20 Jan 2021

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.”

Maxximap named as first European company to invest in Fujifilm Acuity Advance Select X2

Fujifilm Maxximap Maartenvanderheijden Acuityadvanceselectx2 Hr Lfr

Netherlands-based Maxximap has been named as the first European company to invest in an Acuity Advance Select X2. Installed in January 2013, the machine has already helped the business improve its service offering, which is primarily focused on helping brands promote themselves through the use of different presentation solutions.

Founded 40 years ago as a plastic ring binder provider, Maxximap has since come a long way, and its portfolio currently ranges from flipcharts and sample books to signage and wallpaper, all of which are important presentation solutions. “We used to outsource all of our print work, but recently we saw a need to invest in a wide format printer in order to deliver the colour accuracy and quality our customers expect in timeframes that we can control,” explains Maarten van der Heijden, owner of Maxximap. “To that end we investigated the options available and chose Fujifilm’s Acuity Advance Select X2.”

The Acuity Advance Select models build on all the advantages of the successful Acuity Advance platform, but with a variety of new features that improve production efficiency and versatility. One of the key developments is the inclusion of eight independent ink channels, which also include white and clear options, along with the standard CMYK ink set.

“One of the most important reasons we chose the Acuity Advance Select X2 was the availability of white and clear ink as print options which can be used to create a much wider range of end applications,” continues Maarten. “The ability to print on black and colour materials also gives us a competitive edge.”

Maarten also explains Maxximap’s decision to purchase the X2 model (2.5 x 3.05m) instead of the standard size (1.25 x 2.5m): “We tend to work with large materials – one of our recent orders happened to be for a piste map sign for a ski resort. The X2 model’s size is ideal for working with larger materials and it also allows uninterrupted production, as we can print at one end whilst setting up a new job at the other. The ability to switch between rigid and roll media is also beneficial to our business, as we work with a variety of materials ranging from PVC and wallpaper to corrugated carton and other thick substrates.”

When asked what the future holds in store, Maarten explains: “Our business is growing. We’ve already seized new opportunities in the past few months and we are gradually expanding into other sectors, such as B2B and Point Of Sale (POS). Our aim is to continue providing assurance to our customers that we will help them present their products in the most creative and effective way possible in what has become a very competitive market. With the Acuity Advance Select X2, we are confident we will achieve our objective.”

[Picture shows Maarten van der Heijden, owner of Maxximap, alongside his new printer]

Matan to launch Barak 8QW superwide hybrid UV printer at SGIA

Matan Barak 3m

Matan Digital Printers will launch its newest super-wide hybrid UV printer, the Barak 8QW, at SGIA 2013. This newest member of the Barak family features white ink printing alongside Matan’s patented 8-colour PDS technology and boasts a unique collection of value-added features and options to support customers in increasing productivity, minimising waste, reducing labour and ensuring unrivalled ease of use.

“We are excited to introduce the Barak 8QW to the market,” says Hanan Yosefi, Matan’s CEO. “This new product raises printing versatility and quality to a new level. It enables owners to add all lucrative White printing applications to the services they offer."

A unique collection of value added optional features turn the Barak 8QW into an all-in-one end-to-end printing and finishing device. Options include:

  • Inline Finishing system – this best selling add-on enables printing, trimming and sheeting in a single workflow.
  • Other innovations include an innovative Vacuum Table that allows printing on flexible sheets; newly developed print modes provide new standards of HD print quality; Value-Pro analytics software enables owners to increase savings on media, ink & manpower.

Matan will co-exhibit with Digitech Company on Booth #1222 at SGIA.  Two Barak 8QW printers will be displayed - the 3m and 5m wide models.