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Bang Printing Adds an LED-UV Powered RMGT 9 Series Press

Bang Printing, part of the CJK Group, recently acquired an RMGT 9 Series press for its headquarters’ book production facility. The new press replaced an older, 29˝ UV machine, bringing with it not only a larger 8-up printing format, but also a wide range of upgrades in technology and improvements in print quality including LED-UV curing, Simultaneous Plate Changing and Insta.Color makeready technology.

“Book printing has been the focus of the company since the early 1980s,” noted Tom Campion, senior VP of operations, Bang Printing. “We have evolved through more than 100 years of service to what we are today; a premier book printer and market leader.”

The RMGT 9 Series press was purchased to solve not one major problem, but a series of smaller ones, said Campion. “Our prior press was mechanically in tough shape and getting long in the tooth,” he noted. “It was a UV press, so we already knew the benefits of that technology, but getting the environmental and utility savings from adding an LED-UV press was also a major consideration. Finally, we upgraded to the larger sheet size, which has made a big difference in our operations.”

The previous press shared the load with another sheetfed press to produce the covers and labels for soft and hard bound books. With the RMGT 9 Series, however, they have brought all the work onto the single press, freeing up their other sheetfed press to focus on just the text. The larger size has also allowed the shop to go from four-up to six-up on many of their projects, with Campion estimating that on over 70% of their jobs they’ve been able to add an extra cover or two to the sheet.

“The opportunity to place one of our RMGT presses in Bang Printing’s best in class operation has been a real privilege and we are pleased at how quickly the benefits of their 9 Series are being realized. Tom’s team of professionals made our installation a real pleasure,” said Chris Manley, president of Graphco, the factory authorized distributor for RMGT presses in the Midwest. “As the CJK Group continues to grow and expand, we are looking forward to serving them as a trusted partner for many years to come.”

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Finding Opportunities in Industrial Printing Applications

Is there a business opportunity for the commercial printing segment in industrial printing applications? The most reliable answer at this point is a definite maybe. But, a market that’s been described by many pundits as “ready to pop for a long time” is definitely worth exploring.

When printing stops being printing for its own sake, it’s time to recognize it for what it actually is: industrial printing.

Another way to delineate industrial printing is by application. Broadly speaking, points out Josh Hope, senior manager of 3D Printing & Engineering Projects, Mimaki USA, industrial printing is putting ink onto “anything that isn’t paper,” but often in small batches that don’t scale up to true “industrial” quantities. He advises printers to look at the printable objects they are outsourcing for clues to the kinds of industrial printing they might be able to do in-house.

At Fujifilm Dimatix, says Timothy Rosario, senior project manager, Fujifilm Inkjet Technology, “we define ‘industrial printing’ by the various substrates we are printing on, including sandpaper, waterproof seam tape, cement board, drywall, house wrap and insulation.” This gives a sense of the role industrial printing can play in non-traditional markets such as homebuilding, where Fujifilm Dimatix has introduced an LED-UV solution, the StarFire SG1024 industrial inkjet printing system, for printing construction materials.

Flatbed UV inkjet printers that can accommodate solid objects, as well as flat substrates, work best. Hope says that Mimaki’s UJF Mark II (MkII) Series LED-UV tabletop printers are tailor-made for late-stage customization of phone cases, USB drives, skateboards and other items produced in small batches. With its 4˝ inkjet head height, the Ricoh Pro T7210 UV flatbed — the device that printed cinder blocks at the SGIA Expo — has been used to image bar stool seats and guitars, according to Dollard.

Unlike in traditional production, the printing isn’t the dominant technique, but one of a number of steps in a complex sequence of events. In industrial printing, “print adds value within a bigger process,” says Tom Molamphy, business development manager of the Industrial Inkjet Ink Div. at Agfa Graphics.

Molamphy points out that while there are industrial applications for Agfa devices such as the Jeti Tauro hybrid LED-UV inkjet printer, wide-format equipment generally isn’t geared for the high-speed, single-pass performance that industrial printing on an industrial scale requires. As a supplier of industrial inks, Agfa is working with printhead manufacturers and system developers to push wide-format inkjet further in this direction.

