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17 February 2017:

Driven by the vision of owners, Centrum Printing is no ordinary printing company. The KBA VLF equipped business sees itself as a service centre to the whole industry and demonstrates this by actions, not just words.

Engaging with design college students, Centrum has recently added an apprentice to its approximately 30 staff complement and is seeking another two apprentices once a new KBA Rapida 145 is installed in February 2017. Centrum already operates a huge KBA Rapida 162a press with a plate size of up to 1260 x 1630mm at its 3,800 square metre site.

“They are our presses, but also belong to the whole industry,” says Percy Vij. “We do not engage in competitive bidding for end-user print business; all of our partner customers are resellers, trade printers and print managers.

“We like to promote a ‘we and us’ mindset and not ‘you and me.’ Other printers can really embrace Centrum as a true partner and we open our doors for site visits and inspections of our unique VLF capabilities. In this way we are supporting all Australian manufacturing and bringing jobs back onshore.”

Centrum’s journey as Australia’s pre-eminent VLF printer began over 25 years ago in Mascot, NSW with Percy Vij buying the business in 1999 before moving to ideal new premises next to the St George’s river in, 2014 where the six-colour plus UV coater KBA 162a was installed.

Upsizing its sheet size capabilities was part of a plan to attract more packaging and POP work to add to general commercial printing, with the UV coating being a distinct advantage.

The move to VLF of course necessitated a major make-over of the prepress department and Centrum turned to trusted partner Fujifilm for this. Fujifilm’s Superia range was embraced in its entirety, with XMF workflow delivering an all-PDF environment, Superia LH-PLE thermal plates, Screen PlateRite Ultima 2400S CtP and a Superia ZAC lo-chem processing line that constantly monitors the developer bath and delivers the exact amount of replenisher. Prepress Manager Sarko Seferian says: “The Superia lo-chem approach greatly reduces water and chemistry use, making it very environmentally-friendly with the added benefit of reduced maintenance – the bath is changed only three times a year on average.”

Interestingly, the foresight of installing a total Superia prepress environment has meant that no further investment apart from adjustments for the new 145 plate size, will be necessary to service both presses. “Everything will cope,” says Seferian, “we have a very simple but strong PDF workflow, Epson proofers supplied by Fujifilm and cloud-based ColorPath colour management/ink control which enables us to adjust curves up to ISO 12647-2 standards.”

General Manager Sandra Mascaro is enthusiastic about the future: “Most of the jobs going through Centrum are not ours – they belong to our re-sellers. We will not entertain direct dealing with a re-seller’s customer, despite being asked sometimes:- we don’t even have sales representatives. We do welcome press checks in the company of re-sellers. With the new KBA 145 press coming in, we plan to hold more open houses and show the industry that Centrum is a true partner ‘for’ the whole industry.”

Mascaro says that work is already coming in from Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand and that this is expected to increase once the new press is in production.

“The simplicity of our Superia XMF workflow, all PDF, makes it very easy to do business with Centrum,” says Mascaro, “with the colour quality standards assured by Superia ColorPath and Superia thermal plates and chemistry. The net result is cost savings in materials, labour, energy, water and the environment – savings which we pass on to our resellers.

With the slab already laid to accommodate the new KBA 145 press, Centrum’s all-Superia prepress department under Sarko Sefereian is primed and ready for the increase in business, feeding two of Australia’s largest format UV-equipped presses – for the benefit of the entire industry.