The press will join a line up of Ryobi presses, five B3 machines but headed by an SRA2 Ryobi 685 installed in 2007. The latest investment is therefore a jump in format as well as a switch to an instantly dry technology.
Managing director Philip Stead says: “It is a natural progression for use. We were B3 for 30 years, then we moved up to SRA2 and this is going up to the next sheet size.”
The move is also driven by customer demand, for shorter runs of multi-section products where the larger sheet means fewer sections to handle in finishing and fewer makereadies on press. The LED curing system represents the “next big improvement as far as litho printing is concerned”, says Stead.
He explains that he has been tracking the development of LED since the technology was first introduced at Drupa in 2008. “It has become a mature technology that we are confident will deliver for us,” he says. “Digital printing has given the customer the impression that any job can be produced almost instantly, no matter what quantity, finish, or substrate they might require. LED does at least give litho printers the chance to meet those demands to a degree.”
LGP has its own digital arm and this will gain as the new press can take on the longer runs that digital had to handle because it alone could guarantee a job could be delivered within 24 hours. Because every sheet from the LED press will be fully dry, the sheet can be processed immediately, enabling litho to compete with digital on fast turnaround work, regardless of substrate.
This aspect will be important to LGP which has previously had to decline inquiries for printing on vinyls. “It opens the way to conversations with new and existing clients about options we can offer where before we have had to turn them away,” says Stead. “Those requests will no longer be an issue. It is massively important to us that the answer to any request is ‘Yes’.”
The installation will be accompanied by delivery of a Cron UVP platesetter able to cope with the larger plate format and to expose the UV presensitised plates that will replace thermal plates produced on a Presstek Dimension platesetter. The thermal plate the company has been using is simply not robust enough to work with the UV inks and chemistry needed on the new machine. It will be using the Cron Blackwood UV plate instead.
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