19 Sep 2019

Get the Inside Track on Grapo Technologies’ New Wide-Format UV Printers to be Unveiled at FESPA 2010

Grapo Logo

Grapo Technologies will be introducing their next generation of printing technology and unveil their new wide-format UV printers at FESPA 2010.

You can discover how Grapo Technologies’ new hybrid printers are set to have a big impact on the sign and display market at the company’s press conference at the Grapo stand –  Hall B2, Stand 460.

Catch the New Wave of Innovation

“Our next-generation platform for UV flatbed printers represents a significant step forward for the sign and display market,” says Radim Kralic, CEO of Grap Technologies. “With a printing area of 2x3 meter for rigid sheets, as well as the ability to handle rolls up to 170 cm, the new Grapo family of printers offers tremendous new business potential to sign and display printers at a cost-effective price point.”

FUJIFILM Dimatix launches second in the line of Spectra Polaris 512 jet printheads

Spectra Polaris Pq 512

FUJIFILM Dimatix launched the latest addition to its Spectra brand of general-purpose, binary, drop-on-demand inkjet printheads with the introduction of the new Polaris PQ-512/35 AAA. It joins a 15-picoliter model introduced earlier.

The Q-Class platform has enabled FUJIFILM Dimatix to develop new families of high-performance printheads and jetting assemblies that deliver the largest range of drop sizes, broadest ink compatibility, and higher packing density than previously possible. Shared physical features allow printer designs to be easily migrated across different model types and printing applications. The Polaris PQ-512/35 AAA further expands upon Q-Class with a 512-jet design, new spot size capability, and aqueous ink support.

Employing a durable metal nozzle plate and utilizing the binary operating capability of Dimatix' VersaDropTM jetting technology, the Spectra Polaris PQ-512/35 AAA printhead delivers adjustable ink drop sizes of 35 to 80 picoliters from 512 individually addressable inkjet nozzles. Remarkable jet straightness is achieved at continuous frequencies up to 30 kHz with an 8 meters/second drop velocity.

The new Spectra Polaris 512/35 AAA printhead is equipped with a flexible, fluid interface allowing single or two-color operation. As an AAA designated printhead, the new Polaris now supports aqueous ink formulations in addition to UV-curable, and aggressive organic solvents, making it suitable for a growing range of commercial and industrial printing applications such as wide-format graphics, textiles, ceramics, labels and secondary packaging at resolutions to 800 dpi.

An integral mounting bezel designed with precision registration points enables drop-in alignment – a unique repairable feature allows each 256-channel jet module to be exchanged and accurately registered in the field without the need for special tools or recalibration. Each 256-channel jet module is also dual-ported to facilitate ink flushing and recirculation. Heaters and temperature sensors allow precise control of ink viscosity at jetting temperatures up to 60oC.

"Our new Polaris PQ-512/35 AAA printhead with aqueous capability and shared physical features provides further evidence of the power of the Q-Class platform. Its flexibility to easily migrate across many printer models and applications, a long-service life and simplified field maintenance will make it a natural choice of forward thinking developers." said Marc Torrey, Vice President, Marketing, FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc.

Automation first for the Inca Onset S20 at FESPA Munich

Inca Onset S20

Inca Digital demonstrates enhanced productivity for the Inca Onset S20

Fujifilm will demonstrate the productivity benefits of Inca’s automation on the high-performance, wide-format Inca Onset S20 UV printer for the first time publicly at FESPA Munich (from 22-26th June 2010 on the Fujifilm booth B1/220)

The Inca Onset S20 is designed for high volume, cost-effective printing on a wide variety of materials up to 3.14m x 1.6m and 50mm thick at speeds of up to 275 sq m/hr. As print times on this Onset can be as little as 48 seconds, minimum handling time and maximum productivity is ensured by adding automation.

Inca’s versatile automation system gives users the ability to operate in manual, semi- or three-quarter automation from the same configuration.  By adding automation to the Inca Onset S20 companies can boost productivity by up to 36% when compared with manual handling. A variety of sheet sizes can be pre-positioned during the printing process, ready for the handling system to remove printed sheets swiftly and load the next. In addition, the automation system can handle up to three sheets at a time, and has the precision to accommodate double sided print accurately.

