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Canterbury-based Broad Oak Colour Printers has committed to a major investment with the purchase of a Ryobi 785E five-colour B2-format offset litho press in order to handle an increasingly busy workload.
The compact format B2 press has replaced an ageing Roland Favorit four-colour machine as the company’s main production unit, though the four-colour product has been retained to produce single and two colour work for the time being. A two-colour Favorit has been taken out of the plant.
Commenting on the investment Director Duncan Palmer, said: “The Favorit’s have given us sterling service for some thirty years, but following our management buyout of the business five years ago, we have been very aware of the need to move to a more productive and modern press.
“The Ryobi 785E is ideal for us: it is a small footprint B2 press, meaning that we were able to slot it into the same floor space that the two-colour used to occupy! The features of the modern press are already making a huge difference to the way we work and the way that we can compete for work in the market.
“Make-ready, for example, has been reduced significantly, along with paper waste, including the number of overs we used to run. The automated dampening and ink duct controls make a huge difference to running the machine, and the colour accuracy and consistency make the machine a delight to work with.”
Having joined the company 30 years ago, Duncan and two colleagues conducted a management buyout of the company five years ago, and have been busily expanding the company’s capabilities since then. A new digital platemaking system and a bookletmaker for the bindery have already added to the equipment line-up.
“The addition of the new press has enabled us to quote for work that we just wouldn’t have been able to produce before. The speed and accuracy of make-ready along with the vastly improved printing speeds give us a highly competitive edge,” added Duncan Palmer. “And we have also been able to reduce the 12-hour days that we had been putting in just to get the work produced!”
Make-ready aids include semi-automatic plate loading, allowing plates to be changed quickly and accurately. The operator simply sets the plate on the positioning pins and presses the button. Ryobi Ink Volume Setter software sends the ink profiles directly to the press from CtP, and the program inking system automatically supplies ink to the rollers to match the image from the start of printing. After the pre-set number of prints has been produced the ink on the rollers is automatically restored to an even state ready for the next job profile.
The compact footprint of the Ryobi machine scores heavily with commercial printers, where space is often at a premium. Ryobi 780 series machines are highly compact, offering substantial floor-space savings – around 40% compared to a typical B2 machine of a similar configuration. The Ryobi PCS-K Printing Control System is built into the press, providing a significant space-saving feature. This part of the unit allows centralised control of the main operations and settings, such as ink and water volume control, printing parameter settings, fine adjustment of registration, impression pressure, as well as press maintenance information.
A team of five at Broad Oak Colour Printers, including the three directors of the business, produce a wide range of general commercial print, including work from graphic designers and from charities. Capabilities include platemaking, printing and a range of finishing solutions. B2 presses