Mandatum sings praises of new Komori and GEW lamp system

Mandatum Ink has installed a Komori Lithrone S529 H-UV press and configured it with a LeoLED lamp system from GEW to optimise its output of sleeves for vinyl records.

Installed two months ago, the secondhand Lithrone was supplied by reseller Exel and replaced another Komori that Mandatum had been running for around 13 years at its Croydon, south London base.

The press was originally configured with mercury curing lamps, which Mandatum asked to be replaced with an LED-based system. Exel contracted UV systems manufacturer GEW in Crawley to retrofit the Lithrone with its new LeoLED single-lamp system.

The GEW team came into the Mandatum site on 17 June to integrate a lamp, water-based chiller, interface panel and power supply into the press. The press was turning out work the following day.

The £400,000 investment means Mandatum is now able to finish printed jobs straight off the press, according to Mandatum managing director Nick Hedges.

He said: “We had a five-colour Komori with coater for a number of years that was showing signs of age but still producing good work. Now we have installed the new Lithrone, we are seeing a real difference because of how the tech moves on.

“Our new machine means clients can expect better service in the sense of more throughput and slightly quicker turnarounds. The lamp system is fantastic for the uncoated market, as the ink sets and dries without getting time to settle. It has a nice, vibrant, punchy look and even coated stocks look better because it looks a lot gutsier.”

The five-colour-plus-coater Komori B2 Lithrone S529 can print at speeds up to 16,000sph.

Mandatum provides a wide range of general print services, making use of sheetfed litho, digital and large-format print kit alongside a range of equipment for repro, finishing and mailing.

Its newfound niche market, however, is in vinyl record sleeve and liner note production, capitalising on the recent resurgence of the format.

Hedges said that he believed that Mandatum is one of only three UK print operations to still run an automated Winkler & Dünnebier machine, which is designed to die-cut, fold and glue vinyl record sleeves in a single process.

“It went from being in quite a slump to very recently becoming a buoyant market,” said Hedges. “Vinyl has come back with a vengeance; everyone thought it was gone but people cannot get enough now.”

Running a 24-hour shop on a six-day week, Mandatum Ink turns over £1.6m.

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