Keyprint in Midsomer Norton, near Bath, UK, has installed a four-unit Rotatek RK-250 Plus narrow-web press to enhance its self adhesive label output. Originally specialising in continuous stationery and business forms, the firm has since increased production of computer/EDP labels for business and industrial applications. The 510mm wide press was supplied by PGS Limited of Tetbury and is the first RK-250 Plus in the UK.

According to Alan Cox, managing director. Keyprint has lately seen short-run label production outstripping its conventional business. It now accounts for one half of the firm’s £1.3 million turnover and includes integrated form/label combinations and multi-ply labels, which it also supplies to other forms producers.

‘By concentrating on small-to-medium added-value runs with flexible output, rather than higher volume items, we can remain competitive over a range of forms and label products. In this respect, we expect the new press has the potential to open up more quality-led possibilities because of its high level of automation and offset rolling power’.

‘We spent some time looking at digital colour printing, but decided offset narrow-web printing offered more flexibility. Our choice settled on the RK-250 Plus because it gave us the right level of quality to suit our type of operation at a competitive price’, says Cox.

The Barcelona-built RK-250 Plus is designed for the mailer, forms and promotional print markets and runs up to 250m/minute. Keyprint’s version has two fixed and one moveable UV curing lamp units with a straight-through web path. A registered rerun facility provides extra colour printing options, or the ability to run pre-printed webs. The unwind and rewind takes rolls up to 127 cm (50 inches) in diameter. The press is set-up to take either a fifth offset unit or a UV flexo varnishing unit.

The three-cylinder cassettes have 24 and 20 inch circumferences for variable-size printing. Similar sizes are used on several off-line web-fed machines, including a converted Morgan press, that handle label die cutting. They use flexible die plates mounted on magnetic cylinder to cover widths from 76mm to 508mm.

A rail-mounted cassette assembly located on the gear-side of the press and Rotatek’s ‘no-tool’ design give rapid size changeovers with minimal effort. Other productivity aids include zero positioning and remote control over length register from the main control console. The processing unit includes Schober’s long-life line-hole rotary tooling. Video web viewing from TecScan is among the options fitted.

The new press replaced an aged two-colour Morgan press (installed when the company was formed in 1982). Keyprint also has one three-colour Morgan 905 press, a two-colour 905 and a two-colour Quick-Ready. It currently has 18 employees.

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