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Marstan Press makes LED-UV move with RMGT Ryobi install

Marstan Press has moved up to SRA1 format from B2 after investing in an RMGT Ryobi 920 series press

The RMGT Ryobi press will enable Marstan Press to print on uncoated stocks

The five-colour LED-UV machine, which was supplied by Apex Digital Graphics, has replaced a 10-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 perfecting press. The Heidelberg machine was removed just before Christmas and the RMGT Ryobi press was installed in the period between Christmas and the new year.

While the 50-staff company praised the productivity of the Speedmaster, sales and marketing director Martin Lett Jnr said the RMGT machine enables the firm to cater for larger items, such as A1 posters and 8pp A4 roll-fold leaflets, and offers cost savings in areas including finance and upkeep.

“Going up to SRA1 has also generated a whole bunch of other savings. For example, we’re getting the SRA1 plate cheaper than the B2 plate price,” said Lett Jnr.

“We’ll also be able to print on plastics, vinyls and window cling up to 600 microns, so that’s a market we’re going to actively pursue,” said Lett Jnr.

“Originally the LED option did get ruled out because of the ink cost, which is much higher than conventional ink, but when we did a further in-depth analysis we found that the benefits outweighed the negatives. And as more people put UV presses in, and retrofit UV, the ink prices will continue to come down.”

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KBA Leads the Industry with Explosive LED-UV Instant Cure-to-Print Trend

With the explosive rise of UV technology and especially LED-UV, KBA North America is leading the industry in the meteoric rise of this technology and promoting its advantages and benefits. As an expert in this field, KBA offers its new LED-UV technology—KBA’s VariDry LED-UV. LED-UV curing is a low-energy drying technology that delivers numerous benefits. These include a particularly high print quality, ability to stand out on critical uncoated and offset stock with sharp dots and high color brilliance, no fold breaks even with high ink coverage due to elastic polymerization, and the elimination of printing powder. The LED-UV process is environmentally friendly because it consumes little energy, and its ink systems are free from mineral oils. It consumes only 20% of the energy needed by conventional UV processes. KBA’s research and development team in Germany, along with its ink partners, have successfully integrated this instant cure-to-print technology as a modular, interchangeable LED-UV curing platform into its press line, and is able to offer highly knowledgeable assistance to its current and prospective customers to immediately capitalize on LED-UV’s many advantages and benefits.

Hederman Brothers, a KBA customer located in Mississippi, has been an early adopter of LED-UV; in fact, they have been printing with it from day one, and have transitioned to LED-UV 100% of the time with their latest installation. The KBA Rapida 106 41″ sheetfed press is the first of its kind in North America with dual high-power XP-11 LED lamps. Curing and color quality that’s capable with LED-UV is the reasoning behind why Hederman Brothers is a huge advocate of this breakthrough technology. The firm prints on all variations of paper stocks and substrates with LED-UV inks and LED-UV coatings.

By investing in a Rapida 106 equipped fully with LED-UV, Hederman Brothers has been able to improve its day-to-day operations and its overall efficiencies. An esteemed press operator at Hederman of more than 23 years expressed how the new press has faster makereadies and dry time—no powder is needed with LED which dramatically increases turnaround time—optimizing time on the printing room floor. They have been able to acquire new customers who require print jobs specific to LED (on uncoated pieces). Hederman Brother’s customers realize the benefits of the transition to full LED, as well as the ability to have spot UV-coating in their print runs.

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LED-UV: The Cure for What Ails You?

Ultraviolet (UV) inks and coatings have been a growing technology for many years now, and the latest iteration is LED curing. “LED curing is growing faster than any other type of curing technology across all printing technologies,” says Marco Boer, Vice President of I.T. Strategies, and author of the new PRIMIR study, Adoption of LED UV Curing in Printing.

The benefits of LED curing are clear: it’s more productive, more efficient, and more cost effective than traditional ink chemistries, but the value of LED curing is highly dependent upon the specific print technology, be it offset, flexo, or inkjet. There are also important variations by application, and even the geographical region where it is deployed.

According to the study, new sheetfed offset and flexo press sales are tipping in favor of LED-curable ink technology, and retrofits of conventional ink presses are growing even faster. “LED curing technology is still in the early stages of development in terms of its future potential,” says Boer. “The technology is well-proven after seven years, but the upside on wider availability of LED-UV curable inks and coatings remains great.”

