Tucker Castleberry’s UV-LED print hits home with the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta-based printer Tucker Castleberry has taken it out of the park since partnering with Baldwin Technology’s AMS Spectral UV to provide LED-UV curing technology to modernize its sheet-fed press last year and put upgraded its new Komori GL840 Perfector this year. The printer has been a business partner of the Atlanta Braves since 1979, and these upgrades have proven to be more crucial than the company could have anticipated in many ways, including its urgent 2 million program turnaround. for the baseball team in the run-up to their recent World Series victory.
Tucker Castleberry is a third-generation, family-owned commercial printing and communications company. It was started in 1949 by Wiley Tucker Sr. and AC Castleberry as a small letterpress printing company and is now run by Wiley’s son, Tuck, with Tuck’s son, Kent.
His work has evolved over the decades to include direct mail, catalogs, schedules, posters, calendars, variable data projects, event graphics, signage and displays for sports teams (also including Atlanta Hawks pro basketball team and Gwinnett Stripers Minor League baseball team), political campaigns, higher education, private high schools, telecommunications, and retail — and UV-based curing. LED lights from AMS Spectral UV opens new doors. This technology offers all the benefits of traditional UV curing, while providing solutions — including instant on / off, fast and uniform drying / curing, low heat emission, and low power consumption — to many problems encountered with heat. adjust drying.
“We don’t get the copy for the next day’s baseball programs until late in the afternoon, so the printing, trimming, folding and sewing all have to be done overnight,” Tuck said. “With LED-UV, the inks dry immediately without waiting, which is a game-changer. We knew this season on a Wednesday at midnight that the Braves were going to the National League Championship Series, and we had 36 hours to print 50,000 schedules for each of the three home games. Printing both sides of the sheet in a single pass on our Komori LED-UV eight-color retouching press produced 30,000 prints.
Tucker Castleberry also printed a World Series poster as a gift to the first 10,000 fans and worked with USA Marketing and Major League Baseball to produce 40,000 fan-branded signs for the ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ tribute in Game 4. of the World Series. .
The printer first put UV-LEDs to the test when responding to requests for political letters for the 2021 U.S. Senate run-off election in Georgia. For Tucker Castleberry, that meant a record circulation of 100 million coins – double its usual workload for the voting season – which were produced from August 2020 to January 2021. His biggest single work during this period was 1.5 million coins. The company has union presses and union binding, as well as a contract to print the union bug, making it a printer of choice for political jobs.
“We had a weekend off in five months,” Kent recalls. “We were able to unload the delivery and get the parts straight to the die-cutter, which is a huge advantage with LED-UV. It helps us with throughput, and we don’t have to worry about tagging while it goes through the folder. In addition, the print quality is better: the inks are brighter and burst more, especially on uncoated paper, with a much smaller gain in point.
When the printer moved to its current location in 1995, it purchased two Manroland 40-inch six-color sheetfed presses with aqueous varnishes that print at speeds of up to 16,000 sheets per hour (with assistance from computer keeping color consistency near perfect), two POLAR computerized cutting systems, multiple MBO folders, and a six-station saddle binder, all working in unison to maximize consistency and efficiency. In 2000, with the direct mail sector of its business growing exponentially, Tucker Castleberry added inkjet and insert equipment, as well as strapping machines, to support direct mail and meet the growing demand. , maximize efficiency and deliver an unmatched product to its customers.
In January 2020, after making numerous purchases for a new press to speed up throughput and turnaround times, the Tuckers were instead inspired to follow the lead of another printer who achieved exceptional results in modernizing an existing press with LED-UV. They were also interested in the technology’s ability to provide improved quality, substrate options, market opportunities, special effects and more.
“When we first started shopping there were so many different options and configurations. We wanted a single lamp system at the end of the press, something that could cure the ink and coating in one pass, without having to worry about it, and it worked really well for us, ”said Kent. “We applied an aqueous coating on probably 95% of all our jobs before installing the LED. Print quality with LED is significantly sharper and offers the same shine effect as an aqueous solution. It’s a home run for us, that’s for sure.
Baldwin technicians upgraded the Roland 700 press during the day for four days, and the printer ran its jobs at night. A week of training immediately followed the installation.
“We had Baldwin experts on site who were able to talk to our sales team, our owners and our presses, and helped us through all kinds of techniques,” Kent recalled.
Tucker Castleberry gained immediate efficiency by running his sheetfed press 30-40% faster, and even 50% faster in some cases, because LED-UV cures inks instantly and eliminates the hassle of marking during delivery . Press speeds that previously averaged 10,000 to 11,000 sheets per hour were immediately increased to 14,000 or 15,000 per hour.
“The press is rated at 16,000 so it’s not really spinning any faster than that, but we had a job where it was at 16,100, I don’t know how we got there,” Kent said. “The feeder needs to be set up so that it doesn’t go off every 10 minutes or else you’re going to lose productivity there, but if everything is set up correctly drying and ink marking is not a problem.” problem. “
Another benefit of LED-UV, depending on the printer, is less dot gain with brighter results because the ink “sits on the sheet” and does not soak up like conventional printing.
“This is especially true on more porous, unglazed sheets. We can print on any substrate that will go through our press, including plastics, PVC materials and aluminum foil, ”Tuck commented. “And, jobs can be worked on in bookbinding the second they come off the press.”
Atlanta’s heat and humidity were additional problems before LED-UVs, and those are gone.
“Years ago we printed a flysheet for an upscale resort, and we deployed it every day, a few times a day, and it just never dried out,” Kent said. “With LED-UV, we created a launch catalog for a local college a few months ago, and we had no problems. It was dry the second it hit the delivery, then went straight to the binding. The benefits are truly endless.
Tucker Castleberry’s new Komori GL840 equipped with LED-UV has helped the printer raise the bar even higher and seize more opportunities since it was installed earlier this year.
“The switch from a traditional 40-inch straight six-color press to an eight-color enhancement press has boosted production in our pressroom,” said Tuck. “We are able to print up to 15,000 sheets per hour, printing both sides of the sheet in a single pass. This equates to 30,000 impressions per hour.
In addition, the new press is equipped with automatic plate racks, allowing Tucker Castleberry to hang eight plates in under four minutes. On-press setups take less time and less paper.
“It’s not uncommon to prepare both sides of the sheet in 10 to 12 minutes using less than 150 waste sheets,” Tuck said. “The press really learns! It takes into account the temperature and humidity in the press room and adjusts accordingly to maintain consistent colors throughout the run.
And, finally, there are cameras on the press at key points, so the operator can watch the press sheets scroll through the press on a 50 inch monitor.
Equipped with his new Komori GL840 Perfector and the proven power of LED-UV technology, Tucker Castleberry enters 2022 with an unwavering commitment to meet the most difficult and ever-changing printing demands that present themselves.
The previous press release was provided by a company not affiliated with Printing of fingerprints. The views expressed do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of Printing of fingerprints.