Lexon Group to install Europe’s first Komori Impremia IS29

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Thursday 27 April 2017

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South Wales-based printer Lexon Group is set to take delivery of Europe’s first Komori IS29 UV inkjet sheetfed press.

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From left: Komori's Robert Holscher and Steve Turner and Lexon Group's Garth Davis

The four-colour B2 digital machine will be installed at the Crumlin, Gwent-based firm’s 3,250sqm premises next week and joins two five-colour B2 Komori Lithrone LS 529 offset presses at the plant.

The LED-UV based IS29 runs at a speed of 3,000sph simplex and 1,500sph duplex and prints at a resolution of 1,200x1,200dpi on a maximum sheet size of 585x750mm. The maximum printing area is 575x735mm single-sided and 575x730mm when perfecting.

The IS29 is the result of Komori's collaboration with Konica Minolta, and is based on the firm's KM-1.

Komori said the press produces litho-quality print and can handle any type of substrate in thicknesses of 0.06–0.6mm single-sided and 0.06–0.45mm double-sided.

“Our philosophy is to invest in those latest technologies that allow us to influence our customers’ marketing and buying trends and, at the same time, address new opportunities for our own development,” said Lexon Group managing director Garth Davis.

“We are a dynamic print company focused on quality. We needed to add versatile inkjet capacity capable of delivering stunning print results on the same bespoke materials as our offset machines.

“Typical applications for us are luxury packaging, reports and folders, often in run lengths as low as 500, along with specialised projects for our clients. Common trends throughout are the calls for even faster turnaround and the desire for increasingly distinctive, even perhaps personalised, design.”

The company thoroughly tested the IS29 at Komori’s Graphic Technology Centre in Holland, added Davis, and was impressed with its print quality and the instant UV drying on wide ranging jobs and substrates.

“Additionally, as the colour gamut of the IS29 inkjet system is noticeably wider than with offset, the colours produced are more vibrant,” said Davis.

“The increased productivity and flexibility of the new machine increases our services to customers and also means we’ll be able to accept jobs with confidence which were previously very difficult to print in super short timeframes.”

Komori UK managing director Neil Sutton said: “This is a very significant installation – interest in the IS29 is big, we’re doing a lot of demonstrations and we’ve got a lot of people that are talking about this technology and weighing up whether it’s right for them. The number of installations will grow significantly over the next 12 months.”

Komori UK director of sheetfed sales Steve Turner added: “The IS29’s ability to colour match offset production is especially attractive to printers like Lexon who also run offset machines, enabling them to digitally produce very short runs, samples and proofs of jobs which could also be produced by offset, in the sure knowledge that the digital and litho versions will match.

“At the same time, it’s providing them with new capacity for the high-speed production of dedicated inkjet work such as variable data jobs, inserts and point of sale material.”

In 2012 Lexon Group placed one of the first UK orders for a B2 Landa Nanographic press. More recently, it purchased an XT-Pro automatic tape application machine from from Newtown Tapes at Drupa and in January it installed one of the first Highcon Euclid IIIS digital cutting and creasing machines in Europe.

The firm also operates Xerox digital printers, Mimaki, Screen and Epson wide-format machinery, Thieme and Svecia screen-printing equipment and a wide range of finishing kit, including an MBO T535.1 Perfection buckle folding machine that was installed in late 2015.

Lexon Group, which has 64 staff and a turnover of £5.5m, serves customers including print management companies and blue-chip clients.

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