24 Sep 2020

UK's first VUTEk HS100 Pro goes to consolidated event specialist, Icon

Icon Efi Lfr

McKenzie Clark's integration with Icon, following acquisition by Chime Communications, has been finalised and the combined company has now installed the first VUTEk HS100 Pro high-speed digital press in the UK. As a first-time purchaser of EFI technology, the company's new flat-bed and roll-fed UV-curable 3.2m platform is complemented by the Fiery proServer digital front-end, enabling both throughput and quality to be addressed on the same device without compromise, and is an important addition to increase productivity of point-of-purchase and event graphics.

The amalgamation into a single site for the former McKenzie Clark and Icon brings together two diverse areas of wide-format display requirements as precision photographic quality output combines resources with sport and event brand management in one production area. Managing directors Graham Clark and Keith Goodwin believe that the variance in print criteria is easily addressed with the high-speed VUTEk HS100 Pro press, which features the latest greyscale print-heads plus EFI's innovative pin and cure technology that allows for greater droplet control and different finishes across a variety of materials.

For Icon, the key necessity was to supersede its existing Lambda output with newer, more sustainable technology without compromising the superlative quality for which the company is renowned. "It is vital that we maintain consistency across colours with the option for matte, satin and gloss finishes so that we can easily meet the results expected by our clients, many of whom specialise in the beauty and fashion sectors," states Clark.

"Our prior experience of wide-format printing technology has increased our expectations of what we can expect from the right platform. Although this is our first ever purchase from EFI, we are confident that the VUTEk HS100 Pro is the right machine for all of our requirements."

"The contrast in print needs created by the complementary markets in which Icon specialises means that our newest wide-format printer must give us the best of both worlds," explains Goodwin. "It is essential that it addresses very fine standards of print with precision colour matching for close viewing, yet accommodates extremely high throughput speeds for jobs which are going to be observed from a distance."

Formed by the merger of Speedway Signs and Aerosigns, Icon's roots go back to 1937. The company is the UK's largest event branding specialist, handling major events worldwide including the forthcoming Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which it is sponsoring, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. McKenzie Clark was founded in 1963 and its expertise in live events and retail is complemented by full design and management services.

The acquisition of the two companies by Chime Communications consolidates the strengths of both businesses and accelerates continued expansion. The investment in the EFI VUTEk HS100 Pro and EFI Fiery proServer increases their wide-format capabilities with the steady growth in production demands.

CIM installs Agfa Anapurna M1600 from i-Sub Digital to meet demand for fast turnaround

Isub Cim Cornwell Lfr

Display printing and installation company CIM's new Agfa Anapurna hit the ground running in December when a client ordered 155 display boards – for completion as soon as possible – just days after its installation.

The new Agfa Anapurna M1600, supplied by i-Sub Digital, replaced a Rasterprinter UV flat-bed machine that the company had run in its Norwich printroom for the past six years. Its speed and quality were lacking, so CIM looked around for a complete upgrade.

"Of all the machines we looked at this was an all-rounder," says John Cornwell, Director, CIM. "The Anapurna has a roll-to-roll option which improves speed, it's easy to use and takes up a small amount of space. Our choice was based less on price and more on quality."

The Agfa Anapurna M1600 can print in four colours plus white at up to 46sqm/hr onto rigid boards such as Foamex and roll-to-roll media like vinyl and PVC banner, plus a wide range of other substrates up to 50mm thick. The white ink is applied by a separate management system, allowing display producers to print pre-white or post-white in one production run. After seeing the wide-format printer in action at both FESPA and Sign and Digital UK, CIM contacted i-Sub Digital on the recommendation of another local print company. "I-Sub Digital really guided us all the way through," says Cornwell.

December's order for 155 Foamex display boards was for an international insurance company's exhibition stand – a market sector CIM is keen to expand into. 

"On the Agfa we can print one display board roughly every ten minutes; on the old printer it would have been one an hour," says Cornwell. "We would have had to field that out to a trade supplier, so it's great to do that work in-house now. It's made a huge difference to output.

"We've also purchased a cutting machine recently so combining it with the Agfa means we can take on more exhibition work. We get a lot of enquiries about recyclable boards and eco-friendly exhibition boards."

CIM was able to pay for the new Anapurna thanks to a local government grant from the Regional Growth Fund via Anglia LEP. The funding was contingent on hiring new employees, so in addition to the new equipment the print business took the opportunity to expand its team with two new trainees, an experienced sign-maker and a part-time position.

"It's really positive that the funding is available to businesses in our sector who want to invest in new equipment and staff," comments Andy Spreag, Managing Director of i-Sub Digital.

"The Anapurna M1600 is a versatile machine that will help CIM meet its customers' demands for fast-turnaround work in-house. We're looking forward to seeing what the new trainees will produce on it."

For further information on i-Sub Digital, or to book a demonstration of the Agfa Anapurna M1600, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Screen Truepress JetW3200UV wide-format printer launched in Europe

Screen Truepress Inca

Following the prototype demonstration at FESPA 2013 in London last year, Screen Europe has launched the new Truepress Jet W3200UV wide-format printer. Prospective customers and European resellers attended the commercial launch at Inca Digital, a Screen subsidiary company and manufacturer of the new printer, in Cambridge, UK.

