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Efficient, green, and ‘a marketing dream' - LED-UV

Dorset print house Blackmore Ltd, the first firm to install a KBA LED press, a four colour B1 RAPIDA 105, has described the innovative machine as ‘a marketing dream’.

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Blackmore Ltd became the first UK business to install a KBA LED press, the four colour B1 RAPIDA 105

Two years ago, the company’s B2 Heidelberg CD74 was approaching its replacement date, prompting production director Nigel Hunt to look into the UV systems on the market. However, before too much research, it became apparent to the team that issues including ink costs, electricity requirements, and environmental impact meant that UV, LE-UV, and H-UV were not viable options
It was at this point the benefits of LED-UV became of great interest to Blackmore, with its capacity to dramatically reduce the amount of energy used and the lack of ozone and heat from the process.
Hunt comments: “The testing that we carried out in the KBA factory with the AMS LED lamps fitted to a RAPIDA 106 press convinced us that we were on the right track. The tests included timed trials for makeready, running and job changeover across a range of stocks including lightweight coated and uncoated papers of various weights, both sides of a one-sided board at 600 microns and, finally, a polypropylene.”

The potential risk of investing in an alternative to conventional litho has paid off considerably for Blackmore; following tests through various post-press operations, there were no problems or issues to report. Not only were the sheets more robust than traditional litho, they were completely dry in the delivery of the press, resulting in no wait before beginning finishing operations.


KBA took the decision very early on to champion LED as the right process to bring maximum benefit to our customers

Hunt continues: “We are producing around 3 times the output of our old B2 press, so the benefits are obvious – especially as we are using the cable that used to run just the drying unit of the old press to power the entire new B1 KBA!

“When you add in the savings in spray powder (we run all stocks without anti-set-off spray), coatings (no longer required) and so on, the payback figures become very impressive.”

KBA - Unlock the Potential

Last year, KBA and LED printing specialist AMS revealed their exclusive partnership, with KBA now revealing that LED printing is available across its entire RAPIDA range. Managing director of KBA Andrew Pang says: “KBA took the decision very early on to champion LED as the right process to bring maximum benefit to our customers.

“That LED-Printing is now available across our entire range is a testament to AMS and the collaboration they have forged with KBA’s technical development teams.”

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