24 Sep 2020

RMC Digital takes delivery of third EFI printer in 3 years

Efi Vutek Gs 3250lx

Hull, UK-based display specialist RMC Digital has taken delivery of its third printer in three years from EFI with the delivery of an EFI VUTEk GS3250LX 3.2m flatbed and roll-fed machine incorporating 'cool cure' LED curing. This investment follows the original decision by the company to invest in a VUTEk printer when the company was first formed in 2010.

RMC Digital specialises in producing multi-layered graphics as well as general wide-format displays, and the use of white ink plays a key role in the company's applications. Following the purchase of a VUTEk QS3250 for its first production machine, superwide-format, double-sided and multi-roll capabilities were added with the investment in a VUTEk GS5000r 5m printer.

The recent installation at RMC Digital of the VUTEk GS3250LX followed considerable research into the best machine for the company's purposes and, having visited EFI's customer experience centre in Brussels, the decision was made to opt for LED curing. Impressed not only with the greener benefits of moving away from mercury arc lamps, but also the new inks that proved to give greater elasticity and the white offering excellent opacity.

"We were thinking about upgrading and, although we looked at other machines on the market, it was an easy decision to stay with EFI. Not only are we familiar with VUTEk printers and Fiery XF RIP software, we also wanted the benefits of the company's 'cool cure' LED technology," states Nicole Spencer, operations manager at RMC Digital. "We also need to be able match colour across all our devices, and this is simple to achieve with our VUTEk machines. The LED curing also means we can print direct to materials that we haven't been able to consider before because the heat of the conventional lamps could cause buckling and surface damage."

The Hull-based company has a nationwide client base and provides a complete design, manufacturing and installation service for its customers. Specialising in double-sided block-out and 'night and day' graphics, RMC Digital also produces a wide range of general displays, wallpapers, floor graphics, scaffold wraps and canvas prints.

XG Group adds two more MTEX 5032 printers to its line-up

Mtex 5032 Pic

UK-based Xtreme Graphics, known as XG Group, has installed two new MTEX direct to textile 3.2m wide digital printers, bringing its total fleet of MTEX printers to four.

Two years ago, the company bought the first MTEX 3200 3.2m wide direct to textile printer. A year later, due to high demand for their superb quality textile printing on flags and lightweight banners, XG Group purchased another. Both machines were soon printing in three shifts so this year, following the launch of the new MTEX 5032 at FESPA Digital London, the company purchased two further MTEX printers.

The fourth MTEX 5032 printer was installed by manufacturer POD Iberia and its UK distributor Digital Print Innovations in less than four hours.

Earlier this year, XG was hailed for printing one of the largest ‘crowd surf’ banner ever seen in Britain. It was produced to mark the 55th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster and measured 30m wide by 20m high. The banner featured the final line up of the ‘Busby Babes’ from the game against Red Star Belgrade in 1958, with the words “We’ll never die.” The giant surf banner was dye sublimation printed using their MTEX print fleet at 3m wide onto 115 gsm FR knitted polyester. These drops were subsequently sewn together to form the finished banner.

Warren Verwey comments, “Our drive and determination to be the best in the market drove the introduction of the first MTEX 3200 over two years ago. Now we have seen demand for high value, lightweight and durable flags, banners and displays shoot through the roof and both our original machines were working non-stop. The installation of the new MTEX 5032 earlier this week is testament to the quality and importance we place on the growth of this market place. I can tell you I was very pleased that the technicians were able to unpack and install the 3.2m machine with in-line sublimation in less than four hours because it meant minimal disruption and we were up and running by the end of the day. Amazing service.”

Eloi Ferriera, CEO of POD Iberia adds, “Warren was a keen supporter of the MTEX brand and product from the very beginning. It is important to us as a company to work closely with all our distributors like DPI in the UK and MTEX customers such as XG to ensure that they have the best service and experiences possible. We know that our products excel in the industry and the fact that XG have just installed their fourth, reinforces this position. We look forward to continuing to push the boundaries of digital textile printing with customers like this around the world.”

It's Bullseye for CWE Solutions

Cwes Bullseye1

Bullseye has been creating trophies for 35 years and during that time has seen a rise in customer demand for matching suites of materials including wide format applicaitons.

“We spent lots of time working with people who were running special events - such as awards nights for sports clubs and blue chip corporate clients. We were asked more and more about print, especially banners, and initially we outsourced it,” explained managing director Vince Murphy. “Unfortunately, this proved expensive and unreliable, so we took the leap and invested in a wide format printer so we could do the work ourselves.”

Bullseye has worked closely with CWE Solutions over the last five years, drawing on its expertise, products and service to help grow its printing arm.

