Rochester, N.Y. - German print service provider LASERLINE Druckzentrum has boosted its digital production facility by replacing its KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 Press with a KODAK NEXPRESS S3000 Digital Production Color Press. The company can now more cost-effectively produce short-run customized jobs, and has invested in a number of Fifth Imaging Unit options to create even higher value products.
Berlin-based LASERLINE operates practically round the clock, using its offset and digital facilities to produce a wide range of products, including brochures, magazines, catalogs, calendars, office materials posters and flyers.
Digital print jobs are produced on four machines, with workflows dominated by high-speed short-run production, typically between 100 and 300 copies. Offset production is used for runs of more than 500-unless personalized products or content have been requested. In this case, larger volumes are produced by the digital department, where the equipment includes a KODAK NEXPRESS S3000 Digital Production Color Press with Fifth Imaging Unit, which replaced a KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 Press.
Versatility is crucial
The NEXPRESS S3000 Press can print 6,000 A4 pages an hour in four or five colors. Its ability to handle a broad variety of coated and uncoated substrates and its comparatively large sheet size were key factors behind LASERLINE's investment: "We make intensive use of the NEXPRESS Press for uncoated and scored paper, as well as for almost all of the carton types we offer, including Chromolux board," explains Andreas Romey, Support Center Manager.
"We also produce a lot of oversize photo calendars in small quantities on the NEXPRESS Press, which is ideal for this format."
LASERLINE acquired the press with the KODAK NEXPRESS Intelligent Calibration System (ICS), which automates the process of checking and maintaining print uniformity. The ICS works with a KODAK Scanner that scans printed color targets and analyzes them against the actual color output. It compares the actual values measured with stored reference values, correcting the press settings if necessary. This automatic calibration is carried out at infrequent intervals or after exchanging important operator replaceable components (ORCs).
Adding value with Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions
The NEXPRESS S3000 Press excels at producing jobs with inline coating. LASERLINE uses several NEXPRESS Fifth Imaging Solutions, including Dimensional Printing. This revolutionary process-which LASERLINE advertises as '3D varnishing'-applies a visible relief with a dimensional feel to graphics, color images and text in a single pass, in addition to the four-color printing. There are virtually no restrictions on creativity. Even colorless effects with the look and feel of blind embossing are no longer a problem when Dimensional Clear Dry Ink is the sole ink used. Dimensional Printing is also an elegant alternative to UV varnish if a partial thick-layer coating is specified.
Other options that LASERLINE offers its customers include full or partial coatings with KODAK NEXPRESS Intelligent Coating, which enable spot varnishing and watermark effects to be created; while KODAK NEXPRESS Intelligent Glossing applies a striking brilliant gloss color. Plus the company achieves exceptionally smooth surface results when printed sheets that have been coated over the full surface with Clear Dry Ink undergo mechanical and thermal treatment in the separate KODAK NEXPRESS Glossing Unit.
With or without coating, all files submitted by customers for digital printing pass through a self-contained, multi-stage prepress process, comprising PDF matching, transparency flattening and imposition. The files that are to be printed on the KODAK Digital Press are then sent to the NEXPRESS Front End for processing and output.
The NEXPRESS S3000 Press also has hot-folder connectivity to the prepress workflow for offset printing. This connectivity is particularly important because the NEXPRESS S3000 Press is also used to output proofs because of its excellent offset simulation, and its ability to print coated and uncoated substrates to an equally high standard. Precise colors are not essential here, as these proofs are for customers who have their jobs ganged for inexpensive offset, but still require a proofed document for their final approval.
"The NEXPRESS S3000 Press is extremely reliable, and the Fifth Imaging Unit enables us to create high-impact, high-value products for our customers," concludes Romey. "The system is worth every cent-it means our customers can now combine short runs with several varnishing and inline coating variants."
Upgrade to the KODAK NEXPRESS SE Platform
In view of LASERLINE's positive experience with the KODAK NEXPRESS Press, the company decided to replace the existing model with a KODAK NEXPRESS SE3000 Digital Production Color Press as part of a project to re-organize the company's digital printing equipment. Among other things, the SE Platform opens up several attractive uplift options for the future. The new digital press will commence production at LASERLINE in December 2010.