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Hederman Bros. Installs One-of-a-Kind KBA Rapida 106

With great fanfare, Hederman Brothers, a 119-year-old, family-owned commercial printer near Jackson, Miss., unveiled its new 50,000-sq.-ft. facility in Madison County this summer and introduced its new KBA (Booth 213) Rapida 106 press with unique capabilities. This new press can print UV-cured process printing, spot coating and amazing results on uncoated papers jobs at 20,000 sph.

“Being a leading commercial printer in our region for more than a century, we are excited about all of our new equipment especially our centrepiece – the KBA Rapida 106 press – the first of its kind in North America,” says Doug Hederman, President and CEO of Hederman Brothers and its fourth-generation leader. “Our goal is to continually serve our customers with the highest quality, most advanced technology, and fastest throughput. We chose this specially-configured press with proven automation and technology from KBA because we believe it will surpass the high expectations and demands of our loyal customers and address the speed, quality, and designs that we produce for them. This will be our first KBA press. This beautiful new facility, our ongoing commitment to our customers, and our years of service has been a humbling experience that has allowed us to continually grow and invest in the best technology in the printing industry.”

The uniquely-configured press with its high energy efficiency, heatless solid state UV LED curing provides stunning results and faster turnaround speed. Hederman is receiving exceptional results for high end special effects and immediate post-production work such as cutting and scoring and will no longer need to worry about powder-filled pressrooms, expensive IR/hot air dryers, marking problems or waiting for sheets to dry.

Hederman’s new facility was strategically designed to be workflow-orientated. It provides a systematic flow with precise stationing of both people and equipment.

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First Installation of RMGT 10 Series Press Powered by LED-UV in Chicago

In late September 2017, the first RMGT 10 Series Press powered by LED-UV curing and featuring a full suite of RMGT makeready and print quality technology, will be installed at VISOgraphic’s 40,000-sq.-ft. facility based here. When Chicago area commercial, digital and packaging printer VISOgraphic began its search for the new 40” offset printing press that would propel them through the growth spurt they are experiencing, the RMGT 10 Series really wasn’t on its radar. However, after several meetings and visits to key RMGT customers in the Midwest, the decision to move ahead with RMGT was made by the VISOgraphic management team.

“Honestly, moving away from our current brand was a little scary,” states Bob Dahlke Jr., VP of business development for VISOgraphic. “Our CD presses still print a great dot, but we needed more and better automation to keep up with our customer’s demanding projects and when we saw much, much older RMGT (Mitsubishi) presses still running well in the same shop with a brand new RMGT 10 we felt confident that our new press was built to last for hundreds of millions of impressions.”  The new RMGT 10 Series press that is landing at VISOgraphic will feature 16,200 SPH press speed and LED-UV curing offering a huge increase in throughput since every sheet will be instantly ready for either back up or finishing. Continues Dahlke,  “We wanted our extremely loyal and hardworking staff to have the most technologically advanced press available so they can do their job more effectively.”

John Dahlke, COO, did much of the technical research on both the RMGT 10 and LED-UV curing for VISOgraphic and he found reference after reference of printers who are experiencing great results with both the 10 Series press and low energy usage LED-UV curing.  “But really it was our trip to Push Solutions in New Berlin, Wisconsin that sold us on LED-UV.  Our pressman pointed out how crisp the dot was after being instantly cured and also remarked on how much faster Push runs their 9 Series press with 100% dried sheets being delivered to the pile.”  After John’s research, the Baldwin UVed Flex LED-UV system was specified for its new press.  “The ability to not only move our lamp from inter-deck to delivery but also change the focal point using interchangeable lenses just made sense technologically.”

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Kentucky Printer to Install First RMGT 940 with LED-UV in the US

Copy Express of Lexington recently purchased the five-color RMGT 940ST-5+CC+LED-UV with coater offset press from Graphco. This is the first RMGT 940 press to be installed in the United States and the first RMGT 940 with coater to be delivered worldwide.

Key to the Copy Express investment decision was the significant cost reductions and quality improvements that the RMGT SMART Insta.Color makeready technology provides. “When we brought Mark’s crew to Metzgers in Toledo to see their RMGT 9 Series 10 color we shared the real world experience of Insta.color and LED-UV curing,” states Chris Manley, president of Graphco. Continuing, “of course the jobs we printed were the ones that over taxed their existing presses but the 9 came up to color in minutes and with LED-UV the jobs were ready to finish immediately.”

