Deltabach, our prime-flying commercial print house based here, has reported a significant upturn in operation following its adoption in the latest generation LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems. The AMS XP9/17W unit was retrofitted to its latte printer earlier this past year but, as Deltabach Director Marc de Jong explains, it wasn’t before the final quarter that the potential of the newest system to change his business became fully evident.
“Our primary reason behind making an investment in the AMS LED-UV technology would be to raise the efficiency and productivity of our B1 press,” he shares. “It took us quite some time to get the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and processes, but the numbers reveal that this primary objective has become realized. In ahead of the upgrade we printed 24 million sheets; that rose to 30 million, pro rata, during our transition period now, when we maintain our current quantities of output, we are going to hit 36 million sheets this current year. This is with no alterations in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use and with added savings on such things as spray powder, which we no longer use.”
The rise in productivity is largely the result of three key great things about the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First in the year 2011, following a three-year period where its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach made the decision to exchange its B2 press with the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, the additional costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and attracting a larger guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch to some long delivery to the press. The compromise turned out to be problematic in practice: “It meant we were only capable of run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets an hour) when coating and also this was obviously not satisfactory from the commercial standpoint,” says Marc de Jong. “With the AMS system we don’t have to coat, so that we can run every job at approximately 16,500 sph – that’s a 20% differential.”
Second, sheets printed with AMS LED-UV curing are dry inside the delivery and so are ready for fast printing around the reverse side and downstream processing:
“This doesn’t just mean we are able to promise better turnaround times to the customers,” explains Mr de Jong, “it features a major effect on our pressroom practice. Previously, on turn-and-tumble work, especially where uncoated or smooth papers were involved, the operator would output eight plates since the job would have to wait – maybe overnight, or perhaps longer – just before the piles could be turned and place back throughout the press. Obviously, then another 10 minutes can be lost in obtaining the settings straight back to the right levels… now we turn and go ahead. By trying to quantify that – it’s amazing. In addition, it gives another dimension to our planning since the timings have become predictable.”
As well as the third factor is a that is certainly often cited, but perhaps without its full ramifications being appreciated:
“By eliminating spray powder we not only make life easier on the press as well as in the bindery, and enhance the product for your customer, our company is boosting the production time located on the press,” shares de Jong. “We utilized to take three hours at the end of every week to de-powder the press, and the same was true of a lot of the finishing machines, given that is no longer required it might be more available production up-time. This factors in to our main point here. We also save dexmpky56 for an hour each day as the LED-UV inks overnight in the ducts, and many more time with the coating unit, where we once had to improve plates and clean up between different jobs.”
The impact from the changes on workflow is clearly visible inside the a4 uv printer where a large floor space is marked out into eight ‘lanes.’ This was formerly the marshaling yard where pallets of print were held and shuffled since they waited to dry before turning and reverse printing, or moving to share-press. It now acts as a buffer zone for print that is certainly immediately ready for the following process, leaving lots of free space for, possibly, another press investment.
With up to 70% of the business being with agencies, brokers and also other printers, production efficiency is important for Deltabach to guard its margins and keep its prices competitive. Now the added features of the AMS LED-UV technology will also be helping win new company. As de Jong continues, “Many of the major brand owners and designers specify a need for coating as standard procedure. We now have been able to demonstrate them that this is not really necessary when you use our system… we actually placed our product among those using their other suppliers and they couldn’t spot the difference. It was the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the rewards have already been even more dramatic. A significant national lottery company have been employing a spread of print houses to deliver its an incredible number of tickets for mailing to potential entrants. The A4 sheets are printed on G-Print using the personalized ticket facts about one side as well as the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID on the other. As a result, the waviness of your papers from your coating, and slippage from your spray powders were causing mayhem on the mailing house:
“When we switched to the AMS system we supplied our quota as usual, but without telling your client of your alternation in production,” explains de Jong. “It had not been well before they called us in as their mailing house was demanding for the tickets to be supplied this way. Their machines had never run very well. They could also notice that the caliber of the solid was better, too, and the truth that we have been now capable of supply at such short notice meant we won the full contract.”
Now Deltabach is exploring other aspects of the huge benefits that this AMS LED-UV brings. For just one of their property agency clients it can be already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which was once sent for screen printing as they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under method for innovative POS, packaging and promotional gifts on unusual substrates that have added-value to build better margins. Mr de Jong sees this like a separate enterprise, which will be geared towards direct customers throughout the region:
“We will appear at any display, promotional or printed requirements the consumer might have therefore we will supply. As far as our commercial printing service is concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV made a significant difference, like waving a magic wand over our business. The designers love the product quality and the texture of our print, we compete on price and we are becoming a reputation as being the go-to supplier for quick turnaround work – even the same day – that’s pretty tough to beat.”
For Air Motion Systems, European Managing Director Carsten Barlebo reports, “Deltabach’s experience is an ideal demonstration of exactly how the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance with the press and just how this, consequently, can energize the whole production process. As well as being entirely mercury-free, another important benefit of the AMS solution is our patented Dynamic Collimation system, which allows Total Flexible Lamp Positioning in the press and will make it a good choice for retro-fitting and re-commissioning as required. This means that any print company having to improve its efficiency and increase capacity comes with an investment path that does not necessitate outlay on the new press.”
Deltabach was founded in 1970 by de Jong’s father like a spin-out of your stationery in plant he managed for any newspaper publisher in Leiden, between Amsterdam and also the Hague. Although still devoted to commercial stationery print, it always championed new technology and was among the first adopters of CtP and MIS systems inside the Netherlands. When expansion forced relocation for an eco-friendly business park in Nieuw-Vennep, closer to Amsterdam, in 2007, a sales partner was appointed to formulate new jobbing commercial and trade work. The largely self-contained operation included studio, pre-press, textile printer and also in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million this year resulted in the unusual decision to exchange the B2 press with a brand new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t designed to move out of the Leiden area, but there are no suitable possibilities there. As it been found, the transfer to a new high-tech, eco-friendly building is great for us; it’s a great environment to welcome our high-end corporate clients, agencies, designers and print brokers into … they never forget to be impressed. We had been also fortunate we chose to never specify a lengthy delivery with IR drying when we made the relocate to B1. It absolutely was the constrictions imposed by that press configuration that led me to look into alternative solutions as our business developed. I produce a point of pursuing the latest innovations by checking the trade media in the United States, Printweek.com and so forth, so when I read about AMS LED-UV I was astounded by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds along with the sheets being ready for fast back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t thinking about the power to print on awkward stocks or plastics. All of the reports looked good so that we made enquiries and Wifac, the agent for Air Motion Systems in the BeNeLux countries, arranged some site visits for people like us. Whenever we saw it functioning we had been convinced that AMS LED-UV was a good choice for people.”