The Truepress Jet W3200UV is a new generation, mid-range flatbed inkjet printer that incorporates several features which are usually found in more expensive machines.  It can take rigid board or paper sheets up to 3.2 x 1.6m format and up to 50mm thick, or multiple smaller sheets at once. The W3200 can produce production print at 10, 14, 18 or 22 passes depending on the speed and quality required. The printer uses vibrant and flexible Truepress inks, which deliver high-definition, wide-colour gamut print quality with excellent resistance to the bending and cutting of media.  Users can specify colour options to suit their needs: CMYK + LcLm, +LcLmWW or +WW.

Print firms and resellers toured the Inca factory to see at first hand the quality build process and the detailed testing the Truepress undergoes before delivery ensuring high quality achieved at 85 sqm/hr maximum productivity.

At the launch Mike Willis, managing director of inkjet consultancy Pivotal Resources, spoke about the rapid evolution of wide-format inkjet technology and the development of commercial markets for these printers over the past decade. “In the early days nobody knew what the market would be for wide-format inkjets,” he said. “But it has opened up a new category and now it is used for multiple applications from sign and display, point of sale, posters, wall covering, and packaging as well as for processes in electronics and ceramics. Industrial inkjet is expected to really accelerate over the next few years.”

The Larger Profile in the UK is the world’s first user of the Truepress Jet W3200UV, having acted as an early adopter for three months before confirming its order in November. Giorgio Damiano, designer and operator at The Larger Profile, was on hand to give an account of his company’s experience of using the printer for a variety of work, especially quality sensitive, ‘solid colours’, display and wall panels for retailers, including a lot of work on clear acrylics, for which the high opacity white ink is essential.

Martijn van den Broek, wide format sales manager for Benelux at Screen Europe, highlighted the standout features of the new printer, including the nozzle mapping technology, automatic cleaning, mist extraction system and how accurate placement of the 14 picolitre droplets is achieved.  "Ultimately this new printer gives reliable high productivity with consistent superb print quality. Add the great substrate flexibility and added value applications such as multi-layer printing and the Truepress Jet W3200UV is setting a new standard in the market,” he said.

The Screen Truepress Jet W3200UV is available immediately and costs from €275,000.00 depending on specification.

Contex announces six new multifunction product bundles

Contex Logo

Contex has announced six new multifunction product bundles developed with HP to meet the needs of the technical market. The latest collaboration delivers a powerful wide-format scanner multi-function printer (MFP) at an entry-level price. Users can select an MFP bundle depending on workflow volume and document dimensions, with options specifically designed for varying workgroup sizes, productivity levels and imaging demands. The bundle options include a Contex SD3615 MFP Repro or IQ4420 Repro scanning solution, paired with a standard or web-connected HP Designjet printer. The Contex and HP Designjet MFPs are specially priced until January 31, 2014, and available exclusively from HP Graphics Elite Resellers.

"The Contex and HP bundles provide our customers with a lot of horsepower for an exceptional price. With so many options to choose from, there is a solution for every scanning, copying and printing need," states Steve Blanken, Contex General Manager for North and South America.

For small workgroups, Contex has created three MFP bundles that combine the high volume capability, speed and resolution of the SD3615 MFP Repro or IQ 4420 Repro solutions with the efficiency of HP Designjet ePrinters. These printers bring optional web connectivity to each bundle, providing access to the printer via smartphone, tablet and other Wi-Fi¬ equipped devices, while also enabling users to email projects and save copies instantly to the cloud. The three bundle options include the SD3615 and HP Designjet T520 MFP; SD3615 and HP Designjet T790 MFP; and IQ4490 and HP Designjet T790 Power MFP.

Notably, the IQ4420 and HP Designjet T790 Power MFP is the only true 44¬-inch input and output MFP device available on the market today.

The new Contex MFP offerings also include three options for medium and large workgroups: the SD3615 and HP Designjet T920 Power MFP; IQ4420 and HP Designjet Z5400 PostScript® Power MFP for technical and graphics applications; and SD3615 and HP Designjet T7100 Power MFP. Each MFP bundle includes Nextimage Repro software, a height¬-adjustable stand, and a movable 17-inch touchscreen monitor.

Fujifilm and Inca Digital launch Inca Onset S50i digital flatbed UV inkjet printer

Fujifilm Inca Onsets50i

Inca Digital Printers and Fujifilm have launched the Inca Onset S50i - an ultra-high productivity, CMYK, flatbed UV inkjet printer capable of printing 725sqm/hr (7,803sqft/hr).  Designed and developed by Inca and sold exclusively worldwide by Fujifilm, the new Inca Onset S50i is the latest and most powerful large format printer in the Onset range and the first to be developed on Inca’s new-generation Onset Scaleable Architecture.

