In the few months since VISOgraphic installed their RMGT 10 Series press, Bob Dahlke and his son, Bob Dahlke Jr. have already run over 8 million impressions on the press, and they are just getting started. They made the decision to invest in the press when it became clear the shop needed their offset litho operations to be as efficient and modern as their newer digital presses, and RMGT hit the sweet spot all around.
“This was just the best fit from a pricing and service standpoint for our business,” said Dahlke. “LED-UV was important to us as well — it is instant curing, more environmentally friendly, has increased throughput, and less VOCs. We liked forming a partnership with Graphco as well. It is an important investment for both our clients and employees as we expand into new markets.”
On three old presses combined, noted Dahlke, they could only push an average of 8,000 impressions per hour. On the single RMGT 10 Series press, they can do as many as 16,000 impressions per hour, doubling their productivity in a much smaller footprint. And they have already begun to bring some spot UV work in-house that they previously had to send to other shops as well. “This is really going to benefit our operations,” said Dahlke Jr. “And it will only continue to improve as we really learn the machine. We are still in the learning curve phase with this press, and on the cusp of what it can really do. We are excited and enthusiastic about the potential.”
“I have been very surprised how fast we have been able to migrate from our conventional 40” press environment,” states John Dahlke. “We jumped from two older presses with no automation, to a completely new press manufacturer in RMGT. Heavy ink coverage jobs and substrates sensitive to offsetting now run at rated speeds without issues thanks to LED-UV curing. In the past, our make-readies also took much longer – this is not the case anymore. It’s also great not to “fight” jobs on press anymore – you dial it in and the press simply runs and runs. Between the efficiencies of the RMGT and the instant LED-UV curing Baldwin system, some of our most problematic jobs have become hang and bang jobs.”
The shop has also invested heavily in digital equipment, and does a large amount of hybrid work, with shells printed offset on the RMGT 10 Series press, then going through the digital presses for personalization. LED-UV curing technology makes this type of operation much more streamlined. Since the offset press does not use spray powder, offset printed sheets can go directly to the digital press without excess powder clogging the digital presses. LED-UV curing technology not only enables a seamless hybrid print workflow between offset and digital, it also allows VISOgraphic to send printed sheets direct to the bindery without any delays or waiting, speeding up processing across the board.
“One of the big advantages with LED-UV is the accelerated throughput through our plant,” noted Dahlke. “With immediate LED-UV curing, once off press, press sheets can go right to our bindery for conversion. Even uncoated jobs that normally had to sit overnight to dry can now be immediately worked on --- with no fear of marking or offset. We have not had to rerun one job due to scuffing, offsetting or picking since installing the RMGT 10 Series with LED-UV curing system.”
Dahlke did note that the UV inks are more expensive than what they were using before, but, he said, the savings they are seeing from the increased efficiency and productivity are more than making up the difference. “As more people install these presses, the price on the inks will continue to go down,” noted Dahlke Jr. “That ship is turning, and more people are starting to figure out that LED-UV is the next generation of litho printing. It is really starting to take hold.” “The entire Graphco team (the exclusive RMGT distributor for the Midwest USA) is incredibly pleased that VISOgraphic continues to be happy with this investment,” said Chris Manley, President. “We believed the RMGT 10 Series would be a turning point for the shop, and it is gratifying to see that playing out in real time. We look forward to continuing this partnership with them for many years to come.”