Raiseprint has installed a five-unit Komori GL29, replacing a ten-year-old Ryobi 755 which was beginning to show its age.
“We needed to do something,” says managing director Steve Bell. “We could either have spent a lot of money on it, or we could opt for a new more automated machine.” The Keighley company chose the latter course.
The Komori comes with the KHS-AI automatic start up sequences, automatic plate changing and crucially the PDC-SG density control system. This key because the company produces a lot of carton work for colour critical applications.
Bell says: “Seventy-five percent of our litho print is carton work and includes a substantial proportion of jobs for selective sectors such as the boxed candle, fragrance diffuser and health supplement markets along with insert cards, headers and sleeves.
“Run lengths on the product cartons are usually short, colour matching batch to batch is essential for shelf display consistency and they regularly involve the added value of multiple spot colours, metallic and special finishes. We also have our regular and loyal commercial print customers to service, so our workload and deadlines are such that the new Komori will be in operation 24/5.”
The emphasis on spot colours means that the company has an extensive library of PMS and special mix inks ready for use when a customer requires a reprint. An order might comprise ten carton styles, each of 1,000 units, and each using four-colour process and three spot colours, says Bell. The ability to guarantee that colour will match the previous batch of cartons supplied six months previously is vital to the business Bell explains.
The B2 format makes it easier to batch up this type of short run work on a sheet. And while the press has been installed in a 450m2 extension to the factory, there is no room for a B1 press and the additional space that is required to hold carton board for printing. “Having to fill a B1 sheet with this type of work simply wouldn’t work, and holding 100,000 sheets of carton board will need perhaps 30 pallets to find space for,” he says.
The company prints on 500-600 micron boards, steering customers away from heavier boards where possible, not because the press will not print them but because cracking is much harder to avoid and that will lead inevitably to customer disappointment.
“I have always been a fan of Komori,” says Bell. “We looked at H-UV, which was very impressive. But key for us is the amount of ink we have to have to deliver all the Pantones that our customers want. With the UV ink being three times more expensive, the cost of replacing all these inks with H-UV would have been prohibitive. And customers would not pay us more just because it’s H-UV.”
The company switched to a Screen platesetter and process-free plates when its previous platemaker retired. As he went so did two platesetter running process plates which needed looking after. Nor will there be any need to increase die cutting or folder gluer capacity even though Bell reckons that print output will increase 40% on a five-day 24-hour operation.