Large-format Package Printing
East of the Mississippi River, in America’s heartland, Litho Press spotlights a new Roland 900XXL sheetfed that went online last summer. The 73-inch press turns out everything from box wraps, top sheets and maps, to large in-store signage and POP displays, large folding cartons and general commercial print jobs.
The Indianapolis-based firm also sports two six-color manroland presses—a 41-inch Roland 700 and a 56-inch 900 model, both with UV coaters—that handle a range of commercial and package printing applications as well.
“Along with lots of commercial trade printing, we do more and more packaging, POP, displays, corrugated … plastics, too,” said Bernie Lacy, who co-owns the 56-year-old shop with his brother, John. Litho’s presses can print on onion skin flysheet paper all the way up to 48-pt. MicroFlute board, on plastic, styrene, static clings, and Cling-Z’s.
Along with a sheet splitter and UV dryer, the 900 XXL arrived with the manroland Pecom operating, workflow integration and automation system for faster makereadies, automatic plate loading and more—including automatic blanket-impression cylinder adjustment for substrate thickness. “We can print up to 48-pt. board and switch from paper to board in almost no time,” noted John Lacy. “We can coat with aqueous or inline UV. We can more-competitively price, for example, 36x50-inch configurations because we can run them two-up.”
More Than Brown Boxes
In the Pacific Northwest, Trojan Lithograph has grown from a small print shop 59 years ago to a premier sheetfed house that added folding carton production in the 1980s. Now G7-certified, the versatile firm claims that no printer west of the Rockies offers more services under one roof. The Renton, Wash. company boasts a full range of packaging, commercial printing, and converting capabilities—producing everything from brown boxes to high-end commercial print and work on oversize presses such as the 56-inch, eight-color KBA Rapida 142 added to its 200,000-sq-ft facility in mid-2005.
“Instead of running 100,000 sheets for a box design through our 40-inch presses one-up, we can put through 50,000 sheets two-up,” explained Wayne Millage, president of Trojan Litho. The press also is equipped with a slitter on the delivery end, which “allows us to utilize a 56-inch sheet, put two different jobs on the same sheet but only burn one set of plates and cut the sheet in half into two 28×40-inch sheets,” Millage noted. “We’re using all of the efficiencies of a large-format press but being able to produce short-run jobs.”
Trojan said it chose the KBA press because it can produce high-quality work for both its packaging and commercial work. “For example, we’re able to produce oversize graphics with UV coatings and varnish and unique graphic effects,” noted Millage. “We can offer our ad agency clients banners and oversize prints. And we can print on different substrates, such as plastic.”
Trojan’s Rapida 142 also is equipped with UV coating and UV interdeck lamps at each station. “This is another feature that differentiates us from our competition,” he added. “By having an eight-color press with coating and UV, we’re able to design unique jobs for our customers with aqueous coating and hybrid UV inks. Our customers can design jobs that are anti-counterfeit. We found that KBA’s extensive experience in producing presses for the security-conscious banknote industry helps us and our customers.”
The Future of Packaging and Print
It is obvious that sheetfed press OEMs are placing renewed emphasis on packaging. At drupa a year ago, Komori debuted the latest addition to its Lithrone platform: the LSX40 press. Targeted for high-volume commercial printers, the increased maximum sheet size—29.5x41 inches—and fast running speeds (up to 18,000 sph) has added attraction for packaging and label printers. The press series features short makeready performance.