Manley continues, “This is an incredibly exciting installation for RMGT and Graphco. Copy Express is expanding and growing at a rapid pace, and we are pleased to partner with them to ensure they have exactly what they need, when they need it. As Mark and his team continue to expand into new markets and new opportunities, we will be here, ready to support them. It is an honor to be invited to the open house, and I am excited to meet his customers and employees in person.”

Commenting on the open house, Hicks notes, “We are expecting visitors from the Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati area at our open house event, and through our partnership with Graphco I understand that we will have visitors from around the Midwest as well. This event will help us spread the word that high technology printing including LED UV coatings, instant curing of plastics, clears and other special effects is now available at Copy Express so we hope to see lots of our friends at our Open House.”

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The Print Academy Targets New Markets with VANTAGE LED UV Curing Technology from Flint Group

Flint Group has helped The Print Academy in the UK greatly extend the capability of its 6 colour Heidelberg CD102 + coater with the retrofit of an AMS (Air Motion Systems) UV-LED curing system.

For a fraction of the cost of a new press The Print Academy now benefits from the considerable advantages of UV-LED curing, with the added advantage of still printing with a press that staff are already fully familiar with.

In VANTAGE LED Flint Group has created a package to help printers convert to the latest UV-LED technology. VANTAGE LED consists of pre-conversion consulting and training, new XCURA EVO UV-LED inks and coatings, matching pressroom chemicals and blankets, plus full customer support during and after conversion. At the heart of the system are UV-LED lamps supplied by the leading provider of UV-LED technology Air Motion Systems.

The Directors of The Print Academy, Justin McFarlin and Garry Burrows set up the business 10 years ago and have built a reputation for flexibility and a collaborative approach to meeting customer needs. They have also improved their environmental credentials, working alongside the World Land Trust to achieve certification as one of only a handful of printers in the UK recognized as a Carbon Balanced Publication Printer, giving them the opportunity to Carbon Balance clients print projects.

Two years ago they started looking at UV curing to target new market sectors and to help reduce bottlenecks in the finishing department and soon realised the considerable costs involved in purchasing a UV press. But in 2016 Flint Group approached them with the VANTAGE LED package and took them to visit a UV-LED printer in Germany. Justin and Garry took one of their jobs to Germany with 400% ink coverage and the sheet came off the press bone-dry. They were quickly convinced about the effectiveness and simplicity of the UV-LED retrofit option.

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Jochen Christiaens Promoting Growth of UV LED Curing Community in Europe

The UV LED community is increasing its number of members in Europe

In just a few years, the UV LED Community has reached over 100 members. This shows the growing interest and the acceptance of UV LED technology in a wide range of applications. Now uvledcommunity.org is getting some additional support in Europe to increase its reach and to promote the adoption of UV LED technology.

Members who join the Community are key players in advocating for of UV LED in various fields. Members include suppliers of materials, resins, photo-initiators, adhesives, inks, coatings, equipment, measurement and end-systems. These companies have the common goal of accelerating the adoption of the LED curing technology through education and knowledge sharing.

Following the rapid growth of UV LED solutions in Europe, the UV LED Community will now be supported locally by Jochen Christiaens, European site editor. Jochen will be assisting local suppliers and manufacturers to promote the community site and grow the number of new members (membership is free to qualified suppliers and end users of LED technology).

The Community website is an educational forum that enables participants to share their knowledge of UV LED curing technologies, applications and chemistry, as well as to exchange news and information.

The Community has two primary goals:

  • To provide a forum for UV LED curing conversations.
  • To foster communication between suppliers and consumers of UV LED solutions.

“As an advocate of UV LED curing technology for years, I have been involved in the development of various inkjet printing projects for over 15 years. It is a great pleasure and honor to be part of educating the market and support the UV LED technology, and help growing the community web site,” said European site editor Jochen Christiaens.

To date, we have posted over 200 industry articles on LED curing, and we are looking forward to our members to contributing to the unique content of the UV LED Community by providing news, technical articles, and in joining the active discussions about UV LED applications.”