15 June 2014 Printing/Print Company Profiles

Komori buoyant on success of new generation UV

The Japanese press company is taking instant drying to a web press while broadening the product portfolio.

KOMORI HAS BROUGHT ITS H-UV new generation UV to a web press, offering versions of its System 38 16pp web with the instant curing technology for short run web work. The press can work with a folder or with a sheeter.

The big gain over a conventional web offset press is in length, much shorter because there is no oven, and a 40% lower carbon footprint because there is no need for the oven nor associated chill rolls. The press, however, is limited to 30,000iph, incidentally the speed of the web to sheet press it demonstrated at Drupa 2008.

KOMORI HAS DEMONSTRATED ITS web press at an open house at the Tskuba world graphics centre to a high level of interest, but as yet no declared sales. It was running alongside an H-UV sheetfed press for comparison. As well as the absence of the oven, the press delivers a less wasteful make ready with 200 sheets quoted as the typical spoilage compared to 1,000 sheets on the standard web press.

The company has followed this with the launch of the Lithrone GX40, a new flagship 18,000sph B1 sheetfed press. This is aimed at demanding segments of the publishing and carton market, where the majority of customers will be. The press will be available in a wide number of configurations and able to cope with thicker stocks than the GL version, up to 1mm on a 750 x 1050mm sheet. Komori has not released the full specification.

THE INTRODUCTION COMES AS KOMORI enjoys a lift in sales, aided partly by favourable exchange rates, partly by the success of H-UV and partly by a 200% increase in sales to China in the financial year ending in March 2014. It recorded a 25% increase in H-UV sales and now has more than 413 presses sold, 76 in Europe.

As a consequence sheetfed sales are running above its medium term target which projects a ¥100 billion business for 2016. Sales for the 2013/14 financial year reached ¥91.8 billion, delivering an operating income of ¥85 million compared to ¥6 million in the previous year. Orders in hand stand at ¥963 million (¥742million).

THE EXCHANGE RATE EFFECT ADDED added ¥52 million to the profit line and can be seen in its business in Europe. In local currency sales for the year were €107 million down from €121 million in 2013, but in Japanese currency, sales rose to ¥143 million (¥130 million). To date its digital printing systems operations have to make an impact on the business. It expects volume production of the IS29 sheetfed inkjet press co developed with Konica Minolta to begin this year, while volume production of Landa presses should start in 2015.

It has acquired Tokai Holdings, a producer of high precision screen printing equipment used in printed circuit board production, to strengthen its new printed electronics arm, currently based on a new design of offset gravure press. In the security press division, Komori has built a double sided press for printing currency accompanied by a double sided coater for currency production. The company anticipates growth for this type of press from Asian countries.

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Komori has reported strong profits for the last financial year.

Komori has reported strong profits for the last financial year.