24 Feb 2019

HP Designjet L65500 Latex printer and JM Textiles' PVC-free media help change jeans

HP Designjet L65500 

When Euro clothing retailer Jeans Only needed new in store imagery for their changing rooms it was vital to have graphics with no residual odour and that meet the highest standards of reduced environmental impact for a retail environment. They also needed high quality and the ability to refresh the imagery across all the European wide based stores.

The combination of the HP Designjet L65500 Latex printer and JM Textiles Mediatex Self Adhesive PVC free media provided the ideal solution. The HP Designjet L65500 with its non-toxic, odour free Latex inks has already won awards for its reduced environmental impact such as the European Digital Press award for Best Environmental Digital Printer 2008.

JM Textiles have long been committed to producing innovative and environmentally benign media. The entire JM Textiles range meets the Öeko-Tex Standard 100 standard one of the most stringent in the world. This standard ensures that end users can have total confidence that the media will have no harmful effect on the environment it is used in.

Andrew Edwards, Sign and Display Divisional Manager, ArtSystems, says: "This is typical of the demands we’re seeing now from both private and public sector clients. Not only do they want products that are more resource efficient and have a reduced environmental impact, they also want them to exceed the productivity of their legacy solutions. The HP Designjet L65500 and JM Textiles media do just this. Print service providers are now winning new business with this double benefit."

In the current economic climate resource efficiency and reduced environmental impact are becoming the core management tools to controlling costs and maximising profits. Solutions like the HP Designjet L65500 and JM Textiles Media are just one example of their practical application.

AJ-1000i increases versatility at Irish display producer

Inc Design and Display Roland AdvancedJet 1000i 

On paper, Inc Design and Display is a young company and a relative newcomer to the Irish display market, having been formed two and a half years ago by directors Paul Byrne and Paul Hogan. But don’t be fooled: they have a combined thirty years of experience in sign production, with talents including vehicle wraps, exhibition banners, modular signs and pop-ups.

They’re proud to count among their clients Dublin’s musical instrument mega-store, Xmusic, and the remainder of their portfolio ranges as broad as banner production and fascias. A more recent job has seen a large amount of vinyl banner produced for the high profile Taste of Dublin food festival.

Byrne and Hogan knew that growing the company rapidly could only come from strategic investment in machines that offered productivity and excellent turn-round. “We wanted to be able to compete with the best in terms of speed and quality right from the start,” explains Hogan as he remembers the first machine at Inc Design – the Roland SolJet Pro II.

The successor to the Pro II, the Pro III XC-540, handles smaller-format print-and-cut jobs at the Dublin site. Inc Design is particularly fond of the print-and-cut machine’s handling of contour cutting, making vehicle wrap production significantly easier, and eco-solvent inks mean that interior signs produced on the Pro III are odourless.

After only a few months Inc Design realised that it needed to accommodate larger-format work at a greater capacity to win bigger contracts. The business partners performed extensive research, deciding finally to stay with Roland DG because the Advanced Jet AJ-1000i offered the best throughput possible with its 2.6m width complemented by durable, high quality results. The printer was installed at their premises over Christmas 2007 and it's now in daily use for both indoor and outdoor graphics, on an ever-growing range of flexible materials.

“We looked at flat-bed technology before the purchase of the Pro III, and again when investigating the AJ-1000i, but decided that roll-to-roll was the better choice, offering more in terms of output quality and the range of compatible substrates. Additionally, this machine had a much smaller footprint and a more reasonable capital outlay,” says Byrne.

Hogan explains that investment in the Roland AJ-1000i felt like the next natural step in growing the company. “Although still a very young business, we had reached a stage where we needed to expand capacity and improve turnaround times – we knew from experience that these are the key areas in which the big contracts are won.”

The Roland AdvancedJet AJ-1000i is the larger of the company’s two machines, which are particularly suited to high-volume grand format printing for the durable graphics market. It is complemented by the 1.87m AJ-740i for users who want a narrower option. Its resolution of 720dpi produces near photo quality images and its ability to produce solid colours accurately makes it ideal for display producers and sign-makers. The ink formulation has an outdoor durability of up to 3 years, which can be extended with over-lamination where greater longevity is required.

Inc Design’s AJ-1000i has recently benefited from upgrades to its firmware and software, bringing it in line with Roland’s latest product releases. Other key updates include the newly-designed spare ink reservoir and the ability to change the calibration of the machine while it is printing. Byrne and Hogan are quick to promote that this allows for fast adjustments, reduces media waste and prevents time-consuming stopping and starting.