“Production automation is important to our customers to ensure maximum productivity and cost-efficiency with minimal downtime in order to deliver the very best return on investment,” says Linda Bell, CEO, Inca Digital.

Production can be further streamlined with Inca’s Print Run Controller (PRC) software which manages the production of an individual print job incorporating a run of different elements or images, sizes or languages. It can also manage jobs where large numbers of images need to be output in varying quantities with variable elements to a large number of end users.

At FESPA the Inca Onset S20 will be printing with six-colour (CMYKLcLm) Fujifilm Uvijet Enhance ink set producing quality and variable finish effects (matt, satin, high gloss)  for a range of applications including display POS, exhibition graphics, backlit/frontlit displays and outdoor signage.

Case Study: Screaming Colour moves upwards into a wider digital world

 

Screaming Colour Qs2000

For award-winning central London-based Screaming Colour, PrintWeek Digital Printer of the year for 2008 and 2009, its ethos has always been to produce high quality digital print to tight deadlines for a broad range of discerning customers. Since the day the company was formed, its objective has been to match its jobs with those normally accomplished via analogue processes and, thus, to exceed the finest standards of expectation from one-offs through to high volumes.

Concentrating originally on the production of full-colour applications which benefited from digital technology, such as personalisation and very low volumes, Screaming Colour typically offers brochures, newsletter and other jobs normally still associated with offset litho printing. Add into the mix proofing for packaging and customised presentation literature, plus comprehensive finishing capabilities, the only element missing was the provision of wide-format facilities.

Having made its mark by guaranteeing the best quality possible in the fastest turn-round times using its HP Indigo and KBA 74 Karat digital systems, Screaming Colour became increasingly aware of the desire for wider format output to be added to its broad portfolio of services. However, wanting to maintain its reputation for the combination of perfection and speed, the company’s managing director Iain Moring was quick to realise that moving into this market sector needed careful scrutiny so that he could maintain his existing exacting standards.

Investigating the different types of wide-format digital ink-jet machine available took time and careful assessment. Moring and his team acknowledged that UV-curable technology would suit the company’s needs because of its versatility on different substrates. But the choice also necessitated finding a solution which provided the quality needed and the short turn-round times essential to maintain Screaming Colour’s reputation. The resulting purchase of an EFI-VUTEk QS2000 from UK distributor CMYUK Digital succeeded in fulfilling the criteria needed and is now being used to produce an ever diversifying range of larger-sized applications, including posters, banners, point-of-sale, retail advertising and exhibition graphics.

The decision to invest in the QS2000 relied on careful scrutiny of the wide-format market and the burgeoning numbers of options which all promised to achieve the same results. But Moring’s canny approach led him to discount those printers which had no track record or which, in his view, wouldn’t be certain to offer him a good return on his investment. EFI-VUTEk’s longevity in the digital sector was an added benefit, as was the realisation that by working closely with UK distributor CMYUK every element was treated with the same importance, from the choice of the system through to colour management, installation and set-up, and technical support.

Unusually, the purchase of the EFI-VUTEk QS2000 was the first wide-format printer to be adopted by Screaming Colour, apart from aqueous-based models used for proofing. Although the company has only ever worked with digital technologies, its key equipment has been the HP Indigo machines which have been at the core of its business for the past 14 years. Although these capabilities are as busy as ever, with market requirements changing Moring recognised that the time was right to adopt larger options in-line with the year-on-year growth he was experiencing.

Screaming Colour’s long standing experience with its Indigo systems has given the company a deep-rooted understanding of colour accuracy, high quality and the fast turn-round times available via digital platforms. Matching the standards of the company’s smaller format work with a larger display printer might have proved to be difficult but, with the addition of the QS2000, the same strict criteria can be applied in terms of quality and throughput speeds.

“We were one of the first companies to adopt Indigo printers,” states Moring. “Having the ability to produce the type of versatility and quality only available from digital technology, this gave people the opportunity to benefit from our high standards and extremely fast turn-round times on all run lengths. We made the decision to move straight up to the EFI-VUTEk QS2000 because it means that we can add value to existing projects and move into new areas without compromising on our existing strategy.”

