Norfolk based ReproArts has been in business for over 60 years, starting out as a screen printer, and in that time has seen a lot of changes in the industry. Priding itself on keeping up to date with the latest technology, not only did it install the first fully automatic Sericol screen printer in the 1970s, a serious leap into the unknown at the time, but it has recently installed the first Fujifilm Acuity Advance X2 in the UK.
Paul Hill, Production Director at ReproArts, says “We first saw the Acuity X2 in action earlier this year and placed our order at Sign and Digital UK. Although it has been a major investment for the company, we knew when we saw it that it was just what we were looking for in terms of its print area of 3.05m x 2.5 m edge to edge. That really is a massive sheet size.”
“Combined with its incredible accuracy, there was no hesitation in understanding that this machine was what we needed to achieve even better quality work than we had been offering. And the fact that it comes with a white option has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for us. For instance, we are now able to print double sided on Perspex, something that is very important to our customers.”
The Acuity Advance series uses FUJIFILM Sericol Uvijet UV inks, delivering supreme flexibility, particularly when using Uvijet white, which allows users to print a very opaque white under, over or between print layers, as ReproArts is doing, as well as directly onto dark media.
Paul continues, “Our previous roll fed machine simply couldn’t cope with heavy weight flat sheets and for double sided work the Acuity is impressively accurate, printing in exactly the right position for our Zund cutting machine to then cut the outlines.”
ReproArts has enjoyed a long standing relationship with FUJIFILM Sericol, installing the first ever ‘Sericol Sprinter’ automatic screen printing machine in the early 70s. Paul explains, “FUJIFILM Sericol has given us a fantastic level of service over the last 40 years. So, although their digital offering is relatively new, we had no qualms about going to them when we wanted to expand in this area, as we know we can trust them.”
The company has customers that range from some major restaurant chains and shopping outlets throughout the UK, to the car industry, and produces anything from window graphics, banners, in store decorations/displays to tool storage solutions. The large sheet size that the Acuity Advance X2 offers is extremely important, as the majority of the work customers are now looking for needs something capable of printing at this size. In fact, before the machine was installed, work was queuing up waiting. And the white option and the bigger print area has enabled work that couldn’t be done before to be handled.
“The large print size also means that when we are doing smaller jobs we can have one running on one side of the machine and be setting up another next to it. The machine has literally been printing all the time since the day after it was installed, and we are using it across a wide range of substrates up to its maximum depth of 48mm. I can honestly say we have no regrets at all.”
Paul continues, “We are so impressed with the quality of the work coming off the machine and the improvement in turnaround times - and it’s not just us, our customers have also commented - that we’re even thinking about making another investment.”
The Acuity Advance X2 has the same modified print head array as the Acuity Advance and incorporates greyscale print head technology to produce near-photographic quality print - unrivalled in the market today. The print area of the Advance X2 makes it the largest UV inkjet printer currently available, and it prints at a speed of 22m2/hr in production mode and 15m2/hr in high quality mode. Its additional white ink option complements the CMYK colour set.