via Printing St. Petersburg: "Lubavitch" Printing House Starts LED UV Revolution in Russia

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Lubavitch, a well-known printing house in Russia, has roused the community of St. Petersburg and secured the attention of the entire Russian printing community with the install of its new press from RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology Group that features an LED-UV curing system from Air Motion Systems.

Alexander Shmakov, editor-in-chief of Printing St. Petersburg, sat down with Stephen Valuiskikh of Terra Systems, the company that coordinated the install, in mid-July after he had put the press into operation with the approval Maxim Rumyantsev, Lubavitch’s general director. An energetic story and interesting conversation laden with ideas followed; the most prominent are presented in the interview below.

Shmakov: How would you sum up the installation of this new press at Lubavitch?

Valuiskikh: The installation at Lubavitch is a sign for our business, and the entire Russian market. This is the first press of its kind in Russia; it can use LED-UV inks, has six towers, features two LED-UV curing units and an infrared dryer, and features a high level of automation and major technological innovations.

The machine’s configuration was developed with customized printing in mind. It features a Japanese press, an American LED-UV curing system, and a German automated ink-supply system. We were held very accountable for this install, because printers in St. Petersburg and throughout Russia were paying attention – quite frankly, this project was rather big. The decision to work with Maxim Rumyantsev on this install was not accidental at all, with other printers available … he understood the nuances, analyzed the project and was able to make a balanced decision.

Shmakov: How did the installation go, considering it was Russia’s first of this nature?

Valuiskikh: This project was confirmed in October 2015; we almost immediately announced the deal. The production of the unit, retrofitting options, and delivery … let’s say there were some unexpected issues at customs, but we successfully resolved them. The start-up process took three weeks, especially because this press is complex and features many options and features.

For example, this machine automatically feeds ink via the Technotrans system … this is slightly more expensive, but allows you to fully automate the printing process. Also, the machine offers both infrared drying and LED UV curing capabilities – the curing system is by Air Motion Systems (AMS LED-UV), and can be adjusted depending on the task. These options give us mobility and flexibility.

All work was carried out by the service center’s engineers, under the supervision and technical direction of Alexei Iskorostinskogo of Terra Systems; in the final stages, specialists from AMS and Technotrans came in to inspect the setup and make sure it was correct. Lubavitch’s team was taught how to use the machine, and all necessary tests were performed, including test runs of commercial-type work on non-absorbent, plastic and complex substrates. The customer was satisfied with the results, and accepted the machine.

Shmakov: How many RMGT press installations has Terra Systems carried out in Russia, and how in demand is this new LED UV technology for the offset market?

Valuiskikh: We began representing RYOBI in Russia in 2013; we have coordinated more than a dozen press installs since then, which is a good indicator of the current state of the market.

We have had four installs that feature AMS’s LED-UV technology: two on new RMGT presses, and two retrofits on existing machines made by other manufacturers. But among these installs, the setup at Lubavitch is incredibly unique in its capabilities: it can handle book and magazine formats, has six towers plus varnish, can accommodate water-dispersion paint, apply specialized UV varnishes, and handle a wide range of materials.

Lubavitch’s Maxim Rumyantsev is, in my opinion, a true innovator – I jokingly call him the “Steve Jobs” of Russian printing. He understood that this machine would allow Lubavitch to offer its customers a wide range of high-end printing solutions that bring notable value-added benefits to all.

To become a leader in the current market, you have to use new technologies that offer new solutions and expanded products – there is, in my opinion, no other way.

Shmakov: Do you think most printers in Russia are ready to take a risk on, or see the need for, these new technologies?

Valuiskikh: Pioneers, I think, always look a few steps ahead – they see a new niche and want to win it. For those who come later, it will be much harder, and some printers are “stalled” when it comes to understanding new technology. They have their existing orders, and their existing capabilities, and they know how these things perform – they don’t seek new markets. But innovators see the potential of being able to offer new products, and realize a demand for them.

And even with the obvious benefits of this new technology –immediately dry sheets, quick transfer to post-production, the ability to print on plastics and to us drip-off effects, twin lacquers, removing powder from the press room … you still need to market new products to new markets.

Shmakov: How would you introduce, in detail, the benefits of these new technologies to interested printing industry members?

Valuiskikh: In the autumn we plan to have a presentation in St. Petersburg, and will invite printers, journalists and providers, to let them know what these technologies require – it will be covered by Printing Petersburg magazine. We believe that LED UV printing is an extremely interesting topic, and that our country should embrace it as a market driver. Maxim Rumyantsev has agreed let us use the Lubavitch printing house as a sort of demonstration center for LED-UV printing, and it will be hosting events for printers from all over the country.

Shmakov: So we are waiting for a great event – what in the meantime?

Valuiskikh: First, I sincerely wish the printing house Lubavitch the best, and hope it enjoys the efficiencies of the new machine. And coming up, in partnership with OktoPrint Service, we will host a partnership event at the end of July on Lake Baikal called “AMS No. 1 In The World of LED UV,” which will bring together print-industry leaders from across the country. In additional to a cultural program, we will host a seminar that discusses new solutions to printing, in terms of profit solutions and not just technology advantages. One of the presentations will be called “10 Myths About LED UV.”

We know that both our colleagues and competitors want to share arguments both for and against this new technology, so we are ready to hold an open and public debate. We have a lot of ideas, and plans to promote these modern technology solutions that will allow printers to build efficient and competitive businesses.

This article originally appeared at / was cited to Printing Petersburg magazine.

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