Your Print Specialists (YPS) says it has completed the first UK installation of the Mimaki JFX500-2131 printer at Victory Signs. Based in Cramlington, Northumberland, Victory Signs has built a core of end users interested in its engraving, fascia, retail and specialist output, but sought to make its production more efficient – hence its decision to invest in the 2.1 x 3.1m wide-format UV-curable industrial flat-bed printer from Mimaki.
"We've been a Mimaki house for some time, and already own a 1.6m CJV30-160 and a UJF-3042," explains Neil Wood, manager of family-run Victory Signs. "Investing in the JFX500-2131 means we can keep production of larger display boards in house, and the ability to print direct to the media avoids transfer and other multiple-stage processes that can introduce liabilities. It's a real step up for our business, and for what we'll be able to do for our customers."
The JFX500-2131 improves throughput by some 2.5 times compared with previous models and features both LED curing and specially formulated LUS-150 flexible ink to allow high-speed production onto a range of sensitive substrates. A maximum 60sq m/hour print speed when printing in four colours makes it a viable alternative production process to screen, while the imminent addition of white ink will give the functionality of over- and under-printing for high-value display applications and onto transparent media.
Underpinning the JFX500-2131's production abilities is an array of technology developments. Mimaki's Intelligent Microstepping System helps to eliminate banding and enables the production of text sizes as small as two points – a capability that works in tandem with the minimum drop size of four picolitres to guarantee the exceptionally smooth graduation crucial to high-end display work. Multiple print passes can be easily programmed on a case-by-case basis using the Mimaki Advanced Pass System to eliminate any hint of banding.
For Wood and Victory Signs, though, the key differentiator was the support they would receive from the supplier. "We've worked with Garry Brown since 1998," Wood continues. "The personal support we have received from him and the whole YPS team was the clincher. In our business good service is absolutely vital. Once we'd decided to invest in the JFX500-2131 there was no question where we would buy it from – it was always going to be YPS."
Service is an aspect of business appreciated particularly by Victory Signs. The 13-strong company has built a large engraving footprint over the last 30 years since its incorporation, servicing sizeable military contracts for machinery parts and other, confidential industrial applications. It will use the Mimaki JFX500-2131 to expand in two key business areas – shop fascias and confidential display work for local representatives of major multi-nationals – freeing up its CJV30 for the company's fully unattended outdoor durable graphics work.
"As we transfer existing work to the JFX500-2131 and put it through its paces, we're also assessing all the new revenue areas it can take us into," Wood says. "We're certain that we'll be able to provide a high-quality trade service for other local companies, but beyond that the possibilities are very exciting. Whichever road we take, we know YPS will be there to help us make the most of the machine and its capabilities."
"Victory Signs exemplifies our customer philosophy perfectly," explains Hazel Watt, commercial director for YPS. "We only want to match businesses with machinery that makes total commercial sense, and for us the journey only begins with installation. That's reflected in the support embedded within the entire Hybrid Services ecosystem for the Mimaki range in the UK. We're truly enthusiastic to see what Victory Signs will achieve, and how it will grow, with the Mimaki JFX500-2131."
"It's a great personal pleasure for me to see one of my longest-standing customers become the first UK display house to take on the JFX500-2131," adds Garry Brown, YPS's managing director. "Seeing this flagship machine driving a key customer's business forward is the perfect capitalisation on a buoyant 2013 for YPS so far. It's proof indeed that service, support and true commercial understanding are key to solid business – and we look forward to developing that value with new and existing customers alike."