Commercial printer Greenhouse Graphics has invested around £500,000 in a Komori Lithrone S429 with H-UV curing to benefit from its production efficiencies and environmental credentials.
The four-colour B2 16,000sph press was installed and commissioned at the Basingstoke-based firm’s premises over the Christmas period and is now in full production.
The press is the first Komori that the firm has bought new and has replaced a 14-year-old five-colour Lithrone 528, which has been part exchanged.
Managing director Ian Crossley said: “Komori’s H-UV process is a real game-changer. We first saw it at Ipex in London last year and, having very carefully evaluated it alongside other new UV alternatives, we feel that Komori is ahead of the curve and leads the field with its H-UV technology.
“It’s a proven system, and we’re further re-assured by Komori’s commitment to guarantee the process. Even so, we would probably not have moved up to a new press had it not been for the serious all-round benefits H-UV and the latest Lithrone on-press features will deliver to us.”
The company, which has 11 staff and a turnover of around £1m, has experienced growth over each of the past two years.
“A new press is such a critical commitment that even after trialling the H-UV Lithrone at Komori’s technology centre and visiting H-UV users, we needed to exhaustively analyse the financial and production implications,” said Crossley.
“This included calculating monthly output, platemaking savings, time and material savings and the various gains we could expect to make through faster customer response.
“We concluded that, along with a move to extended day working, the new Lithrone would enable us to increase our turnover by 50% to £1.5m in the next two years and simultaneously decrease our production costs.
“We’re just going to the market now and telling people about it and we’re organising some demonstrations to show people what it’s capable of doing.
“The press’s KHS-AI fast makeready and de-inking technologies will undoubtedly reduce waste and we’ll save further material and time on our work-and-turn jobs, where the H-UV curing will enable us to back sheets up immediately, with no intermediate blanket wash and no additional makeready.”
Crossley said another main driver for the purchase was the environmental benefits of the press, which are in line with the company’s own green ethos.
“In addition to reducing waste, it enables us to totally eliminate spray powder from the factory, print completely alcohol free and noticeably reduce our energy levels. In addition, with no requirement any more for a fifth unit to seal jobs, we’re making floor space and consumable savings,” said Crossley.
Greenhouse Graphics also operates a B3 Ryobi litho press, a Screen LED UV flatbed, Roland roll-to-roll machinery and finishing equipment including Stahl folders, a Heidelberg Cyldinder and a Horizon stitch-fold-trim device.
The business was established in 1993 with the aim of delivering a more sustainable approach to print and related services. Its services include strategic marketing consultancy, large-format printing, signage and vehicle livery production.
The firm uses only FSC paper and it was the first UK commercial printer to install PV solar panels in 2005 and introduce hazardous waste-free colour printing in 2007. In 2010 it developed its own carbon calculator for printed products, giving print buyers key carbon information prior to printing.
“Our clients include many colleges and local education establishments and our environmental policies and transparency suits their ethos,” said Crossley.
“We print several magazines and, with the new Lithrone, we anticipate that these and many other jobs we print will be produced carbon-free before the end of the year.”