Victoria Litho opts for UV drying system on KBA Rapida 162

By Pamela Mardle, Monday 25 June 2012

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Drying system manufacturer Benford UV has successfully retrofitted an end-of-press and interdeck UV drying solution to a KBA Rapida 162A sheet-fed press at Victoria Litho.

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Secondhand equipment supplier DPM installed the KBA five-colour plus coater machine in March. Two weeks later Benford UV fitted the drying system to the 2003 press in an operation that was, according to the Middlesex-based company, "smooth with the minimum of disruption to production."

Victoria Litho managing director Andy Wilson said that the ROI on the machine was coming from increased work from new and existing clients, as well as reduced time for work to leave the premises and go out to its local finishing partners.

Wilson added: "It has also put us in a slightly different marketplace, and opened us up for PVC printing which could not be done on a conventional press.

"We noticed that there was a gap in the market where flood and spot UV services were not efficient and we were spending vast amounts sending UV work out. This solution has enabled us to bring UV capability inhouse to ensure that delivery and quality are now directly under our control.

"Prints can move swiftly into post-press production and be speedily shipped to the customer."

He added that the company’s original main market was in map printing, but over the past 10 years volumes have fallen due to advances in technology and so Victoria Litho has diversified its offering.

He said: "A decade ago, map printing was 90% of our trade, now it is 20 to 25% and it will not grow any more.

"We applied the accuracy required for printing maps to other markets."

Victoria Litho is now known for its point-of-sale, packaging and fine art work. The new UV system on the KBA 162A adds to the company’s range of digital and folding capabilities for the large-format market.

Since February, the £3m turnover company has also invested in an Anapurna M2540FB large format digital press from Agfa and a Kasemake DYSS AG/CAD digital die cutting table, bringing total capex to £1.2m this year.

When asked whether he would add another KBA with UV drying unit, Wilson replied: "I would never say never but we need to start seeing a return on these machines first!"

He added that he expected to see a return on the KBA UV unit in the next three months, once the inevitable "snags" that come from retrofitting equipment have been fixed and staff overcome the "big learning curve from switching to UV machines from conventional".


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