As an environmentally responsible company, Screaming Colour also needed to ensure that its wide-format investment would sit within its green credentials, which include ISO14001 in conjunction with ISO9001, plus FSC and PEFC accreditations. The EFI-VUTEk QS2000 uses UV-curable ink which produces no VOCs and has the advantage of being able direct to recycled and recyclable materials, both rigid and flexible.

In the autumn of 2009 Phil Phillips was brought in to head up the retail communications’ division at Screaming Colour. He is enthusiastic about the capabilities of the QS2000 and the potential it gives the company to add to its product porfolio. “The addition of a wide-format printer which uses UV-curable ink now means we can output to a vast range of flexible and rigid materials,” he explains.  “And, as we handle a considerable amount of work for agencies, we have the added versatility of being able to produce creative applications as well as more traditional posters and banner graphics.

“Working with rigid materials has also led us into the field of cardboard engineering and three-dimensional applications being used increasingly in point-of-sale,” continues Phillips. “We now have the benefit of a full wide-format print-and-cut workflow which is valuable for production runs as well as for prototyping.”

Colour management is crucial to Screaming Colour which prides itself on getting every job right first time, no matter the material or finish required. CMYUK Digital’s Robin East and Jon Price both believe that this company is a prime example of a business wanting to move into wide-format digital production and which is insistent that its new processes function seamlessly with existing practices.

“For Screaming Colour, working with full-colour print is not a new technique and this has meant that a wide-format machine not only needs to be able to operate at good speeds but, also, at the quality standards to which the company was accustomed,” states East. “The expectations of a company are high when adding a UV-curable system to an existing armoury of high speed digital capabilities for the smaller format market. Whilst all CMYUK’s clients expect the best results, what was critical in this instance was being able to supply a solution which was, at the very least, comparable to Screaming Colour’s existing quality and speed expectations.”

The EFI-VUTEk QS2000 is designed to combine high definition printed output with fast production, with a maximum resolution of 1080 dpi and a choice of four- and six-colour print. Screaming Colour chose to include the white ink option which opens up a raft of options including under- and over-printing and is beneficial when using non-white substrates. With a maximum printing width of 2 m, this machine is designed to work with both rigid and flexible materials, with easily removable tables when the latter option is used.

Price adds: “One the areas in which we specialise at CMYUK is colour management and profiling, both vital aspects to any customer needing to work to exacting specifications where accuracy and fidelity are essential. As quality control is a vital element to Screaming Colour we were pleased to able to provide the necessary criteria to ensure that production standards were maintained.”

 

 

EVER WONDERED HOW A VUTEk COULD TRANSFORM YOUR PRINT BUSINESS?

Using the free Virtual Printroom Calculator (built for UK EFI-VUTEK distributor CMYUK by the web development team here at LFR), now you can illustrate realistic profit forecasts based on both your current and projected print volumes. Simply enter your buy and sell prices, add your associated production cost elements, and click the ‘Calculate’ button.

It’s a completely free tool and you don’t even need to register to use it. Click here to do the maths now.

 

Efi Vutek Qs2000

 

 

Case Study: Durrant Wapshott gets it right first time with EFI-VUTEk QS3220 investment

 

Durrant Wapshott Qs3220

Having spent 15 years working together to develop a creative relationship between end-user clients and their needs for a diverse range of display work, including retail, advertising and other promotional applications, Simon Durrant and Chris Wapshott made the decision to invest in their own wide-format production instead of using third-party suppliers. Based in Rotherhithe, south London, the duo concentrates still on project management and problem solving for its customer base but realised that, in order to produce consistent quality on time, the solution was to invest in its own wide-format printer.

Typical projects undertaken by Durrant Wapshott include support graphics for events, refits of existing retail environments and the design, production and installation of all display elements for major product launches. As well providing value for money, increasing environmental pressure necessitates the use of recycled materials, the reduction of waste and the provision of greener principles in-line with many of the company’s client practices.

