Superior has become the first printer to obtain an ISO 12647-2 colour certification on a Heidelberg LE-UV press.
The Melksham-based firm’s five-colour Speedmaster XL 106 with coater LE-UV, which went in last year, was the first Heidelberg LE-UV machine to be installed in the UK.
Two Heidelberg specialists attended to benchmark the press and to oversee the evaluation. The process took around three days and the ISO accreditation was awarded to the business last week.
“We wanted to have colour accreditation for our own peace of mind but also because some clients require ISO 12647-2 as a prerequisite to placing work,” said Superior production director Stewart Powell.
“As a company, we like to run to standards and to optimise our processes; we also hold ISO 9001 quality, ISO 14001 environmental and FSC Chain of Custody certification.”
The Heidelberg ISO 12647-2 certification scheme has been running for seven years. Sheets are first examined on site by a Heidelberg Print Colour Management (PCM) specialist and then sent to a colour laboratory in Germany for appraisal.
They are rigorously checked with analysis of factors such as homogenous ink, solid colour values, dot gain, fit, register and dot reproduction quality.
Customers subsequently submit sheets at six monthly intervals for checking and verification and Heidelberg also supports the customer with an annual on-site visit.
Paul Chamberlain, who heads up Heidelberg’s PCM team, said: “ISO 12647-2 certification is not an easy thing to get – the standard is very high and not everybody passes it. For Superior to pass it in the first instance using a new technology was great because it opens the door for everybody else.”
He added the certification process could be carried out more quickly with an LE-UV press than with a conventional machine.
“With conventional printing, when you’re setting up any PCM or ISO certification you have to wait 24 hours for the inks to dry back. You then measure the sheets and that is your starting level. But with LE or LED technology the sheets are instantly dry so you can measure those and move on a lot quicker.”
Superior, which has around 170 staff and a turnover of £20m, handles a mixture of POS graphics from small and large formats, plus personalised direct mail and retail leaflets.
The company also operates two Linoprint SRA3 digital toner presses, a Muller Martini Concepta 8 miniweb, two Inca Digital Onset S40 fast large-format flatbed inkjets, and a Fujifilm Uvistar Pro8 5m inkjet.