Express Envelopes boosts automation, CMYK quality with next gen CRON CtP installation to better meet client requirements

Boosting production efficiencies, enhancing CMYK image quality and reducing waste were the key reasons why 25-year-old envelope manufacturer and overprinter, Express Envelopes, upgraded to a new CRON 2616H CtP, sourced through Currie Group.

The unit which boasts superior automation capabilities has been operational at the company’s Melbourne factory for one month and an identical machine is on its way to its Sydney site. Once this is installed it will mark a full CtP upgrade for the business.

Express Envelopes is one of the last remaining manufacturers of envelopes in Australia and produces around 20 million envelopes a month at its plant in Melbourne.

It also overprints envelopes, for a range of trade and wholesale clients, with overprinting conducted in Melbourne and Sydney for offset print runs of between 500 to five million envelopes per run.

Express Envelopes general manager, David Patmore, said for many years the company has used Mako CtP technology but decided to switch to the CRON 2616H for a number of reasons. A daylight plate removing the need for a dark room was a key benefit. Improved automation and associated efficiency and a need for higher quality CMYK print output were also key reasons.

He said the new machine has been running for about a month and is going very well.

“There are a number of reasons why we made the change. The Mako was old technology and the quality of the CMYK work that we have to do these days means a good quality plate is required,” Patmore told Sprinter.

“The expectation of the market is everything is wanted instantly and at the best quality so that was one reason why we had to do it.”

Patmore added another contributing factor was the increased automation that comes with the CRON.

The unit can produce 22 plates per hour with a 2400 dpi. The maximum plate size is 670 x 570 mm, with the minimum 240 x 240mm. It also offers fully automatic plate loading and paper removal features for up to 50 x 0.3mm plates or 100 x 0.15mm plates.

“The CRON is automated, whereas with the old Mako we had to hand feed individual plates through. This meant we had to have an operator standing next to the machine to feed the plates but with this one we can put a pile of plates into the machine, press a button and it runs them all by itself,” he said.

“It is far more efficient and less labour intensive.”

Express Envelopes national sales manager Trevor Franklin also highlighted the environmental credentials of the unit which complies with international environmental management standards.

“In line with our continuous improvement program We are always looking for additional efficiencies and environmental benefits” Franklin told Sprinter.

System change made in one day

Both Patmore and Franklin agreed it was important Express Envelopes was able to keep printing and producing during the changeover, adding this was achieved with the help from Currie Group, the supplier of the unit.

“Like anything there were minor teething problems but for the most part we were able to take out our existing system one day and have the new system up and running the next,” Patmore said.

“In terms of interruption to our business it was fairly minimal.

“Currie Group was very helpful in that regard and enabled us get the installation completed in such a short timeframe. Together we came up with a plan that meant our production was not effected and all our customers continued to get their jobs on time.”

Currie Group Victorian account manager, Vince Pignataro, handled the sale, adding the automation features of the CRON unit worked well for Express Envelope’s needs.   

“Currie Group has a long-standing relationship with Express Envelopes, supplying consumables over the duration. In particular, l have known Trevor for over 15 years and when he reached out to upgrade their system, it made perfect sense to introduce the CRON series of Plate Making Systems,” Pignataro told Sprinter.

“Express Envelopes produce a large volume of UV Printing, and with this in mind the configuration proposed was an automated system with less touch points, with the auto plate loader, auto slip sheet remover and auto plate stacker.

“This gives the operators additional time to attend to other tasks and return to the CRON CtP with the plates awaiting to be printed.

“Another factor was the high quality and run lengths required to be achieved by the plate. The system configuration allowed Express Envelopes to complete the job run without replacing the plate midstream, as the plate has a longer-lasting run length.

“I look forward to working with the Express Envelopes team for many years to come.”

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