Bapsfontein-based Colourtech Design & Print is the first company in Africa to purchase the latest technology in inkjet web printing with the installation of the Screen Jet520 HD. The company uses the press in combination with an Ibis book-on-demand machine and Hunkeler cut-sheet line, all purchased from Ipex Machinery, to process a range of educational and publishing materials.
Colourtech, which has operated for 26 years, offers a range of printing services, but its main focus is the publishing and education markets. The business has a unique set up as in addition to printing, there is also an in-house dispatch and deliveries division, which helps service 350,000 students.
Sonja Groenewald, Colourtech CEO, first saw the Screen Jet520 HD at drupa in 2016, and made a site visit to Silhouet Digital Print in Belgium, where she saw the press in action. ‘We looked at a range of machines, but Screen stood out from the rest. I did a year’s worth of research on suitable presses, but took a day to decide on the Screen. What attracted me was the exceptional quality.’
Groenewald was also impressed with the speed, low printing costs and ability to do variable data, a feature which they plan to use in the future. ‘Usually with traditional web presses you need to print high volumes but the Screen allows us to process small and large volumes, with no click charges and overhead costs,’ she said. ‘This is ideal for publishers who need quick ‘top-ups’ of materials.’
The press also opens new markets for Colourtech. ‘A major advantage is that we can charge the same price for both colour and black and white prints.’
With a paper range of 40gsm through to 250gsm, a wide gamut ink set that rivals offset and a workflow that puts users in control of their business, the Truepress Jet520HD is the perfect tool for commercial printing and publishing applications.
The press has three different speed settings, allowing users to balance their needs for print quality and meeting production deadlines. At the top speed of 120m per minute, users can produce in excess of 1600 A4 pages per minute. When slowed to 50m per minute, users can take advantage of the excellent results that come from a full 1200dpi by 1200dpi resolution combined with smooth half-tone reproduction of 4 grey levels. The press also provides pin-sharp text right down to the smallest legible sizes.
The Screen, Hunkeler and Ibis equipment work in synergy to ensure the entire print to finished product is automated, eliminating human error. Groenewald considers Hunkeler the ‘Rolls Royce’ in terms of quality and productivity, while the Ibis offers both saddle stitching and the cold glue option.
Colourtech and Ipex Machinery have enjoyed an eight-year partnership, and Groenewald said the back up and service support that Ipex provided with this installation has been exceptional. ‘Usually, an installation takes three months, but Ipex performed a miracle and the installation took about three weeks.
‘Because we are the first in Africa to install the Screen press, we needed to ensure we had a knowledgeable and reliable supplier, and we are very impressed with Ipex, who always goes the extra mile. Installing the new Screen press in our busiest time of year was a huge challenge, but if there was a plan to make, Ipex made it, and helped ensure the process was as smooth as possible.’