The Sheffield company has its eyes on expanding work for the agency market and with the range of effects that will be possible, the ability to print on plastics and to process even uncoated stock immediately, Gray believes the press will set Loop apart. Currently, however, he says “we are still in training mode. We may not be at full speed yet, but it’s looking promising.”
The company began looking for a replacement machine around 18 months ago, calling in both Heidelberg and Komori for presentations. Subsequent visits to printers running H-UV stirred the excitement about what the press might do for the business.
“It highlighted not just the obvious benefits of the system, but also the added value it generates and the tactile finish and colour intensity it produces. These are features which are becoming increasingly important for branding on high end promotional brochures, mailings and leaflets which are the mainstay of our business at present,” says Gray. “To me it was a no brainer.”
The additional cost of the H-UV compatible inks is offset by eliminating a sealing coat which has been added to aid handling and getting rid of spray powder, he explains.
Loop is running with Toyo Ink, which had been principal supplier to Komori until its more recent deal with Siegwerk. The Toyo product is the proven combination, though The additional cost of the H-UV compatible will also test the alternative before settling on its preferred option. Likewise a final decision will be taken on plates once the press has settled in fully.
The company has a large format arm running a Vutek flatbed and Roland DG roll printer which are used to print on plastics and Gray sees an immediate opportunity to print smaller format vinyl and polypropylene items on the litho press. “There will be some interesting opportunities,” he says.
“This press gives us a point of difference from other printers. We can print and finish immediately which is what is needed in today’s market.”