05 Dec 2021

Lotus F1 Team and Roland DG – a perfect partnership

Roland Joe Macnamara LFR

Providing them with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the world of Formula One, this month Link Publishing, the powerhouse behind SignLink and Print Monthly, were given a full, guided tour of the Lotus F1 Team headquarters in Oxfordshire by Joe McNamara, Visual Branding Manager in order to understand the lasting technical partnership between Roland DG and the Lotus F1 Team.

Equipped with a camera kit and list of questions, the team from Link Publishing were granted filming and interview rights with Joe, as well as the Lotus F1 Team graphic studio and Lotus’ show cars for use on Sign7 news. Editor Brendan Perring and his team explored with Joe why exactly Roland DG technology is such a fantastic fit for Formula 1, and in what ways print can be used in the industry.

Says Joe McNamara “The main piece of technology that we’ve got in the studio is the Roland XR-640 Pro-4. It’s a highly versatile and capable piece of equipment and we use it for everything from the tiny labels that go on the F1 car steering wheels right up to the large format prints that are used in our reception and hospitality areas, and everything in between. Even our E23 race cars both have had their liveries printed on the Pro-4, as well as the many show cars that we have dotted around the world.”

With a complete print solution provided by Roland DG, including the SOLJET PRO-4 XR-640, renowned for quality engineering, reliable performance and unmatched versatility in the market, and the CAMM-1 PRO GX cutter equipped with the industry’s most powerful cutting motor, the Lotus F1 Team is furnished with the tools to create anything from signage through to vehicle wraps and small detail pieces. ECO-SOL MAX ink also provides long lasting, durable graphics ideal for a wide array of applications and uses, making Roland DG technology highly suitable for the varied uses Lotus F1 Team has for the machines.

Says Brett Newman, Managing Director of Roland DG UK, “Our machines are designed with precision in mind, capable of matching any timeframe you throw at them. Joe’s work proves that – from highly detailed vinyl work to massive prints, the XR-640 rises up to the challenge with ease time and time again, meeting the standards expected of a world-famous brand.”

In an industry with a focus on speed, reliability and attention to detail, Roland DG has proven to be the perfect match for the Formula One spirit, with products created on the Roland machines visible throughout the Lotus F1 Team headquarters – as well as multiple Modela Pro II MDX-540 machines being put to work in other parts of the facility.

Continues Joe, “There are a lot of parallels between Roland DG technology and an F1 team, in that we rely on something being right first time. We operate in a high pressure atmosphere with very tight deadlines, and have absolutely no room for errors. When we need to get something printed, often at short notice, it’s reassuring to know the print technology we have is quick, reliable and always produces very high quality output.”

Link Publishing’s Sign 7 News piece can be viewed via their website: http://www.signlink.co.uk/News/Business/3874/special-report

[photo shows Joe McNamara]

Spotlight on Stanford Marsh: half a century of change

Stanford Marsh 50 years LFR

Worcester-based graphics hardware and materials distributor, Stanford Marsh, has been proudly celebrating its 50th year of trading success

The year 1965 was to prove a culturally upbeat time for Britain, Mary Quant’s miniskirt was seen in the King’s Road, London, for the first time, and the Beatle’s film, ‘Help!’ premiered at the London Pavilion Theatre. The Rolling Stones stormed the charts with their hit single ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’ and Gerry Anderson’s ‘Thunderbirds’ series graced TV screens in stunning ‘Supermarionation’. It was evidently a great time for long lasting classics to be created, something also noticed in drawing offices throughout the UK.

For in that same year, from the charmingly named Arboretum Road, Worcester, Mr Stanford Marsh began supplying architectural and technical draughtsmen with drawing office supplies and consumables such as drawing boards, technical pens and pre-printed drawing sheets, alongside Diazo printers and their associated consumables.

Stanford Marsh offices being built LFR

[above photo shows Buckholt Drive HQ under construction]

Stanford Marsh knuckled down to his trade and through hard work and determination his company prospered. In 1982 his enlarged team relocated to purpose-built offices in Buckholt Drive, Worcester, which have remained the company’s Group Headquarters until the present day. The eponymous supply and distribution company now owns five regional offices throughout the UK, employs more than 100 staff and has a turnover in excess of £15 million. What else has changed over the last 50 years?

