Action Screen, based in Corby, Northants, recently became the second company in the UK to place an order for the Acuity Advance X2, Fujifilm’s wide-format UV device with a print area of 2.5 x 3.05m. The investment will allow Action Screen to broaden its service offering while continuing to provide its customers with high quality products in shorter turnaround times.
Vince Meeks, technical sales director at Action Screen, says: “For us, investing in the Acuity Advance X2 means investing in the future of wide-format print. When researching all the different technologies available on the market today, we realised that it was possible to offer our customers a digital option without having to compromise on quality and resolution.”
Action Screen specialises in screen printing and large format digital imaging, with a client base that ranges from local businesses right through to national and blue chip companies. It currently has two roll-to-roll wide-format solvent digital printers, but realised the need to invest in a UV flatbed printer to stay competitive and up-to-date with the industry.
“We tested almost every wide-format UV flatbed printer on the market that met our requirements, but it quickly became apparent that the Acuity Advance X2 was by far the best choice for us. Its added white option means that we don’t have to compromise on our ability to print white, something which we’ve been able to do for a long time with screen printing.”
The Acuity Advance series of devices uses Fujifilm Uvijet inks, delivering ultimate flexibility, particularly when using Uvijet white, which allows users to print a very opaque white under, over or between layers as well as directly onto dark media.
Action Screen has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Fujifilm, which has supplied them with inks for years. Vince continues: “We wanted to make this investment in this new technology with a company that we trust. We have a strong affiliation with Fujifilm and have always been impressed with the level of service we’ve received so there was no question that Fujifilm was a trustworthy business partner with which to invest.”
The Acuity Advance X2 has the same modified print head array as the Acuity Advance and incorporates greyscale print head technology to produce near-photographic quality print - unrivalled in the market today. It prints at a speed of 22m2/hr in production mode and 15m2/hr in high quality mode with the additional white ink option complementing the CMYK colour set.
Create superb-quality life-size portraits with reduced environmental impact of printing for outdoor exhibition.
Increase print quality, capabilities and speed while advancing environmental initiatives.
Improve printing work environment.
Grow business by offering more versatile printing capabilities.
Using the HP Designjet L65500 Printer with HP Latex Inks, Look Print produced 100 unique outdoor prints for the Glebe 150 Locals photography exhibition.
Vibrant, high-quality exhibit prints that met the artists' exacting quality demands, without reprints.
Improved printing environment, due to water-based HP Latex inks, which need no hazard labels, require no special ventilation¹ and are non-flammable and non-combustible.
Business growth driven by ability to offer new applications such as soft signage² and fine art printing.
Unique outdoor exhibition calls for unique printing solution
Transforming an entire neighborhood into an outdoor art gallery is no small feat. But for Look Print, one of Australia's highest capacity large-format digital printing companies, no job is too big, too small or too challenging. A perfect case in point is a unique exhibition, titled "150 Locals", which spanned the entire suburb of Glebe, Sydney. The exhibition showcased 150 life-size photographic portraits of Glebe's vibrant community members in various locations, including outdoor public spaces, cafes and retail outlets.
Finding the ideal combination of print service provider (PSP) and printing solution was imperative to the exhibition's success. With HP as the production sponsor and printer of the indoor prints, and Look Print as the print service provider (PSP) for all outdoor prints, well-known Australian photographers North Sullivan and Tom Psomotragos could achieve the print quality they needed to express Glebe's cultural diversity in their portraits.
High-quality signage printed with the environment in mind
To meet the high expectations for the 150 Locals exhibition, Look Print used its HP Designjet L65500 Printer to create the 1,6 x 1 m (63 x 39.4 in) and 1 x 1 m (39.4 x 39.4 in) outdoor prints on PVC banner. All indoor portraits were produced by HP in Melbourne on Hahnemühle FineArt Canvas, with the same dimensions as the outdoor prints, using the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer.
According to Margarita Campos, Operations Manager at Look Print, the HP Designjet L65500 Printer was chosen for this challenging job on account of its "superior brightness, durability, quality, and environmental profile". Indeed, achieving the desired quality was relatively straightforward. "We created machine proofs of a number of the photos and the photographers did spot checks. Only a few adjustments were needed at this stage. The artists loved the intensity of the color prints and the black and white prints came out crisp and neutral."
The entire run of 100 outdoor prints was produced without a single reprint. "We needed to do a few replacement prints after installation due to graffiti and vandalism," recalls Campos. "We found the colour consistency of the HP Designjet L65500 Printer from week to week to be excellent. All of this made our job much easier."
Look Print has been serving some of Australia's most successful companies for more than 14 years. Its ongoing commitment to the community and environmental sustainability prompted it to purchase the HP Designjet L65500 Printer in 2009. "The HP Designjet L65500 Printer has lower energy consumption compared to the other printing systems we use, which require a special ventilation system and external dryer," explains Campos. "We also wanted to move away from solvent inks because of the fumes they create and the difficult disposal of left-over ink."
Installing the HP Designjet L65500 Printer has also enabled a better working environment for Look Print's employees. "Using water-based HP Latex Inks, which require no hazard labels and are non-flammable and non-combustible, makes handling far easier for our operators. The inks also don't need any additional special ventilation¹, which has the side-benefit of contributing to the power savings. Our operators also like the ease of use: with the high printing quality and reliability of the printer, they can load up multiple jobs and walk away."
According to Campos, the environmental benefits of its new printer do not come at the expense of quality or productivity. "We achieve excellent colour gamut and the colour consistency with solid colours is amazing. Our productivity has also improved as most of our jobs use banner media narrower than 1,2 m (4 ft) so we can print on two rolls simultaneously."
