Precision Printing runs two eight-unit perfecting RMGT9 LED UV presses at its vast plant in Dagenham. The demands on the litho presses are huge. Work has to move from delivery to finishing without pause and thanks to instant drying of the UV cured inks, it does.
“The technology is exceptionally good,” says Andy Skarpelis, group chief operating officer. “The LED lamp is quite a mature technology and everything about it for Where The Trade Buys and our commercial print market is great and I would never go back to conventional printing.
“The only part that’s not mature enough yet is the ink where it seems that some of development has lagged.”
That said, Precision has settled on a balanced set up using Sun Chemical inks, which are dry enough to take accurate ISO readings much faster than with conventional inks where the company had to wait for dry back to take effect, which could mean a 24-hour wait, says Skarpelis.
There is no spray powder used, so nothing to penetrate into the nooks and crannies of the press, the folders and to settle on every unreachable surface. “And because we are not waiting for the sheet to dry before finishing, we can be more efficient at scheduling, particularly for ganged sheets carrying multiple jobs.
“It doesn’t matter whether we print uncoated, gloss or pretty much any permutation, the presses handle it. We did 2,700 makereadies across both presses in a month. The benefits are huge.” It has moved from Cron to Fuji plates, locating the Screen platesetters in a new room rather than placing platesetters alongside the press. The European made plate offers absolute batch to batch consistency, he says. This saves time on remakes, another of the benefits from running the new way.
A lot are unquantifiable savings: the time spent cleaning the delivery of spray powder, time lost setting rollers on the folder because of powder. “Machines used to break down more because of spray powder getting into the gears and everywhere,” he says. And from the energy point of view, the savings compared to conventional drying mean there is no concern about overloading the power into the building or having to pay for a new substation.
Precision sticks with four colour process inks, this being the nature of the business. “Coming from a conventional litho background there are things that can catch you out, but the RMGT presses have been superb. We couldn’t have achieved better results with any other press.”