“We have a few deals under way for both LE-UV and LED-UV,” he says. “When companies are looking to replace older machines, it makes sense to consider this technology. At the moment interest is split evenly between LE and LED. We can supply what the customer wants.”
For Wincanton the answer was a four-colour XL75 including Inpress Control as well as the single-lamp UV system. When delivered at the end of the year it will replace a five-colour XL75 and will run alongside a two-year-old XL75-5+L
The LE (for low energy) technology uses a tuned UV lamp to deliver a narrow range of UV energy to match photoinitiators in the ink. This dries hard without generating additional heat or ozone as a result. It makes the press ideal for printing on uncoated papers and for work which can be processed in the bindery directly from the press.
The ink, however, can be three times as expensive as conventional ink, says Wincanton Print production director Ian Gatfield “but we will need to use less and in addition there will be no spray powder, no coater and our annual energy bill will be substantially lower compared to the press this new machine replaces”.
Managing director Stephen Taylor says that longer runs will stay on the conventional press. “If we hadn’t had the conventional XL, we wouldn’t have gone for UV. And we wanted to have Inpress on the UV machine,” he explains.
The company is handling more work that needs to be delivered is much shorter time frames. He cites the example of a designer producing wedding stationery for her own nuptials who did not place the job until the Wednesday before the Saturday ceremony.
“We are also seeing more uncoated work which will no longer need to coat,” he adds. “Even when we coat normally we have to leave the job for 24 hours before we put it back through the press. That will go away.”
Wincanton will send staff to Brentford for an LE-UV familiarisation course ahead of delivery in January so that the company can hit the ground running.
Before then Heidelberg anticipates the completion of other deals and will also demonstrate the capabilities of its LED UV technology at an open house in Brentford next month to show the options for fast turnaround production.
It will run the Linoprint CV and CP digital presses alongside an SX74 fitted with the company’s Drystar LED UV system. A standard XL75 running fast drying Saphira inks will act as a comparison. A range of finishing options will process sheets immediately. These include a Muller Martini Presto II fed directly from a Stahl folder. Smaller digital sheets will be handled by Morgana equipment.
Heidelberg's implementation of LED is of its own design. It offers a lower energy footprint than either conventional drying or the LE system, but requires a higher initial outlay.
Wincanton Print has become the first UK printer to order a Heidelberg with LE-UV, the first new generation UV press that Heidelberg has sold in this country. Garfield expects a series of benefits including improved service to customers, a cleaner press room and reduced energy consumption.