“Because of the exacting demands of our client base, our experiences showed us that it was time to bring much of our work in-house,” explains Chris Wapshott. “We work to incredibly tight deadlines, with jobs often needing to be turned round in a matter of hours, so the luxury of using external print service providers was losing its practical appeal. The only way we could guarantee the right quality standards within very short turn-round times, yet retain control over production, was to output the orders ourselves.”

Durrant Wapshott started making preliminary inroads into investing into its own printer with thoughts initially towards a relatively low-cost purchase to start the company on the road to wide-format production. However, the partners wisely adopted an open-minded policy regarding the right type of technology for its needs and this was a practice which ultimately paid off.

The company was all too aware of the likely future demands of the jobs which they should be able to produce themselves, with a sensible return on investment joining reliability, quality and speed on the list of priorities. Thus, finally the decision was made to choose a print option which not only would be future-proof but also took into account the move away from solvent-based printers towards UV-curable ink formulations.

“We have an excellent relationship with our clients, all of whom rely on us to bring them first-rate results. Moving our print work in-house was also certain to secure additional orders once we were able to control every aspect ourselves from pre-press through printing to finishing,” comments Simon Durrant. “In addition, we decided that we wanted to be able to output onto both roll-fed media and rigid substrates suitable for interior and exterior applications using the greenest solution available.”

Thus, Durrant Wapshott’s quest into locating the most suitable printer took time, with first thoughts about a low-end machine swiftly evolving into a solution which would grow with the company and enhance its output options. Primary consultation with an industry guru, and discussions about concerns for fast throughput and the ability to output to exacting colour standards across all materials, was followed by an introduction to CMYUK’s Robin East, UK distributor for EFI-VUTEk.

As a result, the partners of Durrant Wapshott opted for a 3.2 m wide EFI-VUTEk QS3220 as they believed this to be the machine which covered all the production criteria needed immediately and well into the future. The printer’s second generation UV-curable inks and their ability to provide excellent adhesion and vivid colours on a broad range of rigid and flexible materials were extra benefits which influenced the purchasing decision.

As Wapshott emphasises, the full year it took to decide whether or not to buy a machine has paid off handsomely. Since the time of the company’s initial investigations, UV-curable technology has improved, along with better throughput speeds and higher overall quality. Opting for the white ink option in its EFI-VUTEk QS3220 has brought additional benefits to the company, allowing creativity and versatility to be realised within a single printer.

Having set out originally with the intention of printing mainly digital wall coverings, Durrant Wapshott has since moved into a wealth of complementary areas and now outputs as many jobs onto rigid substrates as it does onto flexible media. The addition of a Zünd G3 contour cutter, also purchased from CMYUK Digital, has extended the type of work and finishing services which can be produced in-house. Using the EFI Fiery XF RIP allows jobs with integral cutting paths to be created for an efficient print-and-cut workflow.

“This investment has opened doors to new projects and brought us the opportunity to achieve more creative results,” continues Wapshott. “Since making the decision to opt for a UV-curable hybrid solution we’ve found an increasing number of clients requesting to print direct to a selection of different rigid substrates. We’ve made the right choice with the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 as it has allowed us to cater for diverse requirements we didn’t originally calculate into our in-house capabilities, as well as giving us the option to experiment with, and use, different materials in the future.”

The purchase by Durrant Wapshott of the high-end QS3220 has also resulted in additional credibility. The company has always been renowned for problem-solving many of the projects being managed, such as those which need to be installed in difficult locations. Producing jobs in-house has increased flexibility and versatility as well as shortening turn-round times; maintaining total control over applications from start to finish is particularly beneficial. Now, even if an order is received at extremely short notice, it can be supplied quickly to strict quality standards and, often, can be ready for installation in a matter of hours rather than days.

Deciding to buy an industrial strength printer might have been considered a gamble by any company investing for the first time during a period of tight economic conditions in the UK. However, for Durrant Wapshott, the purchase of its QS3220 was designed to see the company through the tougher times being experienced generally throughout the industry into the future with a machine which would, without doubt, take it there.

