Print, display and cross media provider Minprint opts for EFI hybrid LED printer
Belfast based commercial printer Minprint has invested in a 3.2-metre hybrid roll/flatbed printer from EFI to keep up with the growing demand for large-format applications. The new VUTEk printer will allow Minprint to develop the point of sale and printed interior decor markets.
According to managing director Jamie McMinnis the company has seen an increase in customer demand for large format products, such as signage, vehicle wraps, customised wall art and exhibition materials.
“The EFI VUTEk GS3250LX printer enables us to print a wider range of substrates like acrylic, wood, mirrors, building wraps, ceramic tiles and textiles. This allows us to be more creative and push the boundaries of traditional print,” he says.
In business for 40 years with 50 employees, Minprint provides bespoke design, and print and display solutions to small and medium-sized businesses throughout Ireland and the UK. The company serves a wide variety of markets, including construction, hospitality, retail, insurance, medical, manufacturing and defence.
As part of its comprehensive services offering, Minprint also produces multimedia campaigns and promotional products, using EFI DirectSmile Cross Media software to provide clients a full end-to-end solution. "We integrate it with print campaigns, use it to drive variable data to digital presses, and even to develop backend systems to allow our clients to generate revenue from personalised portals with integrated publications,” says McMinnis.
InkTek opens Newcastle based Jetrix service centre
Jetrix printer sales are on the increase in the UK and as such the need to offer customers rapid technical support, InkTec has established an additional service centre to cover the North of England.
The North is an important region for InkTec, particularly as the number of installations of Jetrix printers has been steadily increasing over the last two years. The new centre near Newcastle will continue to provide support delivered by the current operation out of Witney, but with the ability to be much more rapid with response times. The two engineers based there will be completely involved in any installation in the area, while giving full training and in-depth technical consulting. In addition through the Witney office, advice will continued to be offered over the phone with machines being reviewed online, when required.
Joey Kim, MD of InkTec Europe, says: “The opening of our Northern service centre builds on our commitment to the region and the ever-expanding number of Jetrix installations there. All our Jetrix engineers undertake extensive training and are taken through the complete printer build process from start to finish. We have no doubt that this will probably be the start of several regional service centres being established.”
Acuity Select X28 UV flatbed provides production flexibility for SAS Graphics
SAS (Special Art Services) Graphics of Hove, East Sussex, is already seeing significant improvements in productivity and business opportunity following the installation of its latest investment, an Acuity Select X28 flatbed printer from Fujifilm that was installed in October 2016.
Steve White (above), managing director, SAS Graphics explains: "We originally invested in a Fujifilm Acuity LED 1600 roll to roll wide format printer in 2014 as the company transitioned to a high end graphics and signage business, following an MBO of the fine art and photographic printing side of the business. This machine has served, and continues to serve us very well. However, we made the decision in 2016 to increase our production capabilities to help meet the demands of a growing customer base.
"As we come from a fine art and photographic background, we had been a customer of Fujifilm for many years, but that certainly didn't guarantee we would also purchase Fujifilm's inkjet technologies. Most of our work is producing a range of window, wall and banner graphics for high-end office fit-outs and refurbishments, or corporate branding projects, so we have always been really focused on ensuring we invest in machines with the very highest level of printing quality."
Mr White says the company went out to the market and investigated a number of direct-to-substrate flatbed machines, but only the Acuity Select X28 could offer the right combination of speed, flexibility, quality and cost per print that their customers had come to expect.
"The eight-channel Acuity Select X28 has given us the ability to add light cyan and light magenta as well as white and a varnish if required. The result is not only amazingly high quality print, but produced at a speed and consistency that is unparalleled in our experience.
"The ColorGate RIP and Fujifilm's UV inks are also a very powerful combination, which together have resulted in a very high performance machine. What is also impressive, is that the colour consistency between the X28 and the Acuity LED 1600 is right on the mark, which gives us a huge amount of production flexibility. For example, depending on production schedules and jobs, we can now proof a job on one machine and print it on the other one if we have to."
Mr White says Fujifilm's technical team also spent a lot of time with SAS, before and during installation, to ensure the colour profiles for both Acuity printers met the company's highest standards of colour consistency and control. "They took the time to understand exactly what we needed and then worked on the profiles until they achieved exactly what we wanted. That commitment to customer service really impressed me."
The Acuity Select X28, part of the Acuity Select 20 family of wide format printers from Fujifilm, is a UV digital press with a print area over 2.5 x 3.05m. Designed for print applications requiring fine detail and high resolution imaging, Fujifilm says the larger print area allows printing on oversized substrates or two 1.25 x 2.50m boards, enabling the operator to set up on half the bed, while printing on the other half for maximum throughput.
