Wellingborough, UK-based ProPrint Group has installed its first Komori offset press, a six colour B1 Lithrone G40 with coater, IR and Komori e-UV drying option to increase firepower and flexibility within its Pro Packaging division. Packaging currently contributes over 55 per cent to the group’s £8 million turnover, the remainder emanating from its labels, digital and specialist promotional divisions.
The new press has been equipped with multiple drying options, as Director, Nigel Tollman explains, “In addition to end of press UV, we have UV interdecks located after the first, fifth and sixth printing units and also IR drying and hot air knives in the delivery extension. This is to ensure we’re able to handle the varied packaging print we produce for sectors including confectionery, food, cosmetics, leisure, gifts and DIY. Run lengths also vary considerably – from a thousand cartons for niche markets and special event promotions to hundreds of thousands for food sectors for which the turnround time can, literally, change as quickly as the weather.”
He continues, “We needed to invest in a new offset press for increased output, faster make-readies and a wider range of drying flexibility which included interdeck UV capability, to handle work such as white pre-printing on foil board and for special finishes such as dual and spot coatings and varnishes. Just as important was for us to ensure we reduced our breakdown costs and down time, as working 24/6 leaves us little opportunity for maintenance breaks. We’ve also chosen Komori’s e-UV option so that we’re ready to switch simply to Komori’s H-UV curing system and use H-UV low migration inks in the future and the press is equipped with a dual purpose varnish circulation system for UV and water based coatings.”
Tollman founded Pro Packaging in 1997 with co-Director, Perry Goodman – and in 2011, he formed the label division with James Denny. The group moved in 2013 to its current 30,000 sq ft factory where it employs 60 people. A further site of 17,000 sq ft houses the ProPrint Group’s digital division where overnight mock ups on rigid or flexible substrates are handled on its Screen Truepress Jet 1600 UV-F.
Pro Digital expanded in 2016 with the investment in the Graphium – a combined digital and flexo press – capable of producing labels and flexible films for shrink sleeves.
Tollman continues, “On the packaging front, we initially searched for a second hand B1 offset machine with additional UV, but identifying the technology improvements made by all manufacturers over the last few years, we concluded that a new press to our specific requirements would be best for us to drive forward significantly in the future. We called in all the major players and took our first really detailed look at Komori at its Graphic Technology Centre in Utrecht, where we were able to check out a GL640 with virtually the same specification as we had in mind. We were extremely impressed with the fast make ready times, the production speed and consistency on varying board weights. Colour and register were so close to perfect on first pulls that we calculated it would reduce our job changeover times by 40 per cent and also make a serious impact on waste – working within an industry where margins are keen, the demand to control and reduce waste is imperative for the future of our business.”
With other recent investments within the Pro Packaging division, including new gluers and an additional die-cutter, the Komori was set the challenging task of keeping the finishing department supplied with a constant work flow. “To date, it has surpassed this and has achieved everything we had hoped it would. With the continued back up and support from Komori service team we feel we have definitely chosen the right partners for the future of our business,” says Tollman.
ProPrint’s Promo + division has also recently invested in another flexographic press, installing an Edale FL-3 eight colour web.