As a print shop you always have a need to streamline production, reduce hard costs and inject flexibility in to your print workflow to open up new opportunities for short-run jobs, especially in offset. UV-curable inks are not necessarily new to the print industry and have a wide range of uses including wide-format, packaging and label printing. In fact, UV-curable has been around since the 1980s, but in 2017 there are 3 convincing reasons to make the switch.
Reason #1: Take on offset short-runs with confidence
As the print industry continues to evolve over time, we continue to see a need from printers to handle short-run jobs of 5,000 sheets or less. UV-curable inks make this a reality by allowing many different ridged and flexible materials to be printed on directly without mounting or clean-up of the press. Save the labor, equipment and extra process costs of things like mounting, press prep and lamination while gaining a bonus of eliminating the problems those process add to your finished product. Don’t just take our word for it, check out this WhatTheyThink video with one of our printing customers.
Reason #2: Less impact on the environment—and some savings too
UV-curable inks have been around for a minute, but it is only in recent years that the design improvements and the technology upgrades to LED UV-curing has revolutionized the process for offset printing such as with the GSNA RMGT family of presses. The advantages of switching from a traditional lamp perfecting system for curing to LED UV-curing includes zero ozone pollution for significantly less environmental impact, impressive energy savings, superior ease-of-use and—maybe most importantly for your production workflow—instant drying. Additional, UV-curable inks don’t dry until cured and can contain no VOCs, which provides significant advantages for operator safety and press clean-up, unlike water-based and solvent-based inks. See how Birmingham Printing uses the RMGT 9 Series to achieve their environmental impact goals.
Reason #3: UV-curable inks provide superior ease of use, speed, quality and stability
For the last couple of years, industry analysts such as Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends have been predicting and showing signs of the significant growth potential in UV-curable inks. The growth is largely due to the gains printers will see once they switch. Most of the gains point back to the basic properties of UV-curable ink. The ink itself doesn’t change viscosity nor does it require the removal or transfer of solvents; it is very stable. It also doesn’t absorb into the material it is being printed on, which reduces consumption. And as mentioned before, with LED UV-curing it dries instantly. The basic properties of the UV inks create a printing environment where you can print faster, switch media faster and clean up…you guessed it, faster. Moreover, UV inks are known to produce finer dots creating a sharper image with deeper color adding value to your final product.
In 2017, make the move to an offset press solution that will not only provide you multiple ways to answer your customers’ needs, but give you superior performance, quality and cost savings. Let our team at GSNA show you how the RMGT family of presses can change your business. As the leaders in LED UV-curing with the first press to market in 2008, we have the experience you can count on.
In 2008, RYOBI MHI became the world's first manufacturer of sheet-fed offset presses to introduce LED-UV technology that incorporates an LED light source for quick drying. It has a 15 times longer life span, consumes 70 to 80% less electricity, and generates much less heat than a conventional lamp system, making it very attractive for its energy efficiency and greatly reduced environmental impact.
UV printing allows printed sheets to be quick-cured by UV light immediately after printing, offering advantages including a shorter lead time, powder-less printing, and printing on special media. RYOBI MHI was the first sheet-fed offset press manufacturer to commercially develop a next-generation, energy-saving, environmental-friendly LED-UV printing system. Winning high praise among RYOBI MHI customers, the system continues to evolve. New versions of the LED-UV printing system have been added to the lineup to enable varnish coating, greatly expanding the range of value-added printing and providing powerful support for customers.
LED-UV Printing System's Advantages
Shorter Lead Times
Consistent Printing Quality
Compatible with Special Media
How does a traditional commercial printer, with a sheet-fed offset press, enter the lucrative packaging market? Investing in the right equipment and developing a solid business plan were key for Dale Skinkis, president of Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging. “The market for package printing is shifting with the growth of on-demand production,” he notes. “Serving the on-demand market requires focus upon quality and price. That’s how you get the business.”
The company’s niche is quick prototyping and printing of folding carton retail packaging, from as little as 500 up to 20,000 units, within extremely quick turnarounds. Creating retail packaging typically takes four to six weeks or longer. Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging turns these jobs in as little as 48 hours. The staff at Graphic Edge is so customer-focused that when a packaging opportunity comes in they are able to quickly generate a packaging design and deliver a prototype within hours. “We are constantly studying the market for new and unique packaging designs and then reverse engineering the design to fit our production capabilities”, says Tashina Peplinski, Production Manager, at Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging.
The Gift Box Dilemma
Just 3 weeks before Christmas 2014, a client requested 30,000 gift-wrapped packages with bows on top for a cellular phone promotion. The client was adamant on having the bows on top, but to physically gift wrap 30,000 boxes was going to be very time consuming and expensive. The solution was to create a folding box design to include a die-cut bow on the top and print the “gift wrap” design. Within a day, the customer received a prototype and approved the job. Design, printing, die-cutting, and gluing production occurred in-house and within a few days.
What enabled a traditional commercial printer to enter the packaging market? “Having every process that is needed to complete the job under one roof is key,” states Skinkis. “One of our unique differentiators is that we can run packaging jobs on the same press as our traditional commercial print jobs.”
The Big Secret
In the summer of 2014, Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging installed a RYOBI MHI 755XL-D Packaging Edition Offset Press. The new RYOBI MHI Packaging Edition press features automatic deployment and retraction of transfer drums to accommodate stocks ranging from onionskin to heavy board. It also features a special heavy-duty feeder, as well as an air-guide system to ‘float’ sheets through the 16,000-sph press without marking. RYOBI MHI’s Smart Make-Ready technology drives make-readies down to just six minutes.
“We were pretty sure the RYOBI MHI Packaging Edition press was the one to help us grow our business, but we wanted to see the retractable ‘skeleton drums’ in action—this is the critical technology that enables printing of heavy stock,” said Skinkis. “After seeing the press in the RYOBI MHI factory and running full-out on the printer’s floor we knew this was the press for us—no hesitation, no question. We finalized the order right on the spot.” The press was sold by RYOBI MHI distributor Graphco, located in Cleveland, OH, and its partner, Guaranteed Service and Supplies in West Bend, WI. Graphco is one of six RYOBI MHI exclusive regional distributors who sell offset and digital presses across the U.S. and Canada, as part of Graphic Systems North America (GSNA).
“We see a very bright future for package printing,” Dale Skinkis explained. “We also believe offset can effectively compete with digital printing for a long time to come, especially in the general commercial printing, package printing, and specialty printing realms. With offset, it’s all about great marketing—and great service, and RYOBI MHI gives us the edge we need to excel.”