The Acuity Select 20 series features up to eight colour channels, including options to run white, light cyan and light magenta inks and a varnish, making it an affordable solution for a number of creative print applications. The versatility of printing high quality, 1200 dpi or greater graphics on rigid, flexible and even roll media gives printers new, additional opportunities to expand their print capabilities and their businesses.
"In addition to growing our client base in our core markets, we are now also providing wide format trade printing services to a number of other printers, who are outsourcing their wide format printing jobs to us. As a result, I see big possibilities for this machine and our business over the coming months and I'm very pleased with our partnership in Fujifilm,” concluded Mr. White.
Jetrix UV flatbed “rattling through the work” at Spectrum
UK signage and large format digital print and wall coverings specialist Spectrum Sign and Display invested in a Jetrix KX7D UV printer last year, and according to director Julian Robinson, since it was up and running the printer has rattled through the work.
The company was looking for a versatile wide format printer that could meet a range of production demands across all sectors of the company’s service offering. Robinson says a great deal of time was spent researching various large format machines both from leading manufacturers and less well known brands with the functionality of each carefully reviewed to see how it would perform.
“For us, there were lots of contributing factors as to why we went for the Jetrix,” he says. “One key feature of significant appeal was the ability to pause the printer mid job. We have to say we have been really impressed with the machine since we got it at the end of the summer and it really does seem to rattle through the work.”
Second Onset flatbed for Cape Town-based USS Graphics Group
Two years ago Cape Town-based USS Graphics Group became the first company in Africa to invest in a high-performance Inca Digital flatbed press from Fujifilm. Now, determined to bolster its national presence, it has installed a second Onset flatbed, capable of printing at speeds up to 640m2/h, at Print Shop Denver, one of its associated companies based in Johannesburg.
As a commercial printer, USS Graphics has a strong focus on what it terms "campaignability" - its ability to produce all elements of an integrated marketing campaign in one location. USS Graphics offers customers a complete, 24/7 service from pre-press through to distribution, across a huge range of substrates, including corrugated board, vinyl, flexible materials and textiles. Its portfolio of printing technologies includes litho, screen and digital presses in Cape Town and in Johannesburg.
"We wanted to make sure we had the same extensive capabilities across all our sites in both cities - giving us more flexibility in where we send customers' jobs," says Louis Burger, managing director, USS Graphics. "The Onset R40i we installed in Cape Town back in 2015 has proven to be a hugely valuable investment. We're using it predominantly for printing corrugated POS and POP display materials, which in the past we had to litho print to get the necessary quality, and then mount onto board. The Onset, with its ability to print ultra-high quality directly to rigid substrates, has truly revolutionised that side of our business."
As an example, Mr Burger cites the recent delivery of three major national campaigns for high-profile retailers, which had to be completed simultaneously, in the space of less than a week. "Without the Onset we could never have delivered jobs of that magnitude to such a tight deadline," says Mr Burger. "But now we can, and we do. It's hard to overstate how valuable that is to our business, both in terms of the new market opportunities it opens up and the sheer volume of work we can now get through.”
But the Onset is about more than just speed. "The quality is incredible," Mr Burger continues. "Our sales reps are now insisting that all their samples are printed on it. And the flexibility to be able to print such varied short runs, at a consistently high level of quality is invaluable."
USS Graphics has never been afraid to pioneer new technologies. "Back when we installed the Onset in 2015, we were the first in Africa to do so," says Mr Burger. "We've always prided ourselves on being different from our competition, so though the Onset was untested in the South African market, we knew what it was capable of, and were confident that it would give us a positive point of difference and an advantage over our competitors. We held talks with multiple suppliers and ran tests on all the rival platforms. After all of that, we had no doubt at all that this unique combination of Inca Digital hardware, and Fujifilm printheads, inks and service support, offered us something above and beyond anything else on the market. We're now bringing that same revolutionary potential to our Johannesburg operation. This way we can cut our delivery times even further - by printing at whichever site is closest to the client, whatever the specifics of the job."
Looking ahead, Mr Burger sees USS Graphics' partnership with Fujifilm as a vital component of its strategy to stay ahead of market trends: "The print market in South Africa, as with the rest of the world, is trending steadily towards shorter runs with faster turnaround times, so we are going to see digital print playing an increasingly significant role. We're confident that USS Graphics is well placed to keep pace with all these market trends and to meet rapidly changing customer expectations."
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