The decision follows a strategic review by Blackmore of their main ink suppliers, which had grown to three since the installation of its KBA Rapida 105 three years ago, when it became the first company in the UK to print with LED UV on a B1 press.
“The decision to invest in LED UV was certainly the right one for us, but it meant that we added yet another technology to our existing press portfolio of coldset web and commercial offset presses, for which we already had separate ink suppliers,” Nigel Hunt, production director, Blackmore, said. “We were initially guided down the route of working with yet another ink supplier for the LED UV, but that relationship worked well at first – as was our aim, we thought we’d found a partner with whom we could work together to improve and take the inks further. Unfortunately however, as time went on, that proved not to be the case and instead it gave us the impetus to progress with consolidating our ink suppliers into one.
“We’d been very happy with the quality of Sun Chemical’s coldset inks and Sun Chemical had proved themselves to be a very reliable and supportive partner over the years that we’d worked with them,” Hunt noted. “We also took into account that the Sun Chemical inks are manufactured only an hour away from us – that is massively beneficial as it means that we can work together really effectively to further develop the inks.”
Following a series of rigorous trials on the KBA Rapida 105 with Sun Chemical’s SunCure Starlite LED UV range of inks, Blackmore and Sun Chemical worked together to fine tune the inks to Blackmore’s satisfaction. At the end of last year, Blackmore offered Sun Chemical a three-year contract to supply all its conventional offset, LED UV and coldset inks across both its sites in Shaftesbury and Reading.
“We’re very pleased with how the relationship with Sun Chemical is continuing to flourish,” added Hunt. “We’re working hard together, particularly on the LED UV inks, to take them forward.”