Selsey Press added a single-lamp UV system to one of the two Komori presses at its Chichester factory following a decision to buy an Ecocure unit from Benford UV at Ipex.
It has been fitted to the company’s six-year-old, five-colour B2 Lithrone where says director David Lamdin “it is doing exactly what it says on the tin”. The company has been producing more and more work on uncoated papers and like others has felt the pressure on run lengths and turnaround times. A job on uncoated paper might dry overnight, but equally might take two or three days to dry enough to be finished without fear of marking. The new generation UV system takes all that away.
“It was a bit of a leap of faith for us,” says Lamdin. “We didn’t go down the OEM route as both Komoris are pretty new presses, the newest is only two years old and because we operate a single shift neither is high mileage, so buying a new press made no sense.”
The company installed the newer Lithrone S29 in 2012, at that time to cope with a steady increase of work that the company wanted to produce within its single shift plus overtime arrangements. At that time new generation UV was not on the radar. “We needed more capacity and the new press would give us that much more power,” he says.
Installation meant changing all the rollers and blankets to UV specification and running Toyo’s ink. This was developed for Komori’s H-UV system and says Lamdin while others have developed inks that work with new generation UV, he wanted to stay as close to the Komori specification as possible.
It has also meant switching to a new fount, the elimination of a sealing coat and no spray powder which in turn means the operator escapes having to clean this from the press before each night.
Selsey is directing its short run uncoated work to this machine as this is where the greatest benefit lies, but as there is no discernible quality difference between conventional and UV printed sheets, there is no need to farm work according to customer or job. “More and more of our work is shorter runs and faster turnarounds and the Komoris are incredibly quick at makeready,” he adds. “The reason for the UV investment is to let us turn this work around quickly.”
The company has yet to discover any impact on ink usage. As there are few repeat jobs there can be no immediate like for like comparison and it is too soon to check over an extended period. The theory is that because the ink is dried on the surface of an uncoated paper, less will be applied. “But the idea is that we will use this machine for the shorter runs where we are not using as much ink and the cost of the ink has less impact than on a long run job,” he explains. It is why Selsey is unlikely to fit the same technology to its other presses.
The fifth unit is no longer needed for application of a coating and is instead available for a spot colour. “We are using this for Pantone colours, the first in the UK to buy these from Toyo,” Lamdin continues. It can also be used for varnishes and to create new effects, but this is not something that has come up as yet. Selsey is driven by its customers and for them the key benefit is that the job is delivered on time and to the right quality.
“Those customers that understand what we’ve done are very enthusiastic because they can see the benefit in terms of turnaround, though we haven’t experienced them asking for this as yet. The impact is going to be more beneficial to us than to our customers. It gives us confidence that when we print something we know when we will be able to finish it.”
“More and more of our work is shorter runs and faster turnarounds and the Komoris are incredibly quick at makeready,” says David Lamdin. “The reason for the UV investment is to let us turn this work around quickly.”
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