Deltabach, the top-flying commercial print house based here, has reported a tremendous 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 coffee printer earlier this past year but, as Deltabach Director Marc de Jong explains, it wasn’t till the final quarter that the possibility of the newest system to improve his business became fully evident.
“Our primary reason behind making an investment in the AMS LED-UV technology was to boost the efficiency and productivity of the B1 press,” he shares. “It took us a while to find the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and processes, nevertheless the numbers show that this first objective has been realized. In 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 are going to hit 36 million sheets this season. This can be without having variations in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use along with added savings on things such as spray powder, which we not any longer use.”
The increase in productivity is essentially the consequence of three key benefits of the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First in 2011, following a three-year period where its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach decided to change its B2 press together with the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, any additional costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and bringing in a greater guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch to a long delivery for the press. The compromise proved to be problematic in practice: “It meant that we had been only capable to run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets an hour) when coating and that was obviously not satisfactory coming from a commercial standpoint,” says Marc de Jong. “With the AMS system we don’t have to coat, so 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 so are ready for fast printing around 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 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 since the job would be required to wait – maybe overnight, as well as longer – just before the piles may be turned and set back from the press. Of course, then another 10 minutes could be lost in getting the settings returning to the proper levels… now we merely turn and go on. If you attempt to quantify that – it’s amazing. Additionally, it gives another dimension to the planning since the timings have become predictable.”
And also the third factor is certainly one which is often cited, but perhaps without its full ramifications being appreciated:
“By eliminating spray powder we not simply make life easier around the press and in the bindery, and enhance the product for your customer, we have been increasing the production time seen on the press,” shares de Jong. “We accustomed to take three hours following per week to de-powder the press, and also the same was true of many of the finishing machines, given that is not required it might be more available production up-time. This factors straight into our profits. We also save dexmpky56 with an hour every day as the LED-UV inks overnight in the ducts, and many more time with the coating unit, where we used to have to improve plates and tidy up between different jobs.”
The impact of your changes on workflow is clearly visible in the a4 uv printer when a large floor space is marked out into eight ‘lanes.’ It was 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 behaves as a buffer zone for print that is immediately ready for the next process, leaving lots of free space for, possibly, the subsequent press investment.
With as much as 70% of its business being with agencies, brokers as well as other printers, production efficiency is crucial for Deltabach to safeguard its margins while keeping its prices competitive. The added benefits of the AMS LED-UV technology are also helping win new company. As de Jong continues, “Many of your major brand owners and designers specify a necessity for coating as standard procedure. We now have managed to exhibit them that this is not necessary when using our system… we actually placed our product among those from the other suppliers and they couldn’t spot the difference. This is the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the advantages happen to be a lot more dramatic. A major national lottery company have been employing a spread of print houses to provide its numerous tickets for mailing to potential entrants. The A4 sheets are printed on G-Print with all the personalized ticket information about one side along with the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID on the other. Consequently, the waviness from the papers from your coating, and slippage in the spray powders were causing mayhem with the mailing house:
“When we switched towards the AMS system we supplied our quota as always, but without telling your client of your alteration of production,” explains de Jong. “It had not been a long time before they called us in because their mailing house was demanding for those tickets to become supplied this way. Their machines had never run so well. They can also observe that the standard of the solid was better, too, and the fact that we are now capable to supply at such short notice meant we won the whole contract.”
Now Deltabach is exploring other areas of the advantages that the AMS LED-UV brings. For starters of the property agency clients it is already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which was previously sent for screen printing since they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under means for innovative POS, packaging and promotional gifts on unusual substrates which may have added-value to build better margins. Mr de Jong sees this being a separate enterprise, which is directed at direct customers inside the region:
“We will look at any display, promotional or printed requirements the consumer could have and we will supply. So far as our commercial printing services are concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV has made a huge difference, like waving a magic wand over our business. The designers love the product quality and also the texture of our print, we compete on price and that we are obtaining 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 a perfect illustration of how the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance on the press and just how this, therefore, can energize the complete production process. As well as being entirely mercury-free, another necessary benefit of the AMS solution is our patented Dynamic Collimation system, which allows Total Flexible Lamp Positioning throughout the press and will make it the correct choice for retro-fitting and re-commissioning as required. Consequently any print company having to improve its efficiency and increase capacity has an investment path that is not going to necessitate outlay with a new press.”
Deltabach was founded in 1970 by de Jong’s father as a spin-out of the stationery in plant he managed to get a newspaper publisher in Leiden, between Amsterdam and also the Hague. Although still dedicated to 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 with an eco-friendly business park in Nieuw-Vennep, even 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, t-shirt printer and in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million this year generated the unusual decision to change the B2 press with a brand new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t intended to move out of the Leiden area, but there were no suitable options available there. As it proved, the move into a new high-tech, eco-friendly building continues to be perfect for us; it’s an incredible environment to welcome our high-end corporate clients, agencies, designers and print brokers into … they never fail to be impressed. We had been also fortunate which we chose not to specify an extended delivery with IR drying when we made the go on to B1. It was the constrictions imposed by that press configuration that led me to analyze alternative solutions as our business developed. I come up with a reason for following the latest innovations by checking the trade media in the usa, Printweek.com and so forth, and once I check out AMS LED-UV I was astounded by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds and the sheets being ready for immediate back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t considering the capability to print on awkward stocks or plastics. Each of the reports looked good so that we made enquiries and Wifac, the agent for Air Motion Systems within the BeNeLux countries, arranged some site visits for us. If we saw it operational we were convinced that AMS LED-UV was a good choice for all of us.”