Deltabach, our prime-flying commercial print house based here, has reported an important upturn in operation following its adoption of your latest generation LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems. The AMS XP9/17W unit was retrofitted to the latte art printer earlier a year ago but, as Deltabach Director Marc de Jong explains, it wasn’t until the final quarter that the potential for the latest system to change his business became fully evident.
“Our primary reason behind buying the AMS LED-UV technology was to increase the efficiency and productivity of our B1 press,” he shares. “It took us a while to obtain the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and processes, although the numbers show this primary objective is realized. Around prior to the upgrade we printed 24 million sheets; that rose to 30 million, pro rata, during our transition period and now, if we maintain our current amounts of output, we are going to hit 36 million sheets this season. This is certainly without the changes in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use along with added savings on things such as spray powder, which we no longer use.”
The rise in productivity is basically the consequence of three key advantages of the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First in the year 2011, using a three-year period in which its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach decided to exchange its B2 press together with the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, an added costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and attracting a larger guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch into a long delivery to the press. The compromise became problematic in reality: “It resulted in we were only able to run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets an hour) when coating which was obviously not satisfactory from your 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 in the delivery and are therefore ready for immediate printing on the reverse side and downstream processing:
“This doesn’t just mean we can easily promise better turnaround times to our customers,” explains Mr de Jong, “it has a major impact 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 will have to wait – maybe overnight, or perhaps longer – just before the piles could be turned and place back throughout the press. Naturally, then another ten minutes can be lost in acquiring the settings back to the appropriate levels… now we merely turn and just do it. If you try to quantify that – it’s amazing. Furthermore, it gives another dimension to your planning since the timings are becoming predictable.”
As well as the third factor is a which is often cited, but perhaps without its full ramifications being appreciated:
“By eliminating spray powder we not merely make life easier in the press as well as in the bindery, and boost the product for that customer, we have been boosting the production time seen on the press,” shares de Jong. “We accustomed to take three hours at the conclusion of every week to de-powder the press, along with the same was true of most of the finishing machines, seeing that has stopped being required it might be more available production up-time. This all factors directly into our financial well being. We also save dexmpky56 for an hour every day since the LED-UV inks overnight inside the ducts, and even more time in the coating unit, where we once had to improve plates and clear between different jobs.”
The impact of your changes on workflow is clearly visible in the phone case printer in which a large floor space is marked out into eight ‘lanes.’ This is formerly the marshaling yard where pallets of print were held and shuffled as they waited to dry before turning and reverse printing, or moving to share-press. It now acts as a buffer zone for print that may be immediately ready for the following process, leaving plenty of free space for, possibly, the following press investment.
With up to 70% from the business being with agencies, brokers and other printers, production efficiency is vital for Deltabach to guard its margins whilst keeping its prices competitive. The added benefits of the AMS LED-UV technology can also be helping win new clients. As de Jong continues, “Many of your major brand owners and designers specify a necessity for coating as standard procedure. We certainly have been able to demonstrate them this is no longer necessary when utilizing our system… we actually placed our product among those from their other suppliers and so they couldn’t see the difference. This is the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the advantages have been a lot more dramatic. A significant national lottery company have been employing a spread of print houses to deliver its countless tickets for mailing to potential entrants. The A4 sheets are printed on G-Print with the personalized ticket facts about one side as well as the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID on the other. Because of this, the waviness of your papers in the coating, and slippage through the spray powders were causing mayhem at the mailing house:
“When we switched towards the AMS system we supplied our quota as always, but without telling the buyer of your alteration of production,” explains de Jong. “It was not a long time before they called us in because their mailing house was demanding for all of the tickets being supplied such as this. Their machines had never run so well. They might also realize that the standard of the solid was better, too, and the reality that our company is now capable to supply at such short notice meant we won the entire contract.”
Now Deltabach is exploring other elements of the huge benefits the AMS LED-UV brings. For starters of the property agency clients it is actually already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which was previously sent for screen printing because they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under means for innovative POS, packaging and promotional items on unusual substrates who have added-value to develop better margins. Mr de Jong sees this like a separate enterprise, that will be geared towards direct customers in the region:
“We can look at any display, promotional or printed requirements the individual may have and that we will supply. As far as our commercial printing service is concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV has made a big 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 so we are receiving a reputation as being the go-to supplier for quick turnaround work – even the same day – that’s pretty hard to beat.”
For Air Motion Systems, European Managing Director Carsten Barlebo reports, “Deltabach’s experience is a great demonstration of just how the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance at the press and just how this, consequently, can energize the whole production process. As well as being entirely mercury-free, another important good thing about the AMS option is our patented Dynamic Collimation system, allowing Total Flexible Lamp Positioning in the press and makes it the correct choice for retro-fitting and re-commissioning as required. This means that any print company being forced to improve its efficiency and increase capacity has a investment path that is not going to necessitate outlay on a new press.”
Deltabach was founded in 1970 by de Jong’s father as a spin-out of your stationery in plant he managed to get a 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 initial adopters of CtP and MIS systems in the Netherlands. When expansion forced relocation with an eco-friendly business park in Nieuw-Vennep, even closer to Amsterdam, in 2007, a sales partner was appointed to build up new jobbing commercial and trade work. The largely self-contained operation included studio, pre-press, t-shirt printer and also in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million in 2011 led to the unusual decision to switch the B2 press with a brand new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t meant to move out of the Leiden area, but there are no suitable options available there. As it proved, the transfer to a new high-tech, eco-friendly building continues to be great for us; it’s an incredible environment to welcome our high-end corporate clients, agencies, designers and print brokers into … they never neglect to be impressed. We were also fortunate which we chose not to specify a lengthy delivery with IR drying if we made the move to B1. It was actually the constrictions imposed by that press configuration that led me to analyze alternative solutions as our business developed. I make a point of after the latest innovations by checking the trade media in the states, Printweek.com and the like, and when I check out AMS LED-UV I was impressed by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds as well as the sheets being ready for fast back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t considering the capability 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 inside the BeNeLux countries, arranged some site visits for us. When we saw it functioning we were convinced that AMS LED-UV was the correct choice for all of us.”