Leicester printer Lithgo Press has replaced a ten-year-old KBA Rapida 74 with a five-colour plus coater Komori Lithrone S29 H-UV. The investment both increases capacity and flexibility for the 42-year-old business.
It has been installed alongside an existing Lithrone S29 and opens up more product possibilities thanks to the chosen configuration and the new generation UV curing technology. Managing director Mike Atkinson says: “With H-UV curing, five print units and the coater, we will be able to create a vast range of new added value effects in line, including all over glitter, precision spot drip off and spot UV.
“We have built this company on quality and service, so want to offer these special finishes that we can offer inline.”
The configuration is as comprehensive as possible in order to make the press as future proof as possible. Other printers installing H-UV Lithrones have exploited the ability to reduce the cost of investment for a fast turnaround press, buying a four-colour press rather than a machine with a fifth unit to apply a sealing coat because the instant dry aspect of the technology eradicates the need for a coater. Not many have opted for a five-colour plus coater.
“We wanted to look at the bigger picture and this gives us more options, including the option of being able to print on plastics,” Atkinson adds. “We are going to have this press for a good number of years.”
Even with a standard machine available alongside the new press, Atkinson does not expect the new machine to focus purely on short run work. It would depend on ink coverage and any requirement for expensive special inks that are not yet suited to new generation UV, he explains.
At standard coverage, there is no problem running long jobs on the new press he explains, despite the cost of the Toyo ink. “Even if it is using a different type of ink. And we don’t have to have 1,000 litre containers of coating for it,” he says.
Instead the fifth unit will be used to apply flood UV varnishes, spot varnish, drip off effects, glitter effects and so on in a single pass. “Customers are interested because this is something new we can show them,” he says.
The new press will also take on jobs that stretch the capabilities of the company’s Xerox iGen4 digital press. Atkinson adds: “The latest development will offer real opportunities to combine the Lithrone’s offset production speed with digital personalisation as we continue our growth plans in a measured, driven manner.”
Lithgo has recruited for the shop floor and in sales in order to exploit the opportunities presented in existing and new markets. “We print a lot on uncoated which will no longer have to wait to handle and will no fear of marking in finishing and we’ll be able to offer a same day service if that is needed,” he adds.
“It’s a different way of printing. The sample packs we have produced are going down really well with people.”
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