The eight-colour Lithrone S29 with perfector was installed in Statex’s 1,900sqm Newcastle premises at the beginning of June and will be fully up-and-running on Monday (3 July). It replaces an outgoing seven-year-old 10-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 and is Statex’s first Komori buy, having been a Heidelberg house for around 20 years. Investment figure was undisclosed.
Statex joint managing director Graham Minett said he had been on the lookout for a replacement litho press for a while and that going to Drupa had been “a real eye-opener moving forward”.
“We’ve always been a company that tries to look at what’s going to happen and I think if we’d just bought another conventional printing press it would have been the wrong decision,” he said.
“We had a look around, looked at which machines production-wise could compete, and then we went to Komori and to see various people that have these machines.”
Statex’s sales team visited two Komori houses in southern England, Southampton-based Indigo Press and Poole-based K2 Print, along with a Dutch printer, and were especially impressed with its fast drying capabilities. Minett also highlighted the environmental aspects of H-UV as a factor in the purchase.
He added: “We did tests on offsets in Holland and it was bone dry, that’s the way it is now, if you print it today, you want it tomorrow, you can’t have 24 hours any more for an offset job. It’s the nearest thing we saw to digital litho in speed and in terms of turnaround.”
The four-back-four Lithrone machine runs at maximum speeds of 15,000sph in perfecting mode, taking sheets at a maximum size of 530x750mm. Its perfecting mechanism consists of three double-size transfer cylinders, which Komori says presents fewer sheet transfers than a single-size design.
“We feel it could help production enormously, no drying, quick makereadies, the proof will be in the pudding,” concluded Minett.
Founded in 1994, 75-staff Statex also runs a five-colour XL 75, along with three Heidelberg Versafire CPs, Canon Océ large-format equipment and a variety of finishing equipment.
It produces the likes of brochures, catalogues, personalised mailings and large-format display work, and has sales of around £6m.