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Irwin Hodson markets special VOC-free coating techniques from its KBA Press

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, announces that Irwin Hodson Press, a Portland, Oregon commercial printing company, which operates a specially-configured KBA Rapida 105 41-inch 10-color 12-unit UV long perfecting press with inline double coaters, has produced a new VOC-free coating sample book to promote its new Soya-Kote, the first line of soya-based aqueous and UV coatings.

"Soya-Kote was developed by our research and development team as a proprietary environmentally-positive product," says T.J. McDonald, Irwin Hodson CEO and president. "It is made with a bio-renewable domestic product that supports the American farmer and it helps to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and conserve resources for future generations. We were told that it would be difficult to produce these highly soy based coatings but found success by testing specific processes for applying and curing. These coatings produce higher gloss levels than our traditional products and cost our customers less. Since their introduction at a UV convention this year, Soya-Kote has made a huge impact on our sales. It has been growing rapidly and rewarding us with more business. In fact, many of our large nationwide customers ask us to print the Soya-Kote logo on their print jobs to advertise its environmentally-friendliness."

Soya-Kote, which was introduced in February 2009, is available in gloss, satin, and dull as well as an extended line of special effect coatings. The new product is especially attractive to customers who are keen on sustainability issues and environmental impact.

Environmental attributes
"The most important issue to our customers is its environmentally-positive attributes," says Ken Kozol, vice president of manufacturing and sales at Irwin Hodson. "At first it was a tough sell because so many customers are green-washed. But we've opened their eyes to different environmentally positive solutions."

To illustrate how Soya-Kote can produce high-quality coated jobs on less expensive stock, Irwin Hodson designed a new 25-page sample book providing dazzling examples of the new Soya-Kote printed on the KBA Rapida 105 41-inch 10-color UV long perfecting press. "Our whole philosophy was to design a swatch book for designers that helps to open up their creative minds to more possibilities," says Kozol. "It gives them a toolbox to illustrate what is possible with inline capabilities especially in this budget-driven economy."

A majority of the book is dedicated to displaying samples of UV coating techniques. Some pages show side-by-side examples of an image printed with, for example, Soya sparkle special effects UV Soya-Kote versus the same image printed in four-color process. Other pages ask the reader to touch the example to feel the difference between the Soya touch special effects Soya-Kote versus the traditional four-color process example. One unique image, notes Kozol, displays mouth-watering apples with a new textured varnish.

Superior gloss levels
"Normally, these type of effect can not be produced with such minimal application," says Kozol. "A printer would need special plates and high BCM rollers which would increase the cost but we're able to accomplish the print job using the Soya-Kote and our KBA Rapida 105 double-coater press as a standard inline process. Plus, we're getting gloss levels that are in the 94 to 96 range as a wet trap without a double pass. This gloss rate is much higher than our former conventional coatings."

The new Soya-Kote coatings are only specified for the firm's KBA Rapida 105 41-inch 10-color long perfector press. Installed in the fall of 2008, the KBA Rapida 105 is equipped with a KBA Logotronic management system, Densitronic Professional scanning XY spectrodensitometer with a new dynamic color control module that can reduce ink-related start-up waste by as much as 80% and speed up ink-key settings, and the revolutionary unique sheet infeed process known as the no-sidelay SIS Sensoric Infeed System. The double coater allows the firm to produce special effects that are highly prized by designers and ad agencies and coat both sides of the sheet in one pass.

Producing the impossible
"We take great pride in the new Soya-Kote coatings, especially since we were told by the coating manufacturers that the high content of soy we requested would be difficult to create," says Kozol. "We were told that because they have such a high content of soy, the coating might quickly yellow or not cure. In fact, we have found the opposite. We're also proud to say that we can print perfecting jobs on both sides in one-pass using either UV or aqueous Soya-Kote coatings. This has been one of our most rewarding projects that we've accomplished in the past year."