Deltabach, our prime-flying commercial print house based here, has reported an important upturn in business following its adoption from the latest generation LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems. The AMS XP9/17W unit was retrofitted to its latte art printer earlier just last year but, as Deltabach Director Marc de Jong explains, it wasn’t before the final quarter that the chance of the new system to improve his business became fully evident.
“Our primary basis for investing in the AMS LED-UV technology ended up being to boost the efficiency and productivity of our own B1 press,” he shares. “It took us a little while to obtain the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and procedures, nevertheless the numbers show that this primary objective continues to be realized. In the year just before the upgrade we printed 24 million sheets; that rose to 30 million, pro rata, during our transition period and now, when we maintain our current levels of output, we will hit 36 million sheets this coming year. This is without any modifications in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use together with added savings on things like spray powder, which we will no longer use.”
The increase in productivity is largely caused by three key benefits of the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First in the year 2011, after a three-year period in which its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach made the decision to replace its B2 press together with the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, an added costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and attracting a bigger guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch to some long delivery for the press. The compromise turned out to be problematic in practice: “It meant we had been only able to run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets each hour) when coating and that 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 as much as 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 around 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 includes 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 for the reason that job would be required to wait – maybe overnight, or perhaps longer – prior to the piles might be turned and set back with the press. Of course, then another ten minutes could be lost in obtaining the settings returning to the correct levels… now we just turn and just do it. If you attempt to quantify that – it’s amazing. It also gives another dimension to the planning since the timings have grown to be predictable.”
As well as the third factor is a that may be often cited, but perhaps without its full ramifications being appreciated:
“By eliminating spray powder we not just make life easier in the press as well as in the bindery, and boost the product for the customer, we are enhancing the production time on the press,” shares de Jong. “We used to take three hours at the conclusion of per week to de-powder the press, and also the same was true of most of the finishing machines, given that is not really required it gets more available production up-time. This all factors into our main point here. We also save dexmpky56 with an hour every day since the LED-UV inks overnight in the ducts, and a lot more time with the coating unit, where we once had to change plates and clean up between different jobs.”
The impact from the changes on workflow is clearly visible in the a4 uv printer when a large floor area is marked out into eight ‘lanes.’ This is formerly the marshaling yard where pallets of print were held and shuffled because they waited to dry before turning and reverse printing, or moving to post-press. It now behaves as a buffer zone for print that is certainly immediately ready for the following process, leaving a good amount of free space for, possibly, the next press investment.
With just as much as 70% of their business being with agencies, brokers along with other printers, production efficiency is essential for Deltabach to protect its margins and keep its prices competitive. Now the added features of the AMS LED-UV technology may also be helping win new company. As de Jong continues, “Many of the major brand owners and designers specify a requirement of coating as standard procedure. We certainly have been able to show them that the is not really necessary when utilizing our system… we actually placed our product among those from the other suppliers plus they couldn’t see the difference. This is the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the advantages have been more dramatic. A significant 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 with all the personalized ticket info on one side along with the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID around the other. Consequently, the waviness of the papers in the coating, and slippage through the spray powders were causing mayhem on the mailing house:
“When we switched on the AMS system we supplied our quota as usual, but without telling your client from the change in production,” explains de Jong. “It was not well before they called us in since their mailing house was demanding for those tickets being supplied this way. Their machines had never run so well. They might also notice that the caliber 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 aspects of the huge benefits that this AMS LED-UV brings. For starters of its property agency clients it is actually already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which used to be sent for screen printing as they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under method for innovative POS, packaging and promotional products on unusual substrates that have added-value to build better margins. Mr de Jong sees this as a separate enterprise, that will be directed at direct customers inside the region:
“We can look at any display, promotional or printed requirements the customer could possibly have and that we will supply. With regards to our commercial printing services are concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV has created all the difference, like waving a magic wand over our business. The designers love the quality along with the texture in our print, we compete on price and that we are becoming a reputation because the go-to supplier for quick turnaround work – even within 24 hours – that’s pretty difficult to beat.”
For Air Motion Systems, European Managing Director Carsten Barlebo reports, “Deltabach’s experience is a perfect illustration of how the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance at the press and how this, consequently, can energize the full production process. As well as being entirely mercury-free, another significant good thing about the AMS option would be our patented Dynamic Collimation system, that allows Total Flexible Lamp Positioning inside the press and will make it a good 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 with 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 along with the Hague. Although still focusing on commercial stationery print, it always championed new technology and was among the initial adopters of CtP and MIS systems within the Netherlands. When expansion forced relocation to a eco-friendly business park in Nieuw-Vennep, even closer Amsterdam, in 2007, a sales partner was appointed to develop new jobbing commercial and trade work. The largely self-contained operation included studio, pre-press, t-shirt printer and in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million in 2011 resulted in the unusual decision to change the B2 press with a brand new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t meant to move out from the Leiden area, but there were no suitable options available there. Mainly because it turned out, the move into a brand 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 which we chose never to specify an extended delivery with IR drying once we made the move to B1. It absolutely was the constrictions imposed by that press configuration that led me to research alternative solutions as our business developed. I produce a point of after the latest innovations by checking the trade media in america, Printweek.com and so on, and once I find out about AMS LED-UV I had been impressed by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds along with the sheets being ready for fast back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t considering the capability to print on awkward stocks or plastics. Every one of the reports looked good and then we made enquiries and Wifac, the agent for Air Motion Systems in the BeNeLux countries, arranged some site visits for people like us. If we saw it functioning we were convinced that AMS LED-UV was the correct choice for people.”