Litho Game Changers

Not only is big iron alive and well, but there are a number of technologies in lithographic printing being talked about at GRAPH EXPO 2011 that are game changers for a variety of market segments. I would like to bring to your attention two of these technologies, which have had extensive research. They are “H-UV” from Komori and “Flying Job Change” from KBA.

H-UV from Komori is a narrow-spectrum UV curing system with special UV inks that only cure in that narrow spectrum. What that means for printers who wish to utilize UV is that, on a six-color press, instead of having quite a number of lamps, they may now need only one lamp. This drops the cost of entry significantly.

Secondly, no ozone is formed with the new system, thus venting for ozone is not needed. In addition, virtually no heat is created—yet another reason venting can be reduced—and there is no substrate deformation due to heat. This has great meaning for the printer of plastic.

Now for another real money-saver: energy usage drops dramatically. If you have been considering UV or are a UV sheetfed printer, this technology—while very new—needs to be looked at and considered.


No stopping

The second technology that impresses me is Flying Job Change from KBA. For sheetfed printing, this is an amazing technology. It requires no makeready time because the press does not stop, it only slows down a bit.

First, let’s look at the technology and then where I believe the fit is. On a four-color press, for example, you would start by having plates on all units for two, two-color jobs. Units one and three would print the first job, then the press would slow from 15,000 iph to 12,000 iph and units two and four would engage, while units one and three disengaged. The press would then speed up to 15,000 iph and the next job would begin printing while new plates are automatically mounted on units one and three. Now you have a flying job change. A number of other operations are going on as well.

Where is the fit? It’s for the printer who has:

• Many short runs on the same size and thickness stock

• Versioning

• Language changes

• Specialized print, such as business cards

• Book printing

I am sure I missed one or two.

Happy Printing!