Deltabach, the high-flying commercial print house based here, has reported an important upturn running a business following its adoption of your latest generation LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems. The AMS XP9/17W unit was retrofitted to the coffee printer earlier last year but, as Deltabach Director Marc de Jong explains, it wasn’t up until the final quarter that the potential of the brand new system to alter his business became fully evident.
“Our primary reason for buying the AMS LED-UV technology ended up being to increase the efficiency and productivity of our own B1 press,” he shares. “It took us a while to obtain the balance of consumables right and adapt our practices and procedures, however the numbers reveal that this first objective has been realized. In prior to the upgrade we printed 24 million sheets; that rose to 30 million, pro rata, during our transition period and from now on, once we maintain our current degrees of output, we are going to hit 36 million sheets this season. This is certainly without having modifications in shift patterns, increases in manpower or electricity use with added savings on things like spray powder, which we no more use.”
The increase in productivity is essentially the effect of three key benefits associated with the AMS LED-UV curing technology.
First this year, after a three-year period in which its turnover had quadrupled to €6 million, Deltabach decided to exchange its B2 press together with the B1 Heidelberg CX 102. However, the extra costs incurred in changing formats at pre-press and bringing in a bigger guillotine flow line meant their budget would not stretch to a long delivery for that press. The compromise became problematic in reality: “It resulted in we had been only capable to run at 12- or 13,000 sph (sheets each hour) when coating which was obviously not satisfactory from the commercial standpoint,” says Marc de Jong. “With the AMS system we don’t need to coat, so that we can run every job at up to 16,500 sph – that’s a 20% differential.”
Second, sheets printed with AMS LED-UV curing are dry from the delivery and so are ready for fast printing around the reverse side and downstream processing:
“This doesn’t just mean we could promise better turnaround times to the customers,” explains Mr de Jong, “it carries a major effect on our pressroom practice. Previously, on turn-and-tumble work, especially where uncoated or smooth papers were involved, the operator would output eight plates for the reason that job would be required to wait – maybe overnight, or perhaps longer – ahead of the piles may be turned and set back with the press. Naturally, then another 10-20 minutes can be lost in acquiring the settings returning to the proper levels… now we simply turn and go ahead. If you try to quantify that – it’s amazing. Additionally, it gives another dimension to our own planning as the timings are becoming predictable.”
And also the third factor is one that may be often cited, but perhaps without its full ramifications being appreciated:
“By eliminating spray powder we not merely make life easier around the press and also in the bindery, and boost the product to the customer, we are improving the production time on the press,” shares de Jong. “We used to take three hours after each week to de-powder the press, along with the same was true of a lot of the finishing machines, given that is not required it gets more available production up-time. All of this factors in to our profits. We save dexmpky56 with an hour every day for the reason that LED-UV inks overnight from the ducts, and many more time in the coating unit, where we used to have to modify plates and clean up between different jobs.”
The impact in the changes on workflow is clearly visible inside the phone case printer when a large floor area is marked out into eight ‘lanes.’ It was formerly the marshaling yard where pallets of print were held and shuffled because they waited to dry before turning and reverse printing, or moving to share-press. It now behaves as a buffer zone for print that is immediately ready for the next process, leaving a good amount of free space for, possibly, another press investment.
With as much as 70% of the business being with agencies, brokers and also other printers, production efficiency is crucial for Deltabach to protect its margins whilst keeping its prices competitive. Now the added advantages of the AMS LED-UV technology will also be helping win new business. As de Jong continues, “Many of your major brand owners and designers specify a requirement for coating as standard procedure. We have managed to show them this is no longer necessary when you use our system… we actually placed our product among those using their other suppliers and they also couldn’t spot the difference. This was the green light for AMS LED-UV.”
In another instance, the rewards happen to be a lot more dramatic. A significant national lottery company have been employing a spread of print houses to offer its millions of tickets for mailing to potential entrants. The A4 sheets are printed on G-Print using the personalized ticket information about one side along with the lottery company’s solid red corporate ID on the other. Because of this, the waviness of the papers in the coating, and slippage in the spray powders were causing mayhem at the mailing house:
“When we switched for the AMS system we supplied our quota as usual, but without telling the client of your change in production,” explains de Jong. “It had not been prior to they called us in as their mailing house was demanding for those tickets to become supplied like this. Their machines had never run very well. They can also see that the quality of the solid was better, too, and the fact that we have been now capable of supply at such short notice meant we won the whole contract.”
Now Deltabach is exploring other elements of the benefits that this AMS LED-UV brings. For starters of its property agency clients it is actually already printing ‘SOLD’ stickers which was previously sent for screen printing as they are on non-absorbent stocks, and tests are under method for innovative POS, packaging and promotional items on unusual substrates which have added-value to create better margins. Mr de Jong sees this as a separate enterprise, that will be directed at direct customers throughout the region:
“We can look at any display, promotional or printed requirements the consumer could possibly have and we will supply. So far as our commercial printing service is concerned, Air Motion Systems’ LED-UV makes all the difference, like waving a magic wand over our business. The designers love the product quality as well as the texture of our own print, we compete on price therefore we are getting a reputation as the go-to supplier for quick turnaround work – even the same day – that’s pretty difficult to beat.”
For Air Motion Systems, European Managing Director Carsten Barlebo reports, “Deltabach’s experience is a perfect instance of how the AMS LED-UV solution can improve performance in the press and exactly how this, therefore, can energize the full production process. In addition to being entirely mercury-free, another significant benefit of the AMS solution is our patented Dynamic Collimation system, that enables Total Flexible Lamp Positioning throughout the press and will make it the correct choice for retro-fitting and re-commissioning as required. Because of this any print company having to improve its efficiency and increase capacity comes with an investment path that is not going to necessitate outlay with a new press.”
Deltabach was founded in 1970 by de Jong’s father as being a spin-out of the stationery in plant he managed for the newspaper publisher in Leiden, between Amsterdam and The Hague. Although still focusing on commercial stationery print, it always championed new technology and was among the first adopters of CtP and MIS systems in the Netherlands. When expansion forced relocation with an eco-friendly business park in Nieuw-Vennep, nearer to Amsterdam, in 2007, a sales partner was appointed to build up new jobbing commercial and trade work. The largely self-contained operation included studio, pre-press, textile printer and also in-house bindery. The mushrooming of turnover from €1.5 million in 2008 to €6 million in the year 2011 resulted in the unusual decision to replace the B2 press with an all new B1 Heidelberg CX 102.
Marc de Jong comments, “We hadn’t created to move out of your Leiden area, but there are no suitable options available there. As it turned out, the move into a fresh high-tech, eco-friendly building has been perfect for us; it’s an excellent environment to welcome our high-end corporate clients, agencies, designers and print brokers into … they never neglect to be impressed. We had been also fortunate that people chose to not specify an extended delivery with IR drying when we made the go on to B1. It absolutely was the constrictions imposed by that press configuration that led me to research alternative solutions as our business developed. I come up with a reason for pursuing the latest innovations by checking the trade media in america, Printweek.com and so on, and whenever I learn about AMS LED-UV I used to be impressed by the claims for eliminating powder, increasing speeds as well as the sheets being ready for fast back-up printing or finishing; I wasn’t thinking about the ability to print on awkward stocks or plastics. All of the reports looked good so we made enquiries and Wifac, the agent for Air Motion Systems within the BeNeLux countries, arranged some site visits for people. Once we saw it in operation we had been convinced that AMS LED-UV was the correct choice for all of us.”