Hedgerow Print has moved from a Heidelberg MO to Komori Lithrone S29 with new generation UV curing. The press was supplied by West Park Graphic Equipment, Leeds, fitted with a GEW single lamp UV unit, emulating Komori’s own H-UV system.
The new machine for the Crediton company is a five-colour press capable of 16,000iph, more than twice the speed of the MO. That press, says managing director Gary Radford, was one of the last of its type to be produced and came to the business four years ago.
“At that time we had to decide whether to stick with digital printing or to install a litho press,” he says. “It has been successful.” So much so that as others in the area have cut back on their litho capacity, Hedgerow has been well placed to benefit. Instead of farming out its litho work, Hedgerow has gained as others are farming out their longer runs.
Now the addition of new generation UV provides another reason to stay with litho. “Online printers are OK for leaflets and standard work, but customers want to discuss their more bespoke work with somebody,” Radford says. “As a result we are doing the start up folders and packs, brochures and magazines for direct clients and for the trade.”
The Komori is the first break with Heidelberg. Radford does say he looked at what the Germany company might offer “but it was beyond our price range. And the secondhand kit we looked at was not offering anything new”. The new generation UV technology does that. He says that conversations with Selsey Press which has retrofitted a Benford UV unit to its Lithrone S29, helped identify the obstacles “and were really helpful”.
It is the first new generation UV press installed in Devon and Cornwall and in three weeks operation “has been absolutely fantastic” he adds. “We can print and dispatch on the same day if we need to. Previously we had a job that we sent out for lamination, but it could not be done because it was not dry enough. Those sorts of problems have been eradicated completely.”
The press requires a different ink, supplied by Toyo, but there is no IPA and no spray powder which fits with the environmental credentials the company already has. It was voted UK Environment Focused Printing Firm of the Year in a nationwide scheme last year.
It will take some time to settle in and for operators to become used to the different set up and pace of the machine. “We have already trained up an additional machine minder in anticipation of running double day shifts,” he explains, “but overall the greatest advantage of this investment is simply that it makes us better at what we do and that can only be of benefit to all our customers.”
The company received help through the Regional Growth Fund and is recruiting two additional members of staff to join the business. It runs a full design and digital print department including Konica Minolta cutsheet and large format digital printing.
Now Radford is looking forwards to experimenting on the Komori to see what the technology is capable of, printing with special colours and metallics on the fifth unit and testing out printing on plastics.
“This is where litho print has to change, to match the time frames on delivery that people want these days,” he says. “With this press we can really move forwards.”
Hedgerow Print has upped its environmental credentials with investment in a Lithrone S29 with a single lamp UV system fitted. It becomes the first UK printer to invest in this configuration as a secondhand press.
Story 1 of 2
Think of the Print Business website as an encyclopedia. To make it easier to find what you are looking for (or indeed don’t know what exactly that is) we have deviseda way of grouping articles into sections, or anthologies.
Story 2 of 2