KBA accolade for Blackmore

Jo Francis
Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blackmore Group has won KBA’s annual 1814 Production Excellence Award.

The Shaftesbury firm installed a four-colour KBA Rapida 105 with LED-UV drying from Air Motion Systems (AMS) at the beginning of the year. It was the first KBA LED-UV press in the UK.

KBA managing director Andy Pang lauded Blackmore for its “extremely rapid factory throughput”.

One of the jobs cited involved the completion of a batch of time-sensitive mini-timetable guides that required 40 four-colour plate changes and run lengths of between 500 and 4,000 sheets. Average makeready time was eight minutes, with an average of 120 waste sheets per makeready.

The job was completed in a single 12-hour shift by one operator, with the timetables ready for finishing immediately.

David Bland, Blackmore’s director of marketing and sales, said: “We knew nothing about UV prior to this so it was a huge step and a leap of faith for us to go down this route. Everything has worked out really well.”

He said printers’ concerns over the high cost of UV inks were misguided.

“Yes, the cost of the ink is roughly three times more, but that is more than offset by the enormous electricity savings, and the below-the-line benefits. The ability to finish jobs immediately is priceless.”

Bland said the firm was now printing for three other printers in the region: “We are printing the materials they can’t get through their presses, such as Astralux and pearlised stocks. It has also generated a lot of interest from clients. We can print on everything in that GF Smith ‘brick’ of paper samples,” he added.

Another upside was that some clients had moved onto “significantly more expensive materials” because of low makeready wastage, Bland said.

KBA also highly commended two other customers: Plastic Card Services in Macclesfield was lauded for the printing of PVC sheets on its KBA Genius 52UV waterless press, while Bayliss Printing of Worksop was recognised for completing 11 jobs in just over four hours on its five-colour Rapida 105.

KBA’s 1814 Production Excellence Award commemorates the installation, in that year, of the first power-driven press at The Times in London.

Pictured, left to right: Blackmore commercial director Nigel West, KBA UK sheetfed sales director Chris Scully, Bland and Pang. 

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