Stanford Marsh offices aerial view LFR

[above photo shows aeriel view of Buckholt Drive]

Drawing boards and technical pens have long gone, along with the almost ubiquitous drawing offices. Modern day graphics providers and design professionals depend on CAD (computer aided design) software. Stanford Marsh’s CAD Division – Cadspec Limited − was established 1989 during the digital boom and has since been recognised as an ‘Autodesk Gold Partner’. Such Gold Partners have to provide technical expertise in specific industries, solutions, support, training, implementation and consulting services − while also providing solutions from conceptual design through to analytics within a 3D environment. 

Cadspec also helps AEC design processionals to collaborate on projects in the cloud, with approved Building Information Modelling (BIM) compatible systems, as well as helping manufacturing companies to get their product catalogues into a BIM ready format. 

Printers such as Diazo machines, once so common they were responsible for designs being called blueprints, have evolved a great deal since 1965. The years have seen the development of large-format printing systems through Xerographic type printers to today’s high-speed models. All the while manufacturers have worked to reduce costs and increase quality while making their systems more and more environmentally friendly.

Colour printers today print as fast and costs have reduced to the equivalent of old black and white, LED systems. Thanks to its breadth of knowledge Stanford Marsh is also one of only two companies in mainland UK designated to sell the much awaited, HP Pagewide 8000 system.

Not content with sitting on its laurels, Stanford Marsh Limited has stretched its expertise beyond its traditional CAD and technical markets into the colour print-for-pay arena. Stanford Marsh Group Graphics (SMGG) was created to specialise in the signage, display and graphical markets, adding leading brands such as Mimaki print & cut devices and flat-bed printers plus HP Latex printing systems to the parent company’s portfolio −  as well distributing genuine OEM inks, quality RIP solutions and its own-brand media.

Stanford Marsh offices showing Stanford Marsh LFR

[above image shows Stanford Marsh outside the eponymous Stanford Marsh HQ]

Future trends

Stanford Marsh has proven it has a well-tuned nose for change, so what does it see as the next major trend? 3D printers are developing exciting potential and have become a large part of its offering over the last few years. With its dedicated team working under the trading name of SMG3D, Stanford Marsh has amassed an impressive line-up of Stratasys 3D printers for the professional market, as well as low-cost devices for the home/hobbyist users. Experts estimate 3D print will be worth circa $20 billion worldwide by 2020, and Stanford Marsh is offering informed advice to customers new to such emerging technologies to help them make the right choices. The uses for the new technology are legion, rapid prototyping to prove fit, form & function or direct digital manufacturing of end parts for dental technicians, aerospace engineers, health professionals, manufacturing specialists and the AEC markets to name just a few. Stanford Marsh has the 3D tools and expertise to help customers revolutionise the way they work.

The company’s success has been underpinned by its carefully designed support services, such as Stanford Marsh Finance Limited its independent finance provider, which can help simplify the buying process for some customers. Fast and convenient delivery of product to customers throughout the UK is aided by its three, conveniently located distribution centres, while Stanford Marsh’s noted after-sales care and support service is provided by its expert team of manufacturer-trained, field service engineers.

Looking to the future, Group Director Adrian Painter said, “Fundamentally, what many of our customers do for a living hasn’t changed over the 50 years we’ve been in business. House builders still build houses, motor companies still manufacture cars, and utility companies provide services and so on. It’s the tools they use to design, communicate and build or manufacture that have changed. Our job has always been to stay abreast of, and in some cases ahead of, those changes so we can advise customers on their next step and help them make the right decisions. We believe we were trusted advisors to design professionals in 1965 and have remained so to the present day.”

Painter continues, “We are proud to have celebrated our half-century in 2015 and we’re happy that the company is still spearheaded by our founder, Stanford Marsh, who remains our company Chairman. In July we held a corporate event at the Belfry Golf Club, during which 24 staff and customers enjoyed a marvellous day playing the immaculate Brabazon course. We fielded six teams sponsored by our key partners, which included Canon, HP, Stratasys and Ricoh.

“Furthermore, we had a fun day out for all our staff and their families and partners, which we held at Stanbrook Abbey on a glorious summer’s day in August. These events have truly capped off what has been a fantastic, land-mark year, and has highlighted this stage in Stanford Marsh’s wonderful journey while thanking all those who have played a part in our success. Here’s to the next 50 years of Stanford Marsh success.”

