also brought in more challenging work as sales reps learn that they can say yes to any request, Indigo printing on Polyart, translucent, plastic as well as standard coated, silk and uncoated papers. “We will take on any substrate,” he says.
There are no immediate plans to increase equipment in the bindery to cope with the extra productivity the latest press provides. Indigo has added staff to cope, says Ellis, who adds that a third folder is under consideration alongside a Moll for specialist products.
Indigo Press is the first company to have twin B2 Lithrone perfectos with Komori's H-UV curing technology. Three years after the first demand for the sharper and higher quality printing meant that there was no doubt when the time came to invest in a new press.