The installation of the machine took place at the beginning of 2010, and was up and running immediately. Durrant Wapshott’s decision to opt for white ink is proving to be advantageous when working with coloured and clear materials, enhancing the vivid colours output by the printer’s high definition (HDP) capabilities and its maximum resolution of 1080 dpi. The strong vacuum bed on the QS3220 is complemented by strengthened input and output tables, and optimum throughput speeds of 84 square m/hour can be achieved on materials of thicknesses up to 5.08 cm and 3.2 m wide.

CMYUK Digital’s Robin East comments: “This installation of an EFI-VUTEk QS3220 at Durrant Wapshott is a perfect example of how the right machine can generate creativity alongside high throughput production requirements. Unlike many suppliers, we know how important it is that a capital investment pays dividends from the start; our installation and training procedures guarantee that the printer will be ready to earn its keep immediately.”

“We are also proving time and time again that the service we provide to new investors in wide-format UV-curable printers is second-to-none,” emphasises Jon Price of CMYUK Digital. “Moving across to digital technology doesn’t just involve buying a machine – it also requires correct set-up, colour calibration and profiling plus intelligent, customised training to minimise maintenance procedures and unnecessary down-time. If our users aren’t happy, then nor are we; Durrant Wapshott is testimony to the added value we provide to first time buyers as well as to users adding to, or upgrading, their existing wide-format capacity.”

 

EVER WONDERED HOW A VUTEk COULD TRANSFORM YOUR PRINT BUSINESS?

Using the free Virtual Printroom Calculator (built for UK EFI-VUTEK distributor CMYUK by the web development team here at LFR), now you can illustrate realistic profit forecasts based on both your current and projected print volumes. Simply enter your buy and sell prices, add your associated production cost elements, and click the ‘Calculate’ button.

It’s a completely free tool and you don’t even need to register to use it. Click here to do the maths now.

 

Efi Vutek Qs3220

 

Case Study: EFI-VUTEk QS3220 helps Artworks Solutions extend its creative capabilities

 

Artworks Solutions Qs3200

As part of its ongoing development, design and production of an unusual range of digital generated applications, Bristol based Artworks Solutions has invested in an EFI-VUTEk QS3220 wide-format printer. The flat-bed and roll-fed device uses the latest generation of UV-curable inks and was supplied and installed by specialist UK distributor, CMYUK Digital.

Although already a highly skilled and experienced company producing a wide-range of digitally generated output, Artworks Solutions extends its portfolio of print-related services far beyond the normal remit offered by most wide-format display specialists. Now in its thirteenth year, the business has used a sensible path of investment fuelled by its growth and the demand made by its ever increasing customer base which includes architects and designers.

As well as providing a full range of digital print and display services, Artworks Solutions has literally lived up to its name by using its resources and skills to generate an astonishing range of additional capabilities. Many of these can only be manufactured using specialist processes and materials, and experience has shown the company that a standard piece of equipment or material can be stretched beyond its original boundaries to create truly innovative and unusual applications.

Mixing fabrication techniques with wide-format digital output has added an extra dimension to the company’s talents and many of its end applications serve more than one purpose. For example, in addition to providing functionality, a large percentage of the jobs produced by Artworks Solutions incorporate highly creative elements; as a result, it is not surprising that, for end users wanting visual appeal combined with practicality, clients nationwide turn to the company knowing it can transform an original idea into a novel, practical and creative result.

John Sulzmann founded Artworks Solutions having gained considerable experience with the sign and display industries, both within the production and distribution sectors. He realised, wisely, that to succeed long term in a fast growing industry sector his company needed to be prepared to diversify in order always to bring fresh ideas and results to his client base.

Today, Artwork Solutions specialises in producing high quality output onto unusual materials, with creative combinations of finishes and effects providing both useful and innovative results. Typically the company can turn its hand to producing digital wallpapers, printed storage walls, acoustic panels and tensile structures which combine functionality with eye-catching designs and features.

As wide-format digital printers have evolved, so Artworks Solutions has been able to diversify further and the use of UV-curable ink technologies has broadened the company’s capabilities for printing direct to unusual substrates. Combined with sand blasting, etching and kiln forming, Sulzmann and his team have established a method of mixing processes and substrates to produce coloured textures for interior design and display projects. This extends onto glass, a medium which is growing in demand for a range of projects where stunning visual results are essential and where the combination of print and the use of light can blend effectively.