For more information on Stanford Marsh, please visit www.stanfordmarsh.co.uk

Stanford Marsh speech LFR

[above photo shows Stanford Marsh speaking at 50th anniversary event]

Mimaki promotion offers 'the Best for Less' this autumn

Mimaki CJV150 130 LFR

Exclusive UK and Irish Mimaki distributor Hybrid Services has announced an attractive price promotion on key product lines to run throughout the autumn and into the festive season. The multi-award winning Mimaki CJV150 range of printer/cutters enjoys savings across the board, with the most popular 1.3m model - the CJV150-130 - available for just £9,995 + VAT during the promotion. The Mimaki UJF range of A3 and A2 flatbed LED UV printers see savings of up to £3,000 - with the A3 UJF-3042FX subsequently retailing at only £14,995 + VAT.

National Sales Manager, sign & graphics for Hybrid, John de la Roche states: "Autumn is traditionally a busy period for print providers and sign makers, so we're encouraging companies to consider their investment plans now in order to benefit from faster, more productive and more versatile technology that can assist their workflow."

"The 1.3m CJV150-130 is a core product in Mimaki's sign and graphics line-up and offers markedly greater productivity than the next best printer in its class," he continues. "With Mimaki's intuitive and easy to use RIP and cutting software, companies will find it simple to upgrade to the latest print and cut kit."

Mimaki's UJF Series has defined the small format flatbed market with vast global sales making it the world's most popular flatbed printer and Hybrid's National Sales Manager, industrial products, Stuart Cole is keen to ensure a broad range of companies get to appreciate the benefits of the systems. "Mimaki's LED UV technology has fundamentally improved the way companies operate," he suggests. "Evolving from pad or screen printing to a digital workflow dramatically cuts costs, adds innumerable new product lines and generates additional revenue streams."

With customers in markets that include promotional products, manufacturing, packaging prototyping, industrial, signage and many more, the UJF's versatility lends itself to forward-thinking businesses seeking the edge over their competition. "The Mimaki UJF offers class-leading speed, unbeatable quality, low running costs and almost limitless possibilities in terms of what can be produced with it," concludes Cole. "The savings on offer this autumn make it even more attainable, so we anticipate a strong uptake in the run up to Christmas."

Available through Hybrid's network of authorised resellers, both product ranges enjoy discounts of up to £3,000 depending on the specific model, with offers available until 24th December 2015.

For further details see www.led-uv.co.uk or www.cjv150.co.uk or call Hybrid on +44 (0)1270 501900.

Winner of ‘Roland Apprentice of the Year’ Award announced

Roland Apprentice 2015 LFR

Nathan Aston has been awarded the accolade of ‘Roland DG Apprentice of the Year’, as he overcame tough competition to triumph at this year’s BSGA British Sign Awards.

The ‘Roland DG Apprentice of the Year’ award recognises sign making apprentices who have made outstanding progress in their academic and learning achievements, as well as a real contribution to their employer’s business.

Nathan was nominated for the award by his employer, Ast Transport Branding, for exceeding their expectations and demonstrating initiative, enterprise and creativity throughout his apprenticeship.
After being shortlisted for the award, the 18-year-old was rewarded with the title of ‘Roland DG Apprentice of the Year’ at last night’s BSGA Awards Presentation gala event, which was held at East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. He said: “It was great to win this award – I’ve been working as an apprentice for a year and a half at Ast Transport Branding, and really enjoying the responsibility and skills I’ve been learning. I’m very proud to have won.”

As the UK market’s leading manufacturer of wide format digital printers, Roland DG is delighted to have sponsored the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ award and is committed to supporting young and emerging talent from the sign industry.

To congratulate Nathan, Roland DG has awarded him with a complimentary seat on a Roland DG Academy course of his choice at the Clevedon or Walsall training centres.

Speaking about the BSGA British Sign Awards 2015, Brett Newman, Managing Director for Roland DG (UK) Ltd, said: “Speaking about the BSGA British Sign Awards 2015, Brett Newman, Managing Director for Roland DG (UK) Ltd, said: “We’ve had a great day at the awards, and it was a brilliant learning experience for our own apprentices –we brought both of them along for the day to experience the event and help run our PRO-4 XR-640 wide format print-and-cut machine, which was on display prior to the ceremony, and they did fantastically.