Bullseye's investment over the last few years - purchased through CWE Solutions - includes an HP FB700 UV printer (April 2013), a HP Z6100 Aqueous printer (July 2013), a Kongsberg iXL-44 CNC cutter (May 2012), a Seiko ColourPainter Solvent printer (April 2011), and a Mutoh Viper Sublimation printer (December 2009).  The latter is due to be replaced by a new Mutoh VJ1638W.

“The support from CWE Solutions has been fantastic, helping us look at the right machines to buy, and being honest about what they can and can’t do,” added Vince. “Their expert installations and ongoing support have also been second to none.”

The company eventually found that they had grown their printing arm so much that finishing was becoming difficult, with everything being hand cut. They discussed their requirements with CWE Solutions, and bought a Kongsberg IXL44 CNC cutter.

The Kongsberg now runs for 8-10 hours a day, and Marketing Director Jack Murphy says they don’t know what they would do without it. “We run everything other than digital paper through it, from flags, banners, sticker vinyl, reboard FSDUs and so on. At the moment we’ve got a job for 300 flags, which previously would have to be hand cut. With jobs like these, the Kongsberg is saving us between 50-100 man hours a week.

“As well as the basics, the cut and crease facilities have opened up a new market for us. We’re now printing boxes on low quantity runs on the HP FB700 and finishing them on the Kongsberg, for both point of sale and sales pitch samples for the pharmaceutical industry.”

“We use the HP primarily on foamex, cardboard, banner vinyl, sticker vinyl and it’s great for reliability and speed. We can even leave 50m rolls of vinyl to print overnight without any worries. But it’s great for other materials too – we’re now printing onto carpet for shop fitting and exhibitions, as well as MDF.  “We find it a lot cheaper to run than our old printers, and a competitive price is crucial in the trade market.  The colours are fantastic, but the precision is astounding. We print our own medal centres – they can be as small as 50mm with fine text. We’re also now experimenting with promotional gifts like mint dispensers and fridge magnets."

Bullseye finishes everything in-house, and can offer trade finishing for fabrics, banners and foamex.  “With the Mutoh we’re working more with fabrics, using the sublimation process to do one off samples of cushions for customers to pitch for work, even on suede. We print them, and use the cutter and in-house seamstresses to finish. In general we’re moving towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly printing, and gearing up for more work with fabric – we go where the customers want us to go.”



CEWE acquires a fifth swissQprint UV printer

Swiss Q Print Impala

Mid-November is always the time of year when yuletide business starts rolling in at CEWE. Considering that the seasonal trade accounts for a quarter of annual sales, Europe’s largest photo finisher has tooled up accordingly: yet another swissQprint inkjet printer went into operation at the end of October 2013, making a total of five identical Impala large format printers at the company’s two production plants in Germany.

It was only a year ago that a fourth Impala joined existing machinery at the Germering plant and quickly came up to speed. Large format photo products were already fast-selling Christmas gifts last season. CEWE reckons with even higher demand this time around, not least as a result of launching its “CEWE Wandbild” brand of large format photo prints. Acquisition of a fifth machine is the company’s provident response, ensuring there will be no exceptions to meeting customer wishes on time. Customer confidence and satisfaction are cornerstones of CEWE’s success story, which opened a new chapter when large format prints were introduced in 2011. All of that rests on the proper infrastructure, utterly reliable logistics, and unfailing quality.

Reliable Swiss inkjet systems fit the scheme perfectly. They are capable of printing with consistent high quality directly onto acrylic glass, rigid foam panels, aluminium composite boards and similar rigid materials. Canvas is also an option: all of the machines are equipped with a roll to roll option that instantly converts the flatbed printer into a high-precision roll printer. CEWE uses eight of the Impala’s nine colour channels: four standard CMYK process colours plus light Cyan, light Magenta and light Black for natural-looking skin tones. Last but not least is the white channel on every machine. This is used to apply a mask or foundation coat, essential for reproducing vivid colours on acrylic glass.

A quintet of identically configured printers makes for vastly easier order processing. Any job is assignable to any plant, for optimum utilisation of capacity. Against this background and in view of the anticipated volume of business, this fifth printer acquisition, too, can be expected to pay for itself within a very short period of time.

Hollywood Monster takes delivery of new POD Iberia MTEX 5032 wide format direct-to-textile printer

Hollywood Monster Mtex

Hollywood Monster has taken delivery of one of the first new MTEX 3.2m wide direct-to-textile printers.  Branded the MTEX 5032, the printer has in-built fixation and is manufactured and developed in Portugal by specialist textile printer manufacturer, POD Iberia.