The Onset S50i has been designed to meet the market’s growing need for greater productivity. Today, display graphics print companies are not only handling larger volumes of digital print and meeting tighter deadlines, they are also experiencing growing demand for multi-version graphics from their retail and leisure industry clients. As a result, these companies want a printer that can increase their digital print capacity, deliver faster job turnarounds, streamline print production and handle production peaks with ease. The Onset S50i meets all of these requirements.

“When the Onset S70 was launched in 2007 we changed the industry’s expectations of digital print speed for display graphics,” says John Mills, Inca’s CEO. “The launch of the powerful, new-generation Onset S50i today raises productivity levels still further and makes it a true commercial and cost-effective alternative to offset presses and multiple screen presses.”

Tudor Morgan, systems marketing manager, Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems adds, “The desire for a greater level of personalisation, combined with shorter run lengths, is well documented in the industry. The challenge for the OEM is to satisfy this in an economical way. The speed and quality of the Onset S50i makes this achievable.”

Delivering a high throughput of up to 725sqm/hr (7,803sqft/hr), equivalent to 144 full beds per hour, the S50i uses Fujifilm Uvijet OB or OZ inks to print onto a wide variety of rigid and flexible media up to 3.14m x 1.6m (123.6in x 63in) and up to 50mm (2in) thick. A choice of print modes can be selected, alongside satin and gloss finishes, depending on the specific job requirements. The Onset S50i incorporates 224 (56 per colour) Fujifilm Dimatix printheads on a full width print array and two highly-efficient UV lamps ensure high-speed curing.

The printer also incorporates both hardware and software technologies that have been developed specifically by Inca to deliver industry-leading quality, reliability and productivity. These include: iNozzle mapping; sophisticated drive and control electronics; a 15-zone vacuum table to reduce bed masking requirements and, consequently, set-up time for thin substrates; a UV sensor system that accurately monitors printer condition; and substrate height detectors to prevent contact with, and damage to, printheads. Plus, Inca’s variable data Print Run Controller software module offers advanced job management capabilities and ReporterPro software gives users detailed information about the productivity of their Inca printers. The S50i is compatible with Inca’s flexible automation system, which gives users a choice to operate manually or using semi or three-quarter modes from the same configuration.

The Onset S50i is the first printer developed around Inca’s new-generation Onset Scaleable Architecture, also announced today. The Onset Scaleable Architecture is an innovative modular design which gives users the ability to choose the best printer for their initial requirements, but with considerable flexibility to change its productivity levels and ink options as their business evolves. This enables Inca Digital to convert the customer’s Onset on-site for the very first time, as and when needed. For example, an Onset S40i with CMYK LtmLtc can be converted to an eight-colour model with dual CMYK, or with the addition of white if required, to suit a change in the type of work a company prints. As a result, Onset Scaleable Architecture protects a company’s investment in their Onset printer for the long term and provides investment peace of mind.

The Onset S50i printer has successfully completed beta testing and is now in full production at four companies, three in the USA and one in the UK. The Onset S50i is commercially available now.

EFI VUTEk GS2000LX printer selected for Visual Impact

Efi Vutek Gs 2000lx

Casablanca, Morocco-based printing company Visual Impact has chosen the EFI VUTEk GS2000LX wide format printer to differentiate itself and provide added value in the digital printing markets.

Founded in 2000, Visual Impact was among the first digital printing companies in Morocco. It now employs about forty people and has greatly diversified its offerings.

"Over the years we have expanded our skills and developed completely integrated visual communication production", explains Nabil Mikou, founder. Visual Impact is now able to provide A to Z management of projects that include the production of structures, stand layout, signs, vehicle decoration, flags and bunting, etc. "With the arrival of presses from China, we have seen a fall in prices and drop in average printing quality. For us, there was no question of standing strong in the digital market. We have chosen to differentiate ourselves by providing added value and high quality. This is why we took the advice of Saga Digital and invested in an EFI VUTEk GS2000LX."

The GS2000LX provides eight-colour plus white and three-layer, in-line printing for outstanding image quality. It has two resolutions: true 600 dpi (24 pL) or 1000 dpi (12 pL) selectable. It also guarantees changeover from rigid to flexible substrates in less than one minute. With 186 m²/h and 45 1.20 m x 2.40 m-size sheets per hour, it is highly productive.

The ability to print point-of-sale advertising directly onto the substrate (instead of printing on vinyl and then having to laminate), as well as the ability to print white ink on transparent substrates, produce mirror printing, selective white effects, reverse indoor window stickers, etc. offer new opportunities.

"The VUTEk has allowed Visual Impact to attack new markets with very demanding colour-rendering requirements: events, stage decoration, photo exhibitions, interior design. We mainly use innovative new substrates, such as honeycomb cardboard, that are still not found very often in Morocco. It's another way to differentiate ourselves,” adds Mikou.

The ecological aspect is a plus. The new printer does not emit VOCs (organic volatile compounds), uses fewer consumables, reduces waste and has low energy consumption. As for productivity "the printing time has been reduced to 25 percent of what it was with the old printers, and immediate LED curing gives us a significant saving in time for markets like events, where time is often of the essence,” concludes Mikou.