We have invested hundreds of hours over the years testing different inks, papers, press consumables and plates to come up with the right combination to take our print quality to the next level.
We use Agfa Balanced Screening (ABS) technology which lifts the quality of your prints to produce noticeably higher quality. It can produce 4096 shades of colour in pin sharp 200 lines per inch detail.
Smooth colour tones and high dynamic range give beautifully punchy images
Challenging colours like neutrals and skin tones reproduce more naturally, for life-like reproduction. Noise free screens provide smooth tonal graduations and tints. Each clear centred rosette 4-colour screen set is balanced to eliminate moire patterns (or screen clash) for more pleasing results.
Our Agfa Sherpa digital proofing system also uses ABS screening to simulate halftone dots for fool proof proofing.
Those ingenious people at Heidelberg have accomplished an amazing feat of vastly improving the quality and consistency of print on their newest press, the Speedmaster SX74 which was launched in May 2012 at Drupa in Dusseldorf.
Premier Print Group were the first company in the UK to receive the new SX with fully automatic plate loading, built in camera register control, coater, dryers, spectrophotometer colour scanning, and auto ink feeding.
We realised that print quality is of utmost importance to our customers and so we specced our machine with all the features that would ensure us the highest quality print.
The biggest difference we found was the cameras inside the machine constantly monitoring the four colours (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) so they are in perfect colour registration. Traditionally this was done by human eye at the make ready stage, but this is time consuming, and produces variable results depending on the operators experience and judgement, and the age of the machine.
The cameras are accurate to within 100th mm and checks every single sheet that passes through the press and makes minute adjustments during the run if required due to changes in paper stretch/batches, minute movements in blankets and plates to reduce the chances of mis-registration.
Another factor in achieving the highest quality is the way we profile our platemaking and press settings so that they are each calibrated to type of papers and inks we use. For example, a 50% tint may print as a 53% due to normal dot gain on the press, or due to the type of paper. We ‘fingerprint’ these characteristics and compensate for them so that the printed image comes out exactly as it was intended.
Our presses have Ink temperature control systems on our presses to help maintains colour consistency, whatever the weather!
We only use vegetable oil based inks which are suited to the papers we use. Because we have built in dryers on our press, we have the luxury of being able to use higher pigment inks which achieve greater “punch” but without being hampered by a slower drying process which hampers other printers, especially those using perfecting presses (one that prints the second side of a sheet during the same pass as the first side).
We have a dedicated on press coating unit for standard gloss, silk and “soft-touch: finishes. This gives an extra protection against scuffing of the ink, which can happen on any stock, but more susceptible on silks and matts. For that reason, we generally allow for coating on silk, especially covers which are the most handled.
The coating also has the benefit of enhancing the look and feel of a printed page with either a gloss or silk finish.
The results have bee impressive to say the least. Combined with our Agfa Balanced Screening high resolution plates at 200 lines per inch, the printed results are simply amazing. Pixels seem to disappear and photos have an almost 3D effect to them and customers have raved about the difference.
“As usual, a fantastic piece of work. Thanks for all your efforts on this one. I wish I had more work that I could offer to be honest because the quality is so consistently high.”