ProCo is replacing a Manroland 500 B2 sheetfed press with a five-unit RMGT9 series SRA1 machine with LED UV curing. The new press will be delivered to the Sheffield business in August, joining a second Manroland 500 and four HP Indigo presses including a B2 Indigo 10000.
The company began looking at new litho technology a year ago, says production director Graeme Parry. “We took the decision we needed a different technology,” he says. “We needed quicker turnaround from litho to match the speed the customers have got used with digital. Customers don’t understand the differences in the processes or why they have to wait if it’s litho printed.”
He expects the new press will take a greater share of work from the Indigos, freeing up the digital presses for higher margin work. This is a path already trodden by Precision Printing which last year adopted the Ryobi SRA1 press alongside HP Indigos.
Parry agrees that the experience of the London printer. “The Ryobi is a fantastic piece of equipment and that has been proven by the likes of Precision. The new press very much complements our digital set up.
“We visited a number of printers and ran tests in the showroom. We had to look at the age of the existing presses and the amount of maintenance they would need as an on going cost.”
The Japanese machine is also smaller than the German press it will replace despite printing eight A4s to a sheet. It uses 20% of the electrical consumption and is two-thirds the size of the Roland 500. There is nothing else that gives the features in so small a footprint.”
This includes automated press controls as well as the LED curing to ensure that the sheet in the delivery can be processed immediately. There are no immediate plans to invest in new finishing equipment, though a larger guillotine is under consideration, as much for its large format inkjet arm as for the step up to a larger litho sheet.
There is, however, investment in prepress with an Agfa Avalon N8 replaces two older and smaller machines. The new platesetter comes with the new Arkana processor and continues an association with Agfa that includes Apogee workflow and twin Agfa Anapurna inkjet printers.
The company opted for a five-colour configuration after research among customers unearthed a continuing demand for specials and spot colours, says Parry. “Within our scope of work there is still a very real need for the use of specials, so it was a necessary part of the configuration of the press,” he says.
Customers will also gain from improved quality on uncoated papers, but mostly the faster turnaround of all jobs that has been associated with digital printing.
Bob Usher, Apex Digital Graphics, Kohei Yatsumoto, manager, international sales, RMGT; Graeme Parry, production director at ProCo and Neil Handforth, sales and marketing director, Apex, at the signing for the press which arrives in Sheffield in August.
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