Fine Print Services has ordered a Speedmaster XL75 with LE-UV for delivery in January. The company might have had the press, which it ordered at Drupa, a little earlier had it been at the show in the first half.
This will give the company time to prepare its Witney factory and to move the 12-year-old five-colour plus coater Speedmaster CDthat is being replaced. This will be handled by Albion Graphics, says Fine Print managing director Dan Bakewell.
He runs a business that combines litho cut sheet and large format inkjet producing work for healthcare and pharmaceutical clients looking for the highest quality. The digital side includes an HP Indigo 7800 and he says he looked at the larger machine before deciding there is still life in litho.
“But B2 digital is just not there yet in terms of its cost compared to short run litho,” he says. “I said when buying the previous two litho presses that each would be the last press we buy, but have returned to litho again. Perhaps this time, this will be the last litho press we buy.”
Three years ago the Speedmaster XL75 was its first to include Inpress Control and the latest version is part of the specification of the new machine. It also includes the Intellistart 2 software automated sequencing of makeready and the Wallscreen XL that were introduced at Drupa.
For the first time, the company has chosen the assisted drying in the form of Heidelberg's Low Energy-UV, using a single tuned mercury vapour lamp. “It helps with drying the product, which will bring production efficiencies, we’re expecting quality on uncoated paper to have a more litho like lift off the sheet and that we will be able to print on plastics,” Bakewell adds.
“The biggest cost saving in taking the LE-UV route will be in coating. All our work has been coated but that won’t be needed with dry sheets off the LE-UV press.” Ink will cost more, but longer runs can be pushed to the existing XL75. And there will be no spray powder either to purchase or clean away from the press.”
Bakewell also considered LED UV rather than the lamp system but this has a higher costs “and there were other slight reservations at the moment. In a few years it will be all LED, but we needed something now.”
The press will be set up to match the quality of the first XL75 allowing it to switch between presses and even print sections across both machines as it does on occasion today.
The fifth unit will offer coating possibilities, though not to the level of a dedicated coater in delivering special effects. “We can do this sort of thing on the Indigo if we are asked to,” Bakewell explains. “But where we do see a need is in printing on synthetics where we have a demand for static cling films. At present litho print doesn’t work on these. We have piles of small stacks waiting to dry around the factory if we do print these on litho. The new press will supply these dry from the delivery.”
Fine Print Services has watched developments in fast drying technologies and while managing director Dan Bakewell is convinced that ultimately LED technologies will win out, for the moment LE-V represents the best solution "and we wanted a press now" he says.