KT Litho expands further into wide format printing with Mimaki flatbed

November 24, 2016

Lancashire based printer KT Litho has invested in a Mimaki JFX-200 as a way of diversifying the business to offer customers a more bespoke service.

With a 33 year history in litho printing and processes, brothers Greg Twemlow and Matt Twemlow, joint managing directors, have been leading the company with continuous growth and expansion.

“We have a large base of customers that rely on us for high quality output, something we really pride ourselves on at KT Litho. Having been in business for as long as we have, it’s important to keep up a good reputation,” says Greg Twemlow.

However, KT Litho faced a problem often seen in high volume print rooms, their orders were diversifying.

“The majority of the time we see high volume, repetitive orders, which reflects the processes we have always had in place. In 2005 we started to see an increase in demand for bespoke, short run orders. Using the technology we already had in place, the short run items were proving too expensive to produce,” he says.

Seeing a growing trend in demand, the brothers looked to the marketplace to see what might be on offer that could keep high-volume clients satisfied while reducing the costs of bespoke items.

As an initial solution, the company invested in two Roland VersaArt RS-640 wide format printers, and while this allowed for quicker printing it still required finishing times for drying and mounting and ultimately not resolving the core requirement.

At this point the brothers looked to the seemingly evolving flatbed printing technology and their supplier printMAX introduced the Mimaki JFX200-2513. Designed for ease of use and high quality, but in a cost effective package, the JFX200 offers an affordable entrance to flatbed printing.

With highly productive print speeds of up to 25M2 per hour, the JFX enabled KT Litho to continue with their high volume orders. However, using the Rasterlink RIP software and with the ease of loading and precise positioning media thanks to the vacuum bed and pin system, KT Litho could print bespoke jobs for the same cost by reducing set-up time and ultimately enhancing the print potential.

The instant drying of the ink, a feature possible through energy efficient LED UV curing, allows for continuous printing with little to no additional finishing time.

The beauty of direct to substrate printing is in the potential. There are endless possibilities for diversification and print capabilities. “Since taking on the JFX-200 we have started taking enquiries for glass, metal, wood and several other items that we would never have considered before, and would have certainly turned away as a business opportunity.”


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