Vehicle graphics specialist and general sign-maker Stewart Signs is the first company in the UK to invest in an EFI VUTEk 3.2m GS3250LXr Pro dedicated roll-to-roll wide-format six-colour printer, incorporating EFI's LED "cool curing" and greyscale technology. The Eastleigh, Hampshire-based business's decision came as a result of needing to upgrade its production capabilities to newer flexible ink technology and faster throughput while maintaining its 3M MCS Warranty.
Stewart Signs was formed 50 years ago and has progressed steadily from producing signs and displays using traditional skills, including screen-printing, through a series of roll-fed wide-format printers. Although the company manufactures a broad range of general signs and displays, it has become renowned for its vehicle graphics and liveries, a specialist market sector that demands the highest quality and excellent durability.
"Key to our decision with our latest wide-format printer was the ability to produce applications that meet the requirements the 3M MCS (matched component system) Warranty. The EFI VUTEk GSLXr 3M SuperFlex UV Ink guarantees the flexibility and durability we must offer our customers," states Tom Bates, production manager at Stewart Signs. "This performance is essential when producing vehicle and fleet graphics, where adhesion and elasticity of the inks are vital to the success of the end application."
For many years Stewart Signs has been using solvent-based wide-format printers for its wide-format production, realising that the move to UV-curable technology relied on the high levels of flexibility and adhesion essential when working with vehicles and specialist displays. Although quality and speed were also essential criteria, Bates was impressed by the power savings and overall green benefits from the VUTEk GS3250LXr Pro printer's LED lamps. Recent energy assessments carried out by FOGRA have revealed reductions of up to 82% when compared with equivalent mercury arc lamp curing.
"The combination of the versatility of the VUTEk GSLXr 3M SuperFlex UV ink, the power savings and the overall low cost of ownership has made the VUTEk GS3250LXr Pro the ideal machine for Stewart Signs in its transition from solvent-based production to more environmentally friendly printing," comments Simon Casajuana, territory manager UK South at EFI. "Vital to the company was the combination of productivity, quality and consistency, plus proven reliability and performance, and this dedicated roll-to-roll LED wide-format printer ticks all the boxes."
"At Stewart Signs we review new equipment, looking at overall effectiveness in terms of productivity, quality and consistency," concludes Bates. "The VUTEk GS3250LXr Pro won, but we feel EFI always offers one of the best in class. It's our job to make our customers look good and to make the process painless - we value suppliers that do the same for us."
The VUTEk GS3250LXr Pro is a dedicated roll-fed 3.2m wide printer that benefits from the latest LED technology, high flexibility inks, precision colour accuracy and superior output quality. It is part of EFI's growing wide- and superwide-format LED portfolio, which now boasts more than 250 installations world-wide.