One of Christchurch’s oldest printers, The Caxton Press rolled out the green carpet for the launch of its latest press, the new five-colour Komori Lithrone with its additional unit for an optional protective aqueous coating.It’s the second Komori for the firm that has its roots in 1935 Christchurch when one of New Zealand’s outstanding literary figures Denis Glover borrowed £100 with a partner to form the company.
Managing director Bruce Bascand who took over the reigns in 1978, says the new press sourced through CPI was installed in January, but launched publicly at the beginning of April – with Caxton making the point of the company’s commitment to the environment with a green-themed marquee in the carpark of its present site in Victoria Street.
More than 150 guest were invited to the evening launch with Melbourne-based Gerard Wintle of CPI, Komori’s Australasian agent being one of the three guest speakers, and Philip Aldridge, CEO of the Court Theatre, which Caxton Press has sponsored since its inception in the late 1970s, being another. Bascand says the press has been running beautifully ever since it was installed and is meeting all expectations. “We’re in the quality colour printing market with many clients in the agency business in Christchurch and we are absolutely delighted with the work this new press is delivering.”
The fully automated Komori is breaking production records in the firm with its automatic roller and blanket wash-up, plate making and setting, enabling the company to turn a job round within 15 minutes.
“The automatic wash-up alone saves a huge amount of time, because it’s activated within the last 50 sheets and by the time the job is finished the rollers are clean and ready for the next job,” he says.
“It’s a whole new generation technology with the machine having been engineered from the ground up. It’s also considerably quieter than our other presses because it has oil-less bearings.”
Bascand says the new Komori is producing cleaner, sharper and more accurate print.
“The proof of that is in reprints, which come off the press looking better than the originals. We have had terrific feedback from agencies and from graphic designers who typically provide us with our most challenging work in terms of solid colour, reverses and so on.”
The printing units are at the core of this quality, he adds.
“They incorporate a computer-optimised roller configuration for maintaining the optimum balance of ink and water, ensuring sufficient ink retention, and attaining high print quality. And it does all this really fast – it has a maximum printing speed of 16,000sph with ultra-stable print quality, and a high-speed pre-inking system.
“As I said, the press has the world’s shortest make-ready times, thanks to the first fully automatic-changing system specifi-cally designed for a half-size press, capable of changing four plates in just two and a half minutes, and complete automatic washing-up of the blanket, impression cylinders and inking rollers.” He says environ-mental issues along with reliability, and new tech-nology were a consider-ation when choosing a new press to position the company for future growth.
Two years ago The Caxton Press switched to soya based inks which are very compatible with the new Komori which he says will take the company into the 21st century.
In its own right, the Komori is a record breaker. The influential German printing and paper trade association Berufsgenossenschaft Druck und Papierverarbeitung presented three of its prestigious BG certificates to Komori for the environment-friendliness of its Lithrone S29 range even before it was launched.
The new presses had to pass extensive measurements in Japan, UK and Denmark. The machines had to print on a various media using a variety of inks.
The result of these tests showed that the presses are designed and built so that the relevant emissions of cleaning solvents, dampening solution additives, inks and/or varnishes, powders, ozone and UV radiation are well below the internationally recognised limits.
Komori addressed the carbon footprint of the Lithrone series in five specific areas:
• reduced paper waste through its KHS high speed inking system;
• reduced energy consumption through high efficiency inverter motors and integrated automation;
• reduced chemical use using its Komorimatic dampening system;
• reduced oil waste by fitting oil-less bearings and a new oil cleaner with integrated oil pump;
• reduced noise through various noise countermeasures.
The Caxton Press has 35 staff including a seven-strong design department which Bascand sees as one of its strengths especially in the agency market. It offers both offset and digital print and in 2000 it was one of four printers accredited as an official supplier of print services to the Christchurch City Council. This group is revised regularly and Caxton is the only one of the original four still in this elite group.