Pietermaritzburg’s oldest printing firm, City Printing Works (CPW), is the first company in Africa to install the ground-breaking Komori Lithrone LS 429 H-UV four-colour lithographic printing press from Kemtek.
CPW sales director, Mark Backhouse said, ‘With our existing 14-year-old four-colour press working round the clock we realised that a second lithographic press was needed to improve efficiencies. However, we wanted something special that could take the business to the next level and, while visiting drupa 2012, we made contact with Kemtek Group MD, Gavin van Rensburg, who introduced us to the H-UV technology and its exciting capabilities. What really appealed to us was its versatility. Besides exceptional print quality and speed, it prints on metallised surfaces and synthetic substrates such as polypropylene and PVC and, with the ‘instant curing’ process, it can turn jobs around quickly without the risk of inks running or bleeding.’
Komori H-UV uses a special single quartz UV lamp, developed by Baldwin Technology, to cure highly sensitive UV inks, resulting in an instant dry requiring no extra sealing or varnishing. The H-UV lamp, which can be located at the end of the press, cures up to 400% ink coverage plus coating at maximum press speed and, thanks to its low heat output, delivers printed sheets immediately from the press at only ten degrees warmer than ambient air temperature.
According to Komori, CO2 emissions from an H-UV lamp are approximately 25% that of a conventional curing system, which significantly reduces press running costs and the need for replacement bulbs. The lamp doesn’t discharge ozone emissions, contributing to a healthy working environment, plus it has a built-in Active Power Control that reduces energy while boosting curing power.
In terms of print standards, Komori has developed, in collaboration with Huber Group, Germany, specialised H-UV sensitive inks. They combine exceptional print quality with maximum curing capability, irrespective of the press running speed, or indeed the substrate. The process eliminates any need for spray powder so, apart from the obvious environmental benefits, the printed sheet surface is smooth and the ink has strong reflective qualities and a bright appearance.
Without powder transfer to the blankets, reverse-side printing is also of the highest standard. There’s also no ‘dry-back’, as with oil-based inks, so H-UV colour remains true over time. Even on uncoated and matt papers, colour stands strong. This gives printers the confidence to offer various tactile materials with a unique look and feel.
‘Komori H-UV ticks all the right boxes, especially for print-on-demand (POD) general commercial printing where quick turnaround is critical, plus added-value and full-colour brand packaging,’ added Backhouse.
CPW was supported throughout the installation and commissioning process by a highly-qualified local Kemtek team, with the assistance of Komori and Baldwin Technology specialists from the UK.