On the new arrival, Simon McKenzie, Hollywood Monster's sales director, comments “We’re not shy of saying we are one of the leading wide format printers in the UK and we’re proud of the reputation we have for excellence in design, print and delivery. When you have several customers asking for a particular kind of print – like dye-sub for example – we have to listen. The demand seems to have increased certainly in the past 6 months, so we found ourselves on a mission to find the best direct-to-textile printer to meet these needs. The MTEX 5032, launched at FESPA London this year, ticked all the boxes for us.”

Hollywood Monster will start off by keeping it simple, printing onto backlit, display textile and black-out polyester based textiles that are tried and tested and give stunning visual results. Short bespoke work will also feature as will an amount of exhibition and retail displays, which will be predominantly indoor but will also include some short-term outdoor work. The wide format direct-to-textile work perfectly complements the company's existing wide format business and Simon sees it growing as the demand for flexible, lightweight and re-usable visual graphics becomes more commonplace.

The MTEX 5032 was launched at FESPA London earlier this year to much acclaim. Ideal for printing applications such as lightboxes, home textile decoration, flags, interiors and much more.  The MTEX 5032 has an integrated heat fixation unit, meaning waste is reduced to a minimum and the whole solution has just one footprint, saving space, time and money. The MTEX 5032 prints vibrant colours and intense blacks, which means dramatic light box and wall graphics can be produced at a standard never seen before at this price point.

Simon adds, “When we settled on the MTEX, we were invited to the manufacturing plant in Portugal by specialist textile printer distributor Digital Print Innovations Ltd (DPI) to see for ourselves and conduct a rigorous testing demonstration. We spent hours there, throwing all sorts of files at the MTEX 5032 and every time, without fail, it produced a vibrant finished result. We couldn’t be happier with our choice and recommend anyone thinking of getting involved in direct to textile printing to speak with DPI as their honest and down-to-earth approach really helped us make the right decision for our business.”

Stewart Bell, Managing Director of DPI concludes, “We’re delighted for Hollywood Monster on their acquisition of their new MTEX 5032. We knew for sure that this new series would change the way we approach digital textile printing in the UK, and they’ve recognised that. No longer do you have to buy a printer and separate calendar - essentially halving production time compared with traditional digital methods. Now with the inbuilt fixation unit, the MTEX 5032 saves you time money and wastage and with unrivalled quality for the price. I look forward to seeing some of the very exciting digital textile print work that will come out of Hollywood Monster over the coming weeks and months!”

One of the first jobs to be produced on the MTEX 5032 was for the Birmingham REP Theatre for a production called Tartuffe.   The graphic (pictured) is a 30m x 9m back wall and had to be extremely light-weight and not crease. The job took round 7 hours to print and 5 hours to sew together.  Hollywood Monster also produced around 400 sqm of digital wallpaper on the set.

Kaylee orders Fujifilm Acuity Advance Select X2 to enhance range of services

Fujifilm Acuity Advance Select Kaylee

Specialist print service provider Kaylee has ordered a Fujifilm Acuity Advance Select X2 to replace its outdated digital flatbed equipment and enhance its range of services. Focused on the development and supply of signage, graphics and decals for the automotive, transportation and construction industry, Kaylee was on the lookout for a reliable flatbed device to create outstanding applications on a variety of substrates.

“We examined the market extensively and were struck by the image quality and ink features offered by Fujifilm’s Acuity Advance Select X2,” comments Iain Hardiker, managing director at Kaylee. He explains: “This device can handle a broad array of rigid and flexible materials, including most display boards and plastics. In addition, the Fujifilm Uvijet UV curing inks deliver vibrant colours with great image quality. The ink adhesion is unparalleled and will allow us to proceed immediately with cutting and finishing without compromising the final results.”

He adds, “We are looking forward to making the most of these capabilities to produce eye-catching applications on acrylic, polycarbonate and other plastic materials. What’s more, the roll option will enable us to print roll media, such as banners and vinyls, improving our versatility.”

Kaylee will also benefit from the larger size print bed that comes with the Acuity X2 models to produce images up to 2.5 x 3.05m, as well as the ability to use up to eight colour channels, including white and clear.

The company boasts a longstanding relationship with Fujifilm. As Iain explains, “We value Fujifilm as an extremely competent ink manufacturer and we appreciate its strong colour management expertise. The consistent and reliable colour reproduction guaranteed by Fujifilm’s Acuity Advance Select X2 was a key factor in our decision making process.”

He concludes, “The Acuity Advance Select X2 is a user friendly yet advanced platform. We’re confident that the combination of high image quality and superior colour control, together with the professional support from Fujifilm, will enable us to deliver the high quality work for which we’re known.”