Deltabach, the high-flying commercial print house based here, has reported a substantial upturn in business following its adoption of the latest generation LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems. The AMS XP9/17W unit was retrofitted to the latte printer earlier a year ago but, as Deltabach Director Marc de Jong explains, it wasn’t till the final quarter that the chance of the newest system to alter his business became fully evident.
“Our primary reason behind making an investment in the AMS LED-UV technology was to raise the efficiency and productivity of our B1 press,” he shares. “It took us quite some time to obtain the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and procedures, although the numbers show that this first objective has been realized. Around ahead of the upgrade we printed 24 million sheets; that rose to 30 million, pro rata, during our transition period and from now on, if we maintain our current amounts of output, we are going to hit 36 million sheets this coming year. This can be without the variations in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use and with added savings on such things as spray powder, which we not any longer use.”
The rise in productivity is essentially caused by three key advantages of the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First in 2011, carrying out a three-year period through which its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach decided to exchange its B2 press with all the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, any additional costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and attracting a greater guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch to a long delivery for that press. The compromise became problematic in reality: “It resulted in we were only able to run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets each hour) when coating which was obviously not satisfactory coming from a commercial standpoint,” says Marc de Jong. “With the AMS system we don’t should coat, and then we can run every job at as much as 16,500 sph – that’s a 20% differential.”
Second, sheets printed with AMS LED-UV curing are dry inside the delivery and are therefore ready for fast printing in the reverse side and downstream processing:
“This doesn’t just mean we could promise better turnaround times to the customers,” explains Mr de Jong, “it has a major effect on our pressroom practice. Previously, on turn-and-tumble work, especially where uncoated or smooth papers were involved, the operator would output eight plates for the reason that job would have to wait – maybe overnight, or even longer – ahead of the piles could possibly be turned and put back with the press. Needless to say, then another 10 mins would be lost in acquiring the settings returning to the correct levels… now we simply turn and go ahead. If you attempt to quantify that – it’s amazing. Additionally, it gives another dimension to our own planning for the reason that timings have become predictable.”
And also the third factor is a which is often cited, but perhaps without its full ramifications being appreciated:
“By eliminating spray powder we not only make life easier in the press and in the bindery, and increase the product for your customer, we have been boosting the production time seen on the press,” shares de Jong. “We utilized to take three hours following per week to de-powder the press, and the same was true of the vast majority of finishing machines, seeing that is not required it will become more available production up-time. All of this factors directly into our main point here. We save dexmpky56 to a hour on a daily basis for the reason that LED-UV inks overnight within the ducts, and even more time in the coating unit, where we used to have to change plates and clear between different jobs.”
The impact from the changes on workflow is clearly visible inside the phone case printer where a large floor space is marked out into eight ‘lanes.’ This is formerly the marshaling yard where pallets of print were held and shuffled while they waited to dry before turning and reverse printing, or moving to publish-press. It now acts as a buffer zone for print that is certainly immediately ready for the next process, leaving a lot of free space for, possibly, another press investment.
With up to 70% of the business being with agencies, brokers as well as other printers, production efficiency is vital for Deltabach to protect its margins whilst keeping its prices competitive. Now the added features of the AMS LED-UV technology are also helping win business. As de Jong continues, “Many from the major brand owners and designers specify a need for coating as standard procedure. We certainly have managed to indicate them that this is not necessary when using our system… we actually placed our product among those from their other suppliers and they also couldn’t find the difference. It was the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the rewards have already been even more dramatic. A major national lottery company was by using a spread of print houses to provide its millions of tickets for mailing to potential entrants. The A4 sheets are printed on G-Print using the personalized ticket information on one side and also the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID about the other. For that reason, the waviness of your papers in the coating, and slippage in the spray powders were causing mayhem in the mailing house:
“When we switched to the AMS system we supplied our quota as always, but without telling the buyer of your alteration of production,” explains de Jong. “It had not been well before they called us in since their mailing house was demanding for those tickets to get supplied like this. Their machines had never run very well. They might also notice that the caliber of the solid was better, too, and the reality that our company is now capable of supply at such short notice meant we won the entire contract.”
Now Deltabach is exploring other facets of the rewards the AMS LED-UV brings. For one from the property agency clients it is already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which had been sent for screen printing since they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under technique for innovative POS, packaging and promotional gifts on unusual substrates who have added-value to build better margins. Mr de Jong sees this like a separate enterprise, that will be aimed at direct customers in the region:
“We will appear at any display, promotional or printed requirements the consumer may have so we will supply. In terms of our commercial printing services are concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV has created a big difference, like waving a magic wand over our business. The designers love the quality and the texture of the print, we compete on price therefore we are receiving a reputation because the go-to supplier for quick turnaround work – even the same day – that’s pretty difficult to beat.”
For Air Motion Systems, European Managing Director Carsten Barlebo reports, “Deltabach’s experience is a perfect illustration of the way the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance at the press and just how this, in turn, can energize the full production process. In addition to being entirely mercury-free, another important benefit of the AMS option is our patented Dynamic Collimation system, allowing Total Flexible Lamp Positioning within the press and causes it to be the correct choice for retro-fitting and re-commissioning as required. Because of this any print company needing to improve its efficiency and increase capacity has a investment path that does not necessitate outlay with a new press.”
Deltabach was founded in 1970 by de Jong’s father as being a spin-out from the stationery in plant he managed for a newspaper publisher in Leiden, between Amsterdam and also the Hague. Although still dedicated to commercial stationery print, it always championed new technology and was among the initial adopters of CtP and MIS systems inside the Netherlands. When expansion forced relocation for an eco-friendly business park in Nieuw-Vennep, nearer to Amsterdam, in 2007, a sales partner was appointed to produce new jobbing commercial and trade work. The largely self-contained operation included studio, pre-press, t-shirt printer and then in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million in the year 2011 led to the unusual decision to exchange the B2 press with a brand new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t designed to move out of the Leiden area, but there were no suitable available choices there. As it proved, the move into a new high-tech, eco-friendly building is great for us; it’s a fantastic environment to welcome our high-end corporate clients, agencies, designers and print brokers into … they never neglect to be impressed. We had been also fortunate we chose to not specify an extensive delivery with IR drying if we made the move to B1. It was the constrictions imposed by that press configuration that led me to analyze alternative solutions as our business developed. I produce a reason for pursuing the latest innovations by checking the trade media in the United States, Printweek.com and so forth, and whenever I check out AMS LED-UV I used to be surprised by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds along with the sheets being ready for immediate back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t considering the power to print on awkward stocks or plastics. All the reports looked good therefore we made enquiries and Wifac, the agent for Air Motion Systems in the BeNeLux countries, arranged some site visits for people like us. Once we saw it in operation we had been convinced that AMS LED-UV was the right choice for people like us.”