Long term Sakurai customer Vario Press is installing a Sakurai B2 screen press, the press that the company showed at the Print Show.
This was configured to apply a high impact UV gloss varnish, cured through a Baldwin LED UV system, the first time that Baldwin has shown such a configuration to cure a screen varnish. The 6 metre press demonstrated effectively that LEDs can generate the UV power needed to cure a press applied varnish and marks a new opportunity for both Sakurai and its print customers.
The Japanese press supplier’s screen machines are used for printing on glass and for instrument panels of all types. The technology can also be used for applying conductive inks for printed electronics and for added value varnishes, an application which has proved effective for book covers, leading to installations at trade finishers, and which has appealed to Vario Press.
Sakurai branch manager Claudio Moffa took over the London office a year ago and has enjoyed quick success with 32 print units installed last year, many with Baldwin LED UV. “Even the Japanese did not understand what had happened and why,” says Moffa. “It’s simple, we describe how to make money.”
The screen press is an analogue press but will come up against digital enhancement presses from MGI and Scodix. MGI was present at the Print Show as part of the Konica Minolta stand while samples of Scodix were available via Premier Paper.
As well as enhancement via different styles of varnish, the screen technology can also print on textile transfer papers. “We have to teach graphic arts printers to understand the opportunities,” says Moffa. “Many have invested in digital printing, but have not escaped the problems of low margins. We are trying to develop a different mindset.”
That applies to Vario Press which has already installed a second LED UV Sakurai sheetfed press and a second Acuity flatbed inkjet press at its Langley factory this year. “There will be an overlap between LED, large format inkjet and screen printing,” says managing director Dave Clarke. “People want the different effects and finishes that we believe we will achieve through screen printing.”
Printers should think about how to make money, not whether they are litho or digital printers argues Sakurai's Claudio Moffa. Sakurai's screen press can be used to lay down different varnishes and open up margin growing opportunities he argues.