Deltabach, our prime-flying commercial print house based here, has reported a tremendous upturn in business following its adoption of your latest generation LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems. The AMS XP9/17W unit was retrofitted to its 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 new system to change his business became fully evident.
“Our primary reason behind investing in the AMS LED-UV technology would be to improve the efficiency and productivity of our B1 press,” he shares. “It took us a little while to get the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and processes, nevertheless the numbers reveal that this primary objective is realized. Around ahead of 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 levels of output, we are going to hit 36 million sheets this current year. This really is without the variations in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use along with added savings on such things as spray powder, which we will no longer use.”
The rise in productivity is essentially the effect of three key great things about the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First this year, carrying out a three-year period during which its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach decided to switch its B2 press with the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, the additional costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and attracting a bigger guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch to a long delivery for that press. The compromise became problematic in reality: “It meant we were only in a position to run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets hourly) when coating which was obviously not satisfactory from the commercial standpoint,” says Marc de Jong. “With the AMS system we don’t should coat, therefore we can run every job at around 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 immediate printing in the reverse side and downstream processing:
“This doesn’t just mean we can easily promise better turnaround times to your customers,” explains Mr de Jong, “it has a major influence on our pressroom practice. Previously, on turn-and-tumble work, especially where uncoated or smooth papers were involved, the operator would output eight plates as the job would be required to wait – maybe overnight, or perhaps longer – just before the piles could possibly be turned and put back through the press. Naturally, then another 10-20 minutes will be lost in getting the settings to the correct levels… now we turn and go ahead. If you attempt to quantify that – it’s amazing. It also gives another dimension to the planning as 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 only make life easier on the press and then in the bindery, and boost the product for the customer, we have been boosting the production time located on the press,” shares de Jong. “We accustomed to take three hours following every week to de-powder the press, along with the same was true of most of the finishing machines, since is not really required it might be more available production up-time. This all factors into our financial well being. We save dexmpky56 with an hour every day for the reason that LED-UV inks overnight from the ducts, and a lot more time in the coating unit, where we once had to change plates and clear between different jobs.”
The impact in the changes on workflow is clearly visible inside the phone case printer wherein a large floor area 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 works 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 their business being with agencies, brokers and other printers, production efficiency is essential for Deltabach to protect its margins whilst keeping its prices competitive. Now the added features of the AMS LED-UV technology can also be helping win new business. As de Jong continues, “Many of the major brand owners and designers specify a need for coating as standard procedure. We have managed to exhibit them this has stopped being necessary when you use our system… we actually placed our product among those from their other suppliers and they couldn’t spot the difference. This was the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the benefits have been a lot more dramatic. A serious national lottery company was utilizing a spread of print houses to offer its millions of tickets for mailing to potential entrants. The A4 sheets are printed on G-Print together with the personalized ticket info on one side as well as the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID on the other. Because of this, the waviness in the papers in the coating, and slippage from the spray powders were causing mayhem at the mailing house:
“When we switched towards the AMS system we supplied our quota as usual, but without telling the client of the alternation in production,” explains de Jong. “It was not well before they called us in since their mailing house was demanding for those tickets to be supplied this way. Their machines had never run so well. They could also realize that the quality of the solid was better, too, and the truth that we have been now capable to supply at such short notice meant we won the entire contract.”
Now Deltabach is exploring other areas of the huge benefits that the AMS LED-UV brings. For starters from the property agency clients it is actually already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which had been sent for screen printing as they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under way for innovative POS, packaging and promotional items on unusual substrates which may have added-value to construct better margins. Mr de Jong sees this like a separate enterprise, which will be geared towards direct customers within the region:
“We can look at any display, promotional or printed requirements the individual could have and we will supply. In terms of our commercial printing services are concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV made a huge difference, like waving a magic wand over our business. The designers love the high quality along with the texture in our print, we compete on price and we are becoming a reputation since 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 perfect illustration of exactly how the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance at the press and the way this, subsequently, can energize the full production process. As well as being entirely mercury-free, another significant benefit from the AMS solution is our patented Dynamic Collimation system, that allows Total Flexible Lamp Positioning in the press and will make it the best choice for retro-fitting and re-commissioning as required. This means that any print company having to improve its efficiency and increase capacity has a investment path that will not necessitate outlay on a new press.”
Deltabach was founded in 1970 by de Jong’s father as being a spin-from the stationery in plant he managed for the newspaper publisher in Leiden, between Amsterdam as well as the Hague. Although still specializing in 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 produce new jobbing commercial and trade work. The largely self-contained operation included studio, pre-press, textile printer and then in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million in 2011 generated the unusual decision to change the B2 press with a brand new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t created to move out of the Leiden area, but there were no suitable available choices there. Because it proved, the move into a whole new high-tech, eco-friendly building continues to be excellent 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 had been also fortunate which we chose to never specify an extended delivery with IR drying whenever we made the go on 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 create a reason for pursuing the latest innovations by checking the trade media in the states, Printweek.com and so on, and when I learn about AMS LED-UV I had been surprised by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds along with the sheets being ready for fast back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t taking into consideration the ability to print on awkward stocks or plastics. Every one of the reports looked good therefore we made enquiries and Wifac, the agent for Air Motion Systems within the BeNeLux countries, arranged some site visits for people. Once we saw it in operation we had been convinced that AMS LED-UV was the correct choice for people like us.”