Three KODAK Prosper S10 Imprinting Systems are arranged on each of two vacuum feed tables. These each offer a print width of 105.6mm, and can be shifted laterally on crossbars to be positioned for the various jobs.
In variable imprinting, the mailings run on the vacuum belts under the PROSPER S10 systems, and immediately afterwards run under IR belt dryers, the output of which is adjusted according to the paper stock. The system reaches speeds of up to 180 m/min, depending on the inline processing functions used—way under the Prosper S10 systems’ maximum speed of 305 m/min.
After variable printing on the front, the sheet or product is turned on a roller table with an alignment rail for accurate imprinting on the rear. As well as variable data printing, the finishing line offers a range of inline processing options, such as folding in several buckle fold units, attaching inserts, cyclic perforation, cyclic cutting and gluing with cold glue and fugitive hot glue.
One of the main reasons behind Kern’s decision to invest in the Prosper S10 Imprinting Systems was the solution’s ability to handle a wide variety of uncoated, coated and glossy substrates. This is because the company’s variable imprinting and personalization applications call for the most diverse materials—from 60g NCR carbonless copy paper to uncoated offset paper to art paper weighing 300g/m² or more.
The PROSPER S10 Imprinting Systems also help preserve an operation’s investment in legacy offset presses, allowing this equipment to be enhanced with variable data capabilities and an expanded range of applications and value-added services.
André Kern affirms that the Prosper S10 Imprinting Systems deliver print quality equal to laser printing, “With the inkjet systems, the corresponding areas in the offset image don’t have to be left completely blank for imprinting. The whole thing also works on light tints with a total ink coverage of up to about 50 percent.”
Personalization—five times higher productivity, almost half the cost
Inkjet customization affords Kern a variety of application advantages and time savings compared with imprinting on laser printing systems. “Because the laser systems use heat fixing, we had to print the bulk offset shells with thermostable inks—and to do that we had to do a complete ink change on our sheet-fed offset presses,” explains André Kern. “We could use very little spray powder in offset printing, which was really difficult, depending on the subject. And the preprints always had to rest for 72 hours so they could dry thoroughly before being personalized.”
“In contrast, the Prosper S10 Imprinting Systems allow us to work with our standard offset ink set. This saves us the time and effort of changing the ink on the offset presses, and means we’re not restricted when it comes to using the spray powder. And being able to use standard offset inks means we can start the finishing work on our new mailing machine after just eight hours.”
The company is also enjoying a significant productivity boost. “We now manage around 200,000 fully finished mailings per day—with laser imprinting, we could produce up to 40,000 items on a good day. We’ve virtually halved our personalization costs with the Prosper S10 Imprinting Systems,” notes Kern.
Additional color flexibility
A new Kodak NexPress SX3300 Digital Production Color Press has also enhanced Kern’s production facilities for mailing production and other tasks. The new long-sheet option was added to the system in July 2011. The fifth imaging unit of the digital press is used for dimensional printing and, in conjunction with the Kodak NexPress Glossing Unit, for brilliant gloss coating of the color prints.