July 12, 2007 -- KBA North America, a leading press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., recently held a successful UV printing and coating open house at Paragraphics Inc., a leading high-quality commercial printer located in San Rafael, California. The open house, held on May 9, 2007, included live demonstrations of several special effect UV printed jobs on a KBA Rapida 105 41-inch sheetfed press along with presentations from related UV and coating vendors, such as Air Motion Systems, Bottcher America, Harris & Bruno International, Kodak, Kohl & Madden, and Mohawk Fine Papers.
“This is the first UV open house event in the US with the only high-performance 41-inch UV press located in California at Paragraphics,” says Randy Perkins, KBA district sales manager who arranged the open house/seminar. “The seminar was important because printers are longing to use UV for special effect projects that set them apart and are high-value products. KBA is seeing the growing trend in UV printing with the number of UV equipped presses and presses prepared for UV. Eighty percent of our 41” and larger presses installed by KBA in the last 18 months in this area are equipped with UV while the other 20% are prepared for future UV installation. There is a definite trend towards UV. Printing six colors plus coating is a very competitive market these days. Many printers are looking for ways to distinguish themselves from the competition and UV allows that plus it increases what printers can offer their customers in terms of quality, environmental benefits and differentiation.”
Attendees were treated to the UV production of several special effect coating pieces as well as 10 micron stochastic printing on uncoated to show the wider color gamut and more intense colors available from the UV process. Attendees also learned about inks, chemistry, press rollers, printing and coating blankets, UV dryers, plates, prepress, paper considerations, coaters, and the environmental impact of UV. The exhibitors provided technical information on requirements for switching to UV or preparing equipment to run both conventional and UV inks and coatings.
For example, Kohl & Madden Inks displayed the make-up of UV and Hybrid inks and discussed run-ability characteristics of inks and coatings in UV process. Mohawk Fine Papers was on hand as well to provide information on stock selection considerations with UV printing and coating while Kodak discussed prepress and CTP requirements with UV printing. Harris & Bruno showed samples produced with UV process that highlighted color shifting coatings and flexo metallic printing produced in line with UV technology.
Bottcher Systems discussed the compound make-up of press rollers and blankets designed to work with both conventional inks as well as UV inks. Tom Brys, regional representative for Bottcher, also presented information on maintaining and cleaning these unique compounds.
Mike Bates, sales representative of Air Motion Systems, described the revolutionary modular UV curing system on the Paragraphics Rapida 105 press and showed how the press tracks hours of use no matter if the unit is installed at the end of press or moved to a print unit position.
Jeff Towner, a partner and sales rep for Paragraphics, spoke with several print buyers in attendance to promote the environmental benefit of this process. “With the elimination of VOC’s from the inks (UV inks have less than 1% VOC’s which the State of California considers as no VOC’s) and the ability to print incredibly detailed and color intense work onto 100% PSC (post consumer waste) papers, our ability to produce on these recycled stocks with UV process helps to differentiate us from our competitors. Not only are we producing a better looking and more colorful piece but we are also doing this in an incredibly environmentally-friendly process which is becoming more and more important in this state and for our customers.”
Seminar attendees were impressed with the presentation. “I’ve always wanted to see a UV press in action,” says Franz Moll, production planner for Community Printers, a premier commercial shop located in Santa Cruz, CA, who attended the open house with his pressroom supervisor Brett Godfrey. “This excellent seminar provided us the opportunity to see this amazing press up-close and ask the press operator all types of questions about the special effect UV jobs they were printing. We were also very impressed with how easy it was to switch from conventional printing to UV printing. By having all of the other industry representatives in attendance, it was like a mini-trade show but focusing on technical issues. It was a fantastic experience and I learned a lot and we’re still talking about what we learned.”
Chris Travis, KBA Director of Technology, described the recent advancements in UV technology. “With the many advancements we are seeing in UV, one day soon we will see this process become the standard in printing,” says Travis. “With the proper equipment and training, companies will benefit from the elimination of so many print problems with this technology. Coupled with faster through-put and better print quality on lower grade or recycled stocks these are a few of the benefits that will drive this change.”
KBA North America is a member of the KBA Group, a leading supplier of sheetfed, webfed, and digital offset presses located in Williston, Vermont. At KBA, we are dedicated to excellence in printing technology. Our greatest satisfaction comes from helping our customers succeed by building presses that enable their businesses to prosper. From engineering through production, our focus is on people, providing flexible technology, customized printing solutions, and personal service to help our partners differentiate themselves and be successful today and in the future.