Automated plate handling for Austrian sheet-fed printer Sandler
When it comes to more efficiency or increased quality in commercial printing, streamlining processes – especially in the pre-press area – is a recurring and important subject. A considerable amount of possible savings is wasted as long as the production steps between plate exposure and press are carried out mainly manually. Faster and more frequent plate changes require optimized processes in plate logistics because the ever more efficient presses offer potential for savings that can only be exhausted when the workflow prior to the press is organized accordingly.
More productivity on the press floor
When Austrian printer Johann Sandler invested in a new sheet-fed press, they anticipated exactly this scenario: The productivity increase on press and in plate imaging would mean that a consistently growing number of offset plates would have to be prepared and transported to the press, and that it would basically be impossible to handle this manually. In addition to this, manual processes are prone to mistakes and errors. For example, there can be waiting times at the press because of missing plates, personnel is tied up in bringing plate stacks to the press, mix-up of plates leads to incorrectly mounted plates and delays, manual transport and sorting causes scratches on the image of the plates resulting in minor print quality.
The solution – NELA plate on demand
For Sandler, it was clear from the start that they simply couldn’t afford to continue with the traditional, mostly manual processes. Consistent automation beginning at the plate exposure has lead to a streamlined production flow where, today, complete and pre-sorted sets of plates are delivered just-in-time to the press – without any manual handling.
The solution is NELA’s plate on demand concept which assures that imaged plates are sorted according to the production plan and are delivered to the press at precisely the time when they are required. The savings that are achieved today thanks to the direct and faultless assignment of plates to the correct print unit are considerably larger than expected by Sandler. A mix-up of plates is basically impossible.