Amongst the first jobs that Inc Design & Display completed with its new printer was Ireland’s largest hoarding, sited at Dublin’s Belmayne housing development. A massive 3km of vinyl film was mounted on to 2.5 x 1.25m composite Dibond panels with an anti-graffiti laminate, printed in batches of up to 600 at a time. “The Belmayne job was completed in stages over a number of months in line with the development’s progress. There is no doubt that without the AJ-1000i we wouldn’t have been able to take it on,” Byrne recalls.

The automation of the RolandAdvanced Jet was a major attraction for IncDesign. Automatic maintenance and head cleaning have greatly reduced servicing and maintenance obligations, while a specialist pump keeps the flow of ink constant through the print-heads. This eliminates banding and means that cartridges can be changed ‘on the fly’.

“The combination of the AJ-1000i’s speed and the durability of its EcoXtreme solvent-based ink is spectacular and its colour accuracy is superb, with easy Pantone matching when required. My favourite aspect of the machine is that it can operate unattended,” highlights Hogan. “We’ve left it printing overnight on occasion - we load up a 100 metre roll of paper and come back in the morning to find the job completed, no problem.”

The AJ-1000i's heavy-duty take-up system supports rolls weighing up to 100Kg, and Roland’s proprietary six-colour EcoXtreme inks include light cyan and light magenta for a wider gamut. The machine is happy working with a wide range of coated and uncoated media for durable, long-life graphics, and has a maximum throughput of 90 sq m/hour.

“Its size and speed have opened up new doors for us and the AJ-1000i is now a core part of our business and production strategy. Both of our Roland machines are highly reliable and obviously well built, but engineers are on hand should we need them. With these two printers there isn’t much we can’t do – big or small,” boasts Byrne.

Progress doesn’t stop here for Inc Design, tactical expansion is again on the agenda, with Byrne and Hogan already considering future development, including perhaps personalisation and Variable Data work for promotional items.
The main thing, Hogan concludes, is to remain versatile: “There is a wealth of opportunity out there and part of our job is to keep on top of changes in the market. It’s important to be able to meet new demands as and when they arise. With its productive and diverse technology, Roland DG has certainly earned our trust in this respect.”

Find out more, and calculate the running costs of the Roland AdvancedJet AJ-1000i printer, at www.rolandpro.co.uk

Roland DG Academy’s two-for-one course offer detonates potential

Roland Academy 

Sign-makers are being offered the opportunity to explore the full profit potential of their software and equipment with a two-for-one deal at the Roland DG Academy. The Academy’s hands-on SignLab and Adobe Photoshop courses are on offer as two-day training sessions and are focused on profit generation and cost reduction — vital as companies diversify and maximise their resources in the current economic situation. While time permits, companies can take advantage of putting two employees on the programme, covering knowledge gaps and ensuring that all staff are trained – particularly important when dealing with holiday cover or even redundancy cover.

“By addressing how the person uses these two key products, and what they achieve with their throughput, the Academy courses improve the company’s output quality and workflow,” explains Marc Jenkin, Academy Manager, who also leads on both of these courses. “Because of the high standard of our trainers, we can ensure that users return with the confidence built to tender for higher margin jobs, armed with an array of knowledge about special processes, vector design and image improvement.”

Jenkin is eager to highlight the importance of the purpose-built production environment where the courses take place. “An interruption-free space means pure hands-on time in the company of experts,” he points out. “Making use of smart boards with video recording equipment means that we can hone in on exactly how to perfect these processes and thereby improve return on investment.”

Escalating the business-client relationship is a vital part of the programmes, which also allow specific files or issues to be brought to the table. “There are some stunning effects that are possible that aren’t widely known or used,” hints Jenkin, who has been training at the Academy since its inception in 2006. “Companies can really get the most out of their existing customers and also move into new grounds by asking, simply, whether they knew that chrome effects or vector design were services that they supplied.”

The SignLab course, which can be split into two individual days, is led by experts who will ensure that the trainee knows menu control and shortcuts, progressing into the creation of vector graphics, cut paths and colour management. Day one will provide the knowledge needed to speed up the user’s workflow and improve co-ordination between the supplier and their customers. Day two progresses that skill base by targeting industry requirements and powerful image techniques, including the enhancement of poor quality bitmap or raster graphics while avoiding pixelation. By the end of the course the trainee student will be confident in using Half Cut to extract print and cuts, the management of badges and serialisation — known as VDP in similar packages — and special effects, such as ripple effects, chrome and borders.

Over the two day Adobe Photoshop course, users can become more rapid through their control of selections, layers and shortcuts. Having nailed down their own method alongside the trainer, students concrete their colour management skills by developing and implementing the use of correct colour processes, depending on the job, and appreciating all aspects of image correction. By reducing error and workflow times they will return with a greater enjoyment of the programme and a number of suggestions for diversifying the company’s chargeable services.

