Star Product: Ryobi 920P

Noli Dinkovski
Thursday, March 31, 2011

For sheetfed magazine printers, an SRA1 press may be a better bet than B1

When was the machine launched and what market is it aimed at? Ryobi quickly followed up the launch of the 920 at last year’s Ipex with a perfecting version in the autumn, and the first shipments of the new model arrived from Japan in March. Deliveries to the UK include an eight-colour, a six-colour and a five-colour. Apex Digital Graphics sales and marketing director Neil Handforth says the SRA1 press is ideal for B2 magazine printers looking to offer eight-up printing on both sides, that don’t want to invest in a B1 press. "Industry-wide, somewhere in the region of 90% of work that goes through B1 presses is SRA1," says Handforth."

How does it work? Design for both the 920 and 920P is based on Ryobi’s tried and trusted 750 B2 press, which has been around since Ipex 2002. Like all Ryobi models, it has double-diameter impression cylinders set at seven o’clock to the blanket cylinder. These larger cylinders mean the sheet is fully printed before entering the transfer cylinder, reducing the chance of the sheet being scuffed or marked. The 920P can handle a range of paper thicknesses from 0.04mm onion skin right up to heavy 0.6mm card stock. Led-UV curing, which can sit at both the perfecting device and press delivery to cure both sides of the sheet, is an optional extra. Other extras include paper size preset and impression pressure preset systems, and printing density control.

What’s its USP? Size matters to Ryobi, and the SRA1 format means the press costs less and is cheaper to run than a standard B1 press. Handforth believes the machine has half the capital cost of a B1 press, while plate costs are up to 30% less. Its compact footprint frees up space in the pressroom as well. Other manufacturers argue, however, what you gain on format efficiency, you lose on flexibility. One claims the very reason B1 has become the mainstay of the UK magazine market is that many publications vary from the standard DIN A4.

How quick is it and what’s the quality like? Running at 16,200 sheets per hour the 920P holds its own against its B1 rivals (see alternatives). To aid quality, the press is equipped with a tape slowdown mechanism as well an underswing gripper and drop-away front-lay in-feed system, all of which keep registration accurate at high speeds. Ryobi’s Ink Volume Setter (IVS) software connects the pre-press directly through to the off-press control console and presets the ink ducts, which, according to Handforth, makes colour "85% accurate before the sheet is run". Running from a Windows PC, IVS can be independent or piggybacked onto an existing RIP.

How easy is it to use? As all main press controls are housed on the off-press console, the operator is able get the job up and running "in no time at all", claims Handforth. "Printers who convert to Ryobi from other press manufacturers often remark about how easy the press is to operate," he says. "It usually only takes three to four days to get a new operator up to speed. But we don’t set a clock when it comes to training – some people are away after a couple of days, while others need a week. Every situation is different."

What level of service can printers expect? A full range of Ryobi press spares is available at Apex’s head office in Hemel Hempstead. As a further back-up, Ryobi’s Japanese stock is replicated in Hamburg in Germany. Apex has 20 engineers on call across the UK and Handforth says a printer can usually be visited within 24 hours. A remote diagnostic service is available both from Hemel Hempstead and Ryobi’s factory in Japan.

What’s its cost and is there a sales target? A typical five-colour perfector starts at £660,000, rising to £700,000 depending on the optional extras. With so many fluctuations in economy and marketplace at the moment, Handforth won’t put a target on the number of installations per year. In any case, he prefers to measure sales across the whole Ryobi range: "Some customers might visit us to see a 750 press and then become attached to the 920, or vice versa. So, we always look at it holistically."

Max paper size 920x640mm
Min paper size 410x290mm
Max printing area 900x615mm
Speed 16,200sph
Number of units 2-10 including perfecting
Paper thickness 0.04-0.6mm
Price £660,000-£700,000
Contact Apex Digital Graphics 01442 235 236

Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 102P Heidelberg claims the SM 102P is the most successful B1 perfecting press in the world, with more than 160 long perfectors installed in the UK alone.
Max sheet size 720x1,020mm
Speed 13,000sph
Price SM 102-5-P+L: £1.5m
Contact Heidelberg UK 0844 892 2010

Manroland 700 HiPrint Manroland claims the 700 HiPrint offers a "considerably higher specification" than the Ryobi, including air tracks and air glide delivery. Inking units are cleaned automatically to keep makeready times down.
Max sheet size 780x1,050mm
Max speed 13,200sph
Price from £890,000 (four-colour perfector)
Contact Manroland GB 020 8648 7090

Mitsubishi V3000R/V3000TP Mitsubishi offers two perfecting presses. The V3000R is a conventional perfector and is known for its flexibility while the V300TP is unique in that it features a double-decker configuration.
Max sheet size 1,050x750mm
Speed 16,200sph
Price £2.3m (average-spec machine)
Contact M-Partners 020 8647 5379

Komori LS 40P Komori prides itself on its double-sized three-cylinder perfecting, which, it claims, transfers the sheet stress-free even at the maximum printing speed of 15,000sph.
Max sheet size 720x1,030mm
Speed 15,000sph
Price £950,000-£1,8m (four-colour to 10-colour)
Contact Komori UK 0113 823 9200


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