“On behalf of everyone at Roland DG, I would like to congratulate Nathan Aston on winning the award for ‘Roland DG Apprentice of the Year’ and we look forward to welcoming him onto a Roland DG Academy course soon. The apprentices nominated for this award demonstrate the abundance of young talent that is emerging within the sign industry and we are delighted to work alongside the British Signs and Graphics Association to acknowledge and celebrate this.”

Roland DG has long been invested in growing the sign industry through the Roland DG Academy, which presents attendees with clear, practical and inspirational content that opens their eyes to new and profitable opportunities within the sign industry.

The sponsorship of the ‘Roland DG Apprentice of the Year’ further underpins the Roland DG Academy’s commitment to support both seasoned professionals wanting to diversify and those new to the sign industry with educational courses.

i-Sub revamps website for fast-moving industry

iSub Ltd website

i-Sub Ltd. has unveiled its revamped website, redesigned for better accessibility and navigability and able to handle regular company updates.

The site has been specifically engineered for real-time updates about i-Sub, such as installations, events, supplier agreements, machine testing, staff appointments and, importantly, new products. More information and interaction will be displayed via live Twitter and Facebook feeds on the homepage.

The new-look website, www.i-sub.co.uk, features details of all of i-Sub's latest equipment and services, including dye-sublimation printers, heat presses and calenders, inks, transfer paper, media and other consumables. i-Sub's customers – who span the worldwide textile market from interior decor to clothing to soft signage – are now able to access all product information via the top toolbar, significantly improving the search experience.

"The new i-Sub website has been redesigned to clearly show the unique products we supply to the textile industry," says Nick Davies, Sales Director, i-Sub. "Not only that, but we wanted to share what we do as a business and how we help our customers to create really exciting textiles, to show the fast moving industry we're part of and the many success stories in which we're involved. We're looking forward to welcoming new and existing customers to the new-look site and interacting via social media."

i-Sub can be found tweeting as @iSubltd and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/I-SUB-213340498775024

For more information on any of i-Sub's textile printing and finishing equipment or to arrange a demonstration, please visit www.i-sub.co.uk or call +44 (0)1536 415511.

Colorific rebrands as CSL Digital to reflect focus on digital print and cut technology

Lightbar VSi640 Right Media LFR

Colorific Solutions Limited has announced the rebranding of the company to CSL Digital.  This rebranding exercise coincides with the recent announcement from Roland DG that it has appointed CSL Digital to be an authorised dealer for its market leading range of digital printing and cutting technologies.

Nick Wintle, Managing Director – CSL Digital, says: “We are very proud of all that we’ve achieved under our old brand, however, we felt that the time was right to build on this success and adopt a new brand identity that would acknowledge our past achievements and highlight our future ambitions.  We think that CSL Digital echoes our many years of experience in the field of digital print and offers us greater bandwidth to promote our technology business, particularly as we’ve now been appointed an authorised dealer for Roland print and cut technologies.”

In addition to supplying digital print products and support to companies in the sign, display and print industries, CSL Digital has the technical expertise and manufacturing facilities to produce custom engineered solutions for businesses with more complex print requirements.  The company has been instrumental in the research, development and production of a number of ground-breaking print solutions in recent years, most notably Lightbar solvent-UV ink technology.

Working closely with Roland DG through its Partner Solutions programme, CSL Digital has successfully integrated the latest solvent-UV ink chemistry with Roland print engines to launch a range of Lightbar printers and printer/cutters.  Widely regarded as a more durable and cost effective alternative to printing with latex inks, Lightbar delivers bright, colour rich print that’s dry, cured and ready to use straight from the printer.  With no delays for out gassing and greatly reduced requirements for protective lamination, companies equipped with Lightbar technology are able to offer same day print services and pass on significant cost savings to their customers.

In preparation for its new role as an authorised Roland dealer, CSL Digital recently relocated its UK head office and distribution centre to much larger premises in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  Offering easy access to and from London and the M4 corridor, the new headquarters features an impressive print technology showroom, product training rooms and a Research & Development facility.

CSL Roland logo