With plenty of time to network during attendance, delegates can share their experience and receive expert advice on any issues they may face regularly. “A person who’s in control and comfortable with the equipment they use will bring more to the company,” Jenkin concludes. “And that’s what these courses really provide — the confidence and ability to use these tools to their full advantage.” Prices, and a complete course offering with detailed contents, are available at www.rolanddg.co.uk/academy/


Sign Ireland the premier Irish sign, and digital event

Sign and Digital Ireland 2009 

Sign Ireland and Digital Ireland returns to the RDS on 23-24 September 2009 as Sign & Digital Ireland. With a new look and name to reflect the evolving Irish visual communications industry, the 2009 event promises to be better than ever before.

The event brings together Ireland’s visual communications industry every two years and attracts quality visitors from the sign & digital, end user and visual communications sector.

Co-located with Sign & Digital Ireland in 2009 will be Print Ireland incorporating Repro Ireland. Print Ireland is the ultimate forum for the Irish print community bringing together buyers, specifiers and suppliers of printing machinery, consumables and services.
Planning for the 2009 shows is well underway.

Sign & Digital Ireland is the longest running event for the sign, digital and visual communications industry. Spanning two days at the RDS in Dublin, visitors to the show can combine seeing suppliers, distributors, products and people from across the industry in one visit and under one roof. Visitors also will benefit from Print Ireland incorporating Repro Ireland being co-located in Simmonscourt.

Why you should attend…

  • Leading suppliers will be exhibiting at the show with new and existing products, demonstrating these products live ….giving you the chance to meet a variety of suppliers in one place
  • Attend FREE seminars & workshops covering the latest issues faced by the industry and keeping you up to date with the latest technology and solutions
  • Receive expert, impartial advice from industry Experts
  • Sign & Digital Ireland is an ideal opportunity to network with your peers whilst comparing costs, services and products
  • Attendance is FREE of charge and includes entrance to Print Ireland

With Sign & Digital Ireland only taking place every two years, don’t miss out on this great opportunity to meet your peers as the industry converges on Dublin on 23 – 24 September 2009.

For further information and to pre-register click here.

Sign & Digital UK 2009 announces attendance results

sign uk 

With the current economic climate there were concerns about the show and whether it was up to the challenge. These concerns were safely put to bed come 10am on the opening day. Crowds flocked to the NEC and saw a glittering showcase at the UK’s premier sign making and digital printing event.

The quality of visitors at this year’s show was unquestionable. From all the information, data and feedback we have received the main point that has kept on cropping up is that the quality of the visitors with money in their pocket was excellent.

Visitors to the 2009 show included:  Delta Display, McLaren Racing, Signs Express, British Airways, Sign-A-Rama, Cadbury, FastSigns, Legoland, Pyramid, Harrods, Linney Group, Ikea, Kall Kwik, Co-operative Group, Hawes Signs, Waitrose, Prontaprint, MOD, Augustus Martin, Jaeger, Cestrian, Motorola, C3 Imaging, Hampshire County Council and many more.

The show data has now been collated and checked, and we can now release our subject to audit ABC certificate which shows a total visitor attendance of 6,127 which does not include repeat visits, and a total overall attendance, including press and exhibitor personnel, of 7,111.

Alan Caddick, Marketing Manager for the show comments: “For us, it is really important to go for an ABC audit. It very much fits in with our ‘open and honest’ approach which is the way we like to work. ABC is a trusted impartial service that gives us a true result of our attendance at our exhibition. This adds value to our business and event and gives us real credibility and integrity when talking to the market place about our attendance figures.”

Hexis enters technical partnership with Oreca

oreca lmp1 

Hexis, manufacturer of self-adhesive vinyl films, and Oreca, the motor racing company, are entering a technical partnership with the aim of further improving the performance of the LMP1 race car (Le Mans Prototype 1). The vehicle body panels will be covered in vinyl film instead of paint for a noticeable weight reduction thus achieving fuel savings and faster laps. Several tests were carried out in 2008 and 2009 with the results pointing in that direction.

For this type of application Hexis supplies ultra-thin adhesive coated vinyl films. As the films are extremely conformable and stretchable they can be applied over curved surfaces and thus completely wrap the vehicle. The Hexis training department provides technical assistance with the application of the films onto the vehicles.

Oreca, set up in 1972, is a race car designer and constructor based in France. 2009 is their second year of participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Hexis manufactures a full line of graphic vinyl and digital printing media used for sign making and vehicle markings. The company is based in Frontignan, near Montpellier, France with subsidiaries in Germany, Italy and the United States and with affiliate Hexis companies in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK. The group exports some 40% of its turnover to over 40 countries worldwide, while enjoying sales of EUR 37.6 million in 2008.