Last updateThu, 29 Feb 2024 4am

Fujifilm's pre-press solutions save costs and improve environmental credentials at the Howard Hunt Group

altIntegrated offering of FLH-Z 'ZAC' processor, Screen PlateRite HD 8900 MAL platesetter, Brillia HD LH-PXE and Brillia HD PRO-T3 plates saves energy costs and reduces chemistry and water consumption by 70%

The Howard Hunt Group, a leading marketing service provider specialising in data management, print and direct mail has renovated its pre-press department, choosing a Screen PlateRite HD 8900 MAL platesetter, FLH-Z 'ZAC' processor and Brillia HD LH-PXE plates, all from Fujifilm.

The main objectives of this well-established marketing service provider were to improve flexibility, increase automation and reduce production costs. Stuart King, group operations technology manager, comments: "We undertook a review of our reprographic and document composition/data processing departments to create a more efficient 'business technology solutions area'."

Howard Hunt Group has seen the cross-over of the above areas gaining momentum over the years, namely Reprographics and Document Composition/Data Processing. "The skill sets required for fully fledged digital campaigns come from both traditional areas, so after a review process we found the teams internally have the aptitude and ability to perform the previously separated processes. This has given us the ability to be more responsive and to resolve issues within one area rather than waiting for different teams to get time to meet and discuss" Stuart explains.

Howard Hunt Group coincided the merger of these two departments into the BTS area with the development of a new working environment - which included a brand new office refit and investment in hardware and software to further automation.

The company installed a Screen PlateRite HD 8900 MAL platesetter to achieve higher automation and productivity, together with Fujifilm's Brillia HD LH-PXE plate, a positive working thermal CTP plate for long-run commercial sheet-fed and web applications that offers an extra-long run length of up to 500,000 impressions unbaked. Stuart comments: "We use Brillia HD LH-PXE for our web jobs. We used to bake plates and the introduction of LH-PXE, which doesn't require baking, has enabled us to remove the oven and save on electricity bills. What's more, this plate is extremely robust, withstanding the stresses placed on it during long runs, and guarantees consistent quality."

The Brillia HD LH-PXE plates are being processed with Fujifilm's FLH-Z 'ZAC' processor, which drastically reduces chemistry usage, maximises the bath life and minimises processor cleaning. The 'ZAC' processor incorporates Fujifilm software to control the amount of replenisher used in the plate-making process, typically reducing chemistry usage by 75%.

Stuart highlights: "We are now able to expose an additional 12 plates per hour, and we've reduced our chemistry and water consumption by approximately 70%. Not only has this investment enhanced our efficiency, but it has also improved our environmental credentials."

The Howard Hunt Group also adopted Fujifilm's Brillia HD PRO-T3 plates for its sheet-feed production. Stuart explains: "We embarked on a trial of this processless plate which eliminates the processor, chemistry, gum and water used in the conventional plate production process, together with the time and labour involved with the maintenance of processor and finishing unit."

The Howard Hunt Group has recently ordered a Fujifilm XR-1200F developer, waste reduction & water re-use system to further reduce pre-press developer waste and water use. Stuart explains: "We want to take our saving and environmentally-friendly strategy to the next level. The XR-1200F system reduces waste volume, the cost of waste treatment, water consumption and CO2 emissions, and will enable us to decrease even further water and chemistry usage."

Stuart concludes: "Fujifilm's processless and low chemistry plate production systems have minimised our impact on the environment, reduced costs and given us the opportunity to promote our sustainability efforts."



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