Deltabach, the top-flying commercial print house based here, has reported a tremendous upturn in running a business following its adoption of the latest generation LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems. The AMS XP9/17W unit was retrofitted to its latte printer earlier just last year but, as Deltabach Director Marc de Jong explains, it wasn’t before the final quarter that the possibility of the brand new system to change his business became fully evident.
“Our primary cause of purchasing the AMS LED-UV technology ended up being to improve the efficiency and productivity of the B1 press,” he shares. “It took us some time to obtain the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and processes, however the numbers show that this primary objective continues to be realized. During prior to the upgrade we printed 24 million sheets; that rose to 30 million, pro rata, during our transition period now, if we maintain our current quantities of output, we shall hit 36 million sheets this current year. This is certainly with no modifications in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use with added savings on things such as spray powder, which we no more use.”
The increase in productivity is largely the result of three key great things about the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First in the year 2011, after a three-year period through which its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach decided to exchange its B2 press with all the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, any additional costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and attracting a larger guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch to a long delivery to the press. The compromise proved to be problematic in reality: “It meant that we had been only able to run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets an hour) when coating and that was obviously not satisfactory from a commercial standpoint,” says Marc de Jong. “With the AMS system we don’t must coat, so that 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 from the delivery and so are ready for fast printing on the reverse side and downstream processing:
“This doesn’t just mean we could promise better turnaround times to your customers,” explains Mr de Jong, “it has a major affect 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 will have to wait – maybe overnight, or even longer – ahead of the piles may be turned and placed back with the press. Of course, then another ten minutes will be lost in getting the settings returning to the proper levels… now we turn and proceed. If you try to quantify that – it’s amazing. It also gives another dimension to the planning because the timings have become predictable.”
Along with the third factor is a that is often cited, but perhaps without its full ramifications being appreciated:
“By eliminating spray powder we not simply make life easier on the press and also in the bindery, and improve the product for that customer, we have been increasing the production time on the press,” shares de Jong. “We utilized to take three hours following every week to de-powder the press, and the same was true of many of the finishing machines, since is not required it might be more available production up-time. This factors directly into our financial well being. We also save dexmpky56 to an hour on a daily basis for the reason that LED-UV inks overnight inside the ducts, and a lot more time in the coating unit, where we once had to improve plates and clean up between different jobs.”
The impact in the changes on workflow is clearly visible in the a4 uv printer where a large floor area is marked out into eight ‘lanes.’ This became 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 post-press. It now behaves as a buffer zone for print which is immediately ready for the upcoming process, leaving a good amount of free space for, possibly, the following press investment.
With as much as 70% from the business being with agencies, brokers and also other printers, production efficiency is important for Deltabach to safeguard its margins and keep its prices competitive. Now the added great things about the AMS LED-UV technology are also helping win new clients. As de Jong continues, “Many of the major brand owners and designers specify a necessity for coating as standard procedure. We have managed to exhibit them this is not necessary when using our system… we actually placed our product among those off their other suppliers and they couldn’t spot the difference. This became the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the huge benefits have been even more dramatic. A major national lottery company ended up being 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 together with the personalized ticket facts about one side and also the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID in the other. Consequently, the waviness of the papers from the coating, and slippage through the spray powders were causing mayhem with the mailing house:
“When we switched to the AMS system we supplied our quota as always, but without telling the client of your change in production,” explains de Jong. “It had not been long before they called us in as their mailing house was demanding for all of the tickets to become supplied like this. Their machines had never run very well. They can also see that the caliber of the solid was better, too, and the reality that we are now capable of supply at such short notice meant we won the whole contract.”
Now Deltabach is exploring other facets of the benefits that the AMS LED-UV brings. For starters of their property agency clients it can be already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which was once sent for screen printing since they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under technique for innovative POS, packaging and promotional items on unusual substrates which have added-value to create better margins. Mr de Jong sees this being a separate enterprise, which will be aimed at direct customers within the region:
“We will look at any display, promotional or printed requirements the customer might have and that we will supply. So far as our commercial printing services are concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV made a significant difference, like waving a magic wand over our business. The designers love the quality and the texture of our own print, we compete on price therefore we are becoming a reputation as 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 an ideal demonstration of just how the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance with the press and exactly how this, therefore, can energize the complete production process. In addition to being entirely mercury-free, another significant good thing about the AMS option is our patented Dynamic Collimation system, allowing Total Flexible Lamp Positioning within the press and can make it the right choice for retro-fitting and re-commissioning as required. Which means that any print company having to improve its efficiency and increase capacity comes with an 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 for a newspaper publisher in Leiden, between Amsterdam and 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 in the Netherlands. When expansion forced relocation for an eco-friendly business park in Nieuw-Vennep, nearer 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 as well as in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million this year generated the unusual decision to exchange the B2 press with an all new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t meant to move out of your Leiden area, but there was no suitable available choices there. As it proved, the move into a new high-tech, eco-friendly building has become excellent 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 an extended delivery with IR drying whenever we made the proceed to B1. It was actually the constrictions imposed by that press configuration that led me to analyze alternative solutions as our business developed. I produce a point of after the latest innovations by checking the trade media in the states, Printweek.com etc, and when I learn about AMS LED-UV I used to be surprised by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds and the sheets being ready for fast back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t considering the ability to print on awkward stocks or plastics. All 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 were convinced that AMS LED-UV was the best choice for all of us.”