For Buchanan Visual Communications, the Future Of Print Lies in Perfecting
“The 12-color press pushes about the same amount of work out the door per hour as two six-color straight presses with half the labor cost,” Johnson observed. “The Dallas market is made up predominantly of printers that have the capabilities to perform standard four-over-four work. A lot of printers have upgraded to five-color and six-color presses. But unfortunately, the five- and six-color market has become commodity driven. To fight the battle with decreasing margins, especially on the commodity work, you need to generate more revenue for every hour of production. The only way to do that is with perfecting presses. Three years ago, we began converting all of our sheetfed equipment to perfecting.”
The Double Diamond replaced the 10-color Heidelberg Speedmaster and a six-color, 40-inch Heidelberg straight press. The new configuration of presses now produces an outstanding array of finished products, from straight 12-color work with up to two coatings on either paper or plastic to two-over-two projects with coating.
The coating configurations and drying package provide great flexibility in the job mix. The Double Diamond can accommodate aqueous-over-aqueous coatings, ultraviolet (UV) and aqueous coatings on either side of printed sheets or UV-over-UV applications -- all inline and in one pass. Apart from the added value of the finished product, UV offers protection of the printed sheets.
Buchanan opted for an interdeck UV curing system incorporating technology from Grafix LLC, with two dryers that can be positioned after printing units two, four or six. Buchanan also outfitted the press with stub unit dryers before and after the coaters. A chamber/anilox coater is located after the sixth printing unit and before the sheet-reversing unit. The second chamber/anilox coater is situated after the twelfth printing unit.
“Certain jobs don’t lend themselves as well to perfected printing,” Johnson pointed out. “It’s the nature of the jobs, regardless of the press. We print those jobs with UV hybrid inks. The sheets are completely dry before they go through the reversing unit, which eliminates the risk of marking and has virtually eliminated dot gain as a production issue.”