Southern Champion Tray Reports on Retrofitting its KBA Rapida 106 with LED-UV from AMS
It is rare to find a printhouse as business- and customer-savvy as Southern Champion Tray of Mansfield, TX. The leading manufacturer of paperboard packaging boasts 90 years of experience, and as a third-generation company has operated through depressions, wars, and times of prosperity.
According to SCT’s Production Manager Robi Siklosi, the key to surviving and thriving during varied economic climates has been to follow a set of three guiding principles: maintain a clear vision, constantly innovate, and make an unwavering commitment to excellence and integrity.
In September 2016, Southern Champion Tray installed an LED-UV curing system from AMS Spectral UV - A Baldwin Technology Company (Booth 3007) on its KBA (Booth 213) Rapida 106.
“Since 2010 we had been in close communication with AMS, and had attended the Print UV conference to learn more about LED printing. In our opinion, AMS was the vendor with the most experience.”
The decision to invest in LED curing was based on a host of solid, factual benefits, according to Siklosi. “Energy savings was a big one, as was the fact the lamps last 20,000 hours, instead of 2,000 like with conventional lamps. The elimination of powder from the pressroom, environmental friendliness, and potential press speed were also factors.”
The installation took two weeks: LED lamps were installed so they can be moved between units 1 to 2, and 6 to 7, while UV and IR driers are positioned in the delivery. “We had to give AMS the press for two shifts, and we stayed in production the rest of the time. AMS also provided us with a coach who made sure all staff were trained.”
The SCT staff feels the move had been the right one. “Our pressmen love working with LED,” Siklosi said. “They love the brilliance of the LED inks. They love that there are no more print scratches or offsetting. We really enjoy exploring all the specialty work.”
Since adding LED-UV to its arsenal, SCT has been able to get into the specialty high-end packaging market, where, according to Siklosi, “specialty applications like strike-through and motion coatings are a must.” The company now prints on foil board, a type of work they had to turn away in the past.
When it comes to turnaround times for customers, Siklosi reports that they have improved. “In the past we had to print our jobs and send them to an outside vendor for UV coating. We now turn these jobs around the same day.”
Siklosi’s overall opinion of LED-UV curing is highly positive, and he feels printers should consider retrofitting if they want to improve their operations. “The install was very quick, the learning curve was short since we did our homework, and researched the configuration and what supplier to go with. And we can share our efforts to be eco-friendly with customers—the energy savings tell a great sustainability story.”