The company installed the Speedmaster XL106-5+L LE-UV machine after ordering it at Drupa last year and seeking the quality and consistency qualification was always part of the plan, says production director Stewart Powell.
“We understand colour management, but are not experts,” he says, “while Heidelberg has the professional experts to help. The press has Inpress Control and we are using the Heidelberg inks, so they have full control over the press.” It also has Prinect Press Center XL2, Autoplate Pro and Pressroom Manager to help automate press operation.
The sheets are dry in the delivery so can be measured instantly with no colour shift due to dry back which can happen. Once Superior was convinced that it could meet the requirements, test print was examined on site by one of Heidelberg's print colour management specialists and then sent to Germany for further examination of print quality. The process is repeated every six months to check that quality is consistent.
Powell says: “We have wanted to do this for a while. But we needed the new press first. There was some colour control on the Komori that the Speedmaster has replaced, but it would not have been easy to reach the standard without the colour management and control that we now have. As a result what we have done has been relatively painless.”
While the company is not a provider to print management companies, the certificate will help should it choose to do so. And printing to the numbers works to the extent that a press pass is unnecessary. “You could almost do without a proof,” he says. “It depends on how critical you want to be and we believe more and more customers will be looking for this.”
The company already runs across the processes colour management to tie in sheetfed litho, large format and its Muller Martini Compact UV web press. Agfa’s Apogee workflow, he says, “provides this to a point and lets us be consistent across the company.”
The Muller Martini has provided some experience of UV printing, showing that while the inks are more expensive, over the course of time, they have proved to be no more expensive that conventional inks on one regular job. The LE-UV inks are more expensive again, though Powell hopes that the differential will shrink over time.
“We are now also printing on plastics, offering drip off and other varnish effects which we could not offer before, and there is no seal or spray powder which is a cost saving,” he says.
The arrival of the Speedmaster XL106 LE-UV has made attainment of Heidelberg's ISO 12647-2 certification relatively painless says Superior Creative production director Stewart Powell. It is something that a certain type of customer requires and that the Melksham business can now provide.