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The greening of WA

Tuesday, 09 June 2015
By Print21

Tim and John Scott, Scott Print

Western Australia’s offset printers are embracing processless and lo-chemistry plates from Fujifilm with gusto. The ultra-competitive Perth area print market has always been one of the most progressive in Australia, typified by WA’s ‘we can do anything’ pluck and driven by periodic highs such as the mining boom.

But WA is not all about iron ore, bauxite, gas and diamonds; it hosts a dynamic tourism, small business, services and manufacturing sector which, when it buys print, likes to know the environmental credentials are up to scratch. Two WA printing firms who have embraced Fujifilm’s lo-chem plate system using ZAC software to measure every drop of developer and water, are Percival Print & Packaging and Scott Print, both regular award winners at Pica and NPA nights.

Perth’s Percival Print & Packaging has serviced Western Australia’s business community with innovative and visually appealing packaging and commercial print products for over forty years. Today owned by David LeRoy and Rod Jenkins, progress has always been constant, with the latest investment in a complete environmentally-responsible low chemistry plate line supplied by Fujifilm Australia.

Percival installed Australia’s first KBA Rapida 106 six-colour plus double coater press in 2010, and then began a process of seeking improvements in platemaking from both quality and environmental perspectives.

Director David LeRoy says: “Many of our packaging customers are extremely pro-active on environmental matters so any improvements from their supply chain are welcomed.”

Percival co-owners Rod Jenkins and David LeRoy

Following a period of analysis of plate and chemistry use by Fujifilm technicians, the recommendation was made that a change be made to Brillia HD-LH PJE thermal plates together with a new Screen platesetter and ZAC lo-chem processing system.

“We changed to thermal plates from Fujifilm in 2013 and they also installed a Screen PlateRite PTR 8600N-S CtP setter with SA-L autoload cassette holding up to 100 plates.” Says LeRoy, adding:  “The ZAC lo-chem processing system was installed at the same time and, as we continued to produce plates, we were quite surprised at the savings in chemical use. This is achieved by monitoring the plate image area and replenisher bath so that exactly the right amount of replenisher is used and not a drop more.”

“The result is that we are saving at least 40 litres of chemistry per month,” says LeRoy, “and beyond that we have noticed maintenance has been greatly reduced, with few if any processor breakdowns due to tarring and contamination. About twice a year a Fujifilm technician will come in and clean the system and the rest of the time it is fully operational, so our uptime has improved too.”

“I would say this is the best plate production system we have ever used!” says David LeRoy, “

Scott Print adopts ZAC

Not far from Percival is a printer of a different kind. Scott Print focuses more on the commercial brochure, marketing, annual report and magazine market. With four members of the Scott dynasty actively involved, the company has recently upgraded in every department, with the addition of a Komori G840P featuring HUV curing and a Komori S629.

Prepress received attention in the middle of last year with a switch to Fujifilm Brillia HD-LH PXE plates. While retaining its Quantum 800II CtP setter; a new processor with ZAC lo-chem monitoring was added, and the results have been startling.

“Since making the change over to using the Fujifilm plate, we have seen a level of consistency increase by carrying out routine dot tests every week. Before, our dot tolerance was between 1 and 3 %; anything outside of that was a problem. Since using the Fujifilm plate, because of the improved consistency in dot gain, we have lowered the tolerance to between 1 and 2 %. “says Scott Print Prepress Manager Dean Metcalfe.

He goes on to talk about reduction in chemistry use: “Since making the switch, we have reduced overall chemical waste by up to half. Our processor uptime has also improved as it does not require cleaning and servicing anywhere near as often as the old system.”

The successful experiences of Scott Print and Percival Print & Packaging using Fujifilm lo-chem ZAC system plates have been echoed by other WA printers in the B2 format changing to Pro-T3 processless plates. Pro-T3 plates require no processor at all and are washed-out on the press using normal fountain solution. They come straight out of the CtP setter and are mounted onto the press.

Worldwide Online printing’s Cannington hub changed to Pro-T3 plates and a new CtP supplied by Fujifilm in 2013. Since then, as Prepress Manager Glen Lazenby says, water savings alone have reached over 100,000 litres in a year:

“The Cannington facility has saved 300 litres of water per day since installing the Pro-T3 plates,” he says. “We put them on the press and were immediately impressed with their sharpness. Because there’s no chemistry or processing involved, the dot is a lot sharper. The dot gain characteristics were good, and we had no problems at all.”

Further WA Pro-T3 plate customers will be announced by Fujifilm in the near future.

 

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