Although Sulzmann had experience of UV-curable inks, he knew that Artworks Solutions was reliant on well-tested technology in a device which was proven across the market yet which would allow the company to continue on its path to greater creativity. When the time came to invest in a new printer, he investigated the options available and chose the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 because of its reliability and its ability to work with a vast variety of rigid and flexible materials up to 3.2 m wide.

“The combination of speed and quality was important to us,” Sulzmann states. “We cannot compromise with the types of application we produce and, for one-offs and longer runs, we needed to have absolute consistency in results. Working with many unusual, premium and specialist materials, we need results which are right first time and, with unconventional surfaces and coatings, good ink adhesion is vital.”

The EFI-VUTEk QS3220 is a sophisticated, yet tough unit which, whilst suitable as a work-horse on standard display and industrial materials, can be configured to be compatible with surfaces that aren’t flat and contain deeply etched textures and shapes. Unlike many machines on the market today, with a skilled operator this printer has the ability to be set up manually to enable the print-heads sufficient clearance to produce accurate droplets on uneven elements, such as reverse etched designs, logos and text.

Following the success of its forerunner, the QS3200, the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 maintains many of the same features but adds a high definition print capability, known as HDP, which increases the types of material onto which it can print. Its refined vacuum and revised input and output tables are designed to enhance media handling, performance and throughput, also complemented by an improved UV-curable ink formulation. Along with its efficient UV-curing system, this combination has improved adhesion and durability preventing cracking, chipping and crazing when difficult materials are used.

EFI-VUTEk’s Series 2 UV-curable inks are also formulated to deliver better performance, essential with jobs where an element of flexibility is required in the end application. This feature has extended the range of materials which are now suitable for production using this ink chemistry, with greater durability and high resistance to scratching and scuffing. The QS3220 benefits from a CMYKLcLm configuration with a three layer white ink option for additional versatility, and these are supplied in generous 3.25 litre containers.

Driven by the EFI Fiery XF RIP, also supplied and installed by CMYUK Digital, the software works closely with the throughput requirements of the printer, enabling users to combine images and jobs to optimise material usage. Output speeds of up to 84 square m/hour are complemented by fast change-over from rigid and roll-fed media and back again.

CMYUK’s Robin East comments: “This installation of an EFI-VUTEk UV-curable solution at Artworks Solutions is a typical example of how these printers excel in situations where variety and versatility are the key. Increasingly we are finding that users are wanting to produce unusual applications with complex effects and finishes and, in the past, these jobs wouldn’t have been possible.

“Now that workflow, media handling, inks and curing have been refined along with the actual design and construction of the printer itself, our users are constantly putting new demands on their machines,” East continues. “Inventive and innovative companies want to be able to experiment with different effects across a range of materials, and the EFI-VUTEk QS and GS families are designed to cope with taxing and difficult projects and applications whilst still retaining their unswerving ability to print longer runs, day in and day out, in both flat-bed and roll-fed modes.”

For Artwork Solutions, the investment in the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 means that the company can extend its creative ideas and applications to a wider range of clients. Sulzmann concludes: “Today’s display producers are becoming fiercely competitive but, for us, our experience means that we concentrate on market areas which so far remain virtually unchallenged. This latest investment will enable us to stretch our creative skills and attract new business from architects and designers as well as from our other customers who simply want well-produced and executed graphics for a variety of end uses.”

 

EVER WONDERED HOW A VUTEk COULD TRANSFORM YOUR PRINT BUSINESS?

Using the free Virtual Printroom Calculator (built for UK EFI-VUTEK distributor CMYUK by the web development team here at LFR), now you can illustrate realistic profit forecasts based on both your current and projected print volumes. Simply enter your buy and sell prices, add your associated production cost elements, and click the ‘Calculate’ button.

It’s a completely free tool and you don’t even need to register to use it. Click here to do the maths now.

 

Efi Vutek Qs3220