With a 40-year history, LGP Ltd is has become one of the foremost printers in its home city of Leeds. In January 2017 the company moved to a new 20,000sq ft premises, prompted by the need to house a new five colour SRA1 Ryobi RMGT press. Not only did this represent a move up in sheet size, it also meant the adoption of LED-UV drying technology which MD Philip Stead considers a necessity in today’s market.
“LED-UV is a real game-changer,” he says. “Instant drying is more than just a productivity boost, it means we can handle some difficult drying tasks and widen our capability. But you can’t think of any press in isolation; it’s part of a production system, and that system has to be equal to the task.”
To this end, LGP purchased Cron CTP equipment along with RealPro workflow software, both now available in the UK via SOS (Service Offset Supplies).
“We needed a new platemaker to accommodate our new sheet size, but it also gave us an opportunity to update our workflow. Compatibility between hardware and software has given us issues in the past, but now it’s seamless.”
As well as its five colour SRA1 press, LGP runs a five colour SRA2 press, and several B3 machines. Philip Stead: “The Cron machine needs to be highly productive and very reliable. It feeds 25 press units, all day, every day. It’s saved a lot on labour – it’s a one man job and you don’t ever see the operator, he is upstairs in the studio!”
Changing plate sizes between SRA2, SRA3 and B3 – and changing plate width – is automated via Cron’s autoloader which also handles de-interleaving. LGP opted for a UV plate option requiring a processing unit, as Mr Stead explains:
“We considered a processless thermal system, but at the time of installation, there were no processless plates which would last much longer than 5,000 sheets thanks to the aggressive chemistry on the press,” he says. “This has changed now, but we don’t regret opting for UV. Presensitised UV plates work with any press chemistry, and there is a big difference in price. The savings we made on plates have just about paid for the finance on the machine!”
He continues: “Lifetime cost, not purchase cost, is the most important factor when making a buying decision, and it’s something we apply to every purchase. It’s the reason we went SRA1 instead of B1, and it’s the reason we went for Cron CTP. The figures add up.”
LGP is enjoying a successful period with turnover on the rise. Philip Stead says the key to success in today’s market is a willingness to diversify and a customer focus. “We have to offer what the cut-price internet printers can’t, which means added value with specialist finishing and innovative ideas, plus the ultimate in print quality. We also offer a real partnership with customers and I’m pleased to say that SOS have a similar outlook. They are always on hand and have looked after us well.”
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