A real business-builder
The HP Designjet L65500 Printer has opened up new business areas for Look Print. In addition to using the new printer for its traditional outdoor banners, high-quality point of sale displays and poster work, Look Print also now offers soft signage printing.²
"With this new line of business, we can create a new competitive edge and offer our customers a fresh and innovative way to market their products," says Campos. "Markets such as fine art printing and soft signage printing are additional business opportunities facilitated by the HP Designjet L65500 Printer."
Image Digital Printing (IDP), a large-format printer in Toronto, Ontario is reaping success with their :Jeti inkjet solutions.
Launched in 2003, IDP produces everything from small decals to billboards. Over the years, managing partner Rob Tenwesteneind said, IDP has invested in four Jeti inkjet systems. The company opted for the :Jeti 3150 and :Jeti 3300 solvent inkjet systems for projects such as vehicle wrapping and the :Jeti 1224 UV inkjet system for POP and other on-demand projects for its customers, which range from trade show display companies to large franchises.
"The Jeti systems are built strong, like tanks," Tenwesteneind said. "They have worked really well for us. We produce outdoor signage on a material called Crezon. With the :Jeti 3150 we can print directly onto this substrate. The vacuum on the table is strong and saves us lots of time and labor since we don't have to print on vinyl and then mount it to the wood."
Agfa announced the acquisition of Gandi Innovations in November 2009. The acquisition enabled Agfa Graphics to significantly increase its presence in large format inkjet printing, as the Gandi Innovations portfolio of mid-range large format printers is completely complementary to Agfa Graphics' inkjet business. The deal closed in January 2010.
According to Tenwesteneind, "The transition between Gandi Innovations and Agfa has been seamless and it has not affected our daily operations. We are considering further expansion and a new :Jeti system may help us do just that."
"The :Jeti line of printing systems fits nicely into Agfa's portfolio. Companies like Image Digital Printing have been loyal :Jeti users and are happy that they are being backed by an organization that is committed to helping grow the product line," said Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics.
HP today announced that since the installation of its new HP Scitex XP5300 Printer OEDIM, of Jaen, has reduced turnaround times on jobs and lowered production costs.
OEDIM, was established in 1995 and now has more than 40 employees. Its primary focus is as a provider of out-sourced print for print service providers (PSPs), advertising and marketing agencies and sign makers, using materials such as canvas, vinyl and textiles.
OEDIM's primary market is Spain, but with its ability to offer web-to-print functionality, additional capacity and capability to respond instantly to customer demands, in addition to a responsive distribution network, the company plans to expand to other countries, with a view of serving the rest of Europe in the near future and sees the HP Scitex XP5300 Printer as pivotal in that aim.
The XP5300 is a productive solution that combines the performance of traditional super-wide format printers with the speed, quality, and media versatility of today's UV ink printers. Ideal for high quality outdoor signage, POS/POP materials and displays, the XP5300 is designed for high-speed, robust production environments.
"Thanks to the XP5300 we have won work which we would previously not even have been able to pitch for," noted Javier del Pino, co-founder, OEDIM. "We can now produce long-run jobs, such as banners, on flexible materials that previously would have been screen-printed."
The dual-mode UV XP5300 images indoor and outdoor signage on roll-fed media up to five metres wide at industry-leading speeds of up to 300m²/hour. With its fast throughput a variety of inexpensive print media and unprecedented ink coverage, the HP Scitex XP5300 Printer minimises printing costs.
"With such high output speeds we can better meet market demands," said Miguel Angel Gomez co-founder, OEDIM. "Customers always want their work for yesterday. This machine easily doubles the production rate of any of the other printers we have, so we can fulfil orders for longer runs with the high print quality and efficiency to which our clients are accustomed".
Features such as a Hot folder, multi-roll printing and an On-core Collector help lower the cost of ownership by saving floor space, and increasing productivity by printing more per shift.
For OEDIM it was essential that productivity be increased; with the installation of the new printer it has found that the On-core Collector Kit allows it to roll printed output directly onto a standard cardboard core of the same width, which has helped it to move printed output to the finishing process quickly and efficiently. The XP5300's Hot Folder also allows OEDIM to save time and simplify its workflow by automatically loading RIPped files to the job queue.
"Some customers, which used to order long runs have reduced them by up to 90 per cent", concludes Gomez. "This has meant that we've had to increase the number of customers as well as orders. Our reputation, HP printers and great service support from HP is allowing us to rise to this challenge."
The Truepress Jet1600UV-F is a high-quality flatbed printing system developed for the sign and display business. Screen (USA) introduced the wide-format device at Print '09 to give printing companies significant advantages in the production of backlit graphics, wide-format posters, point-of-purchase displays, commercial furniture and construction signage.
Built around the latest technology for inkjet printing and UV-LED curing, the Truepress Jet1600UV-F enables vivid, full-color printing of projects as wide as 63 inches and as long as 122 inches. It is capable of printing 140 square feet per hour on substrates up to 1.96 inches thick.
Inks are hard-dried using ultraviolet rays produced by dedicated light emitting diodes (LEDs). The UV-LED light source generates low heat, increasing the range of media that it can handle efficiently. As a result, the Truepress Jet1600UV-F accommodates such heat-sensitive materials as foam and channel boards, PVC, acrylic and styrene panels without warping or distortions. The UV-LED light source also lasts longer and draws less electricity than conventional UV lamps so its impact on the environment is minimized.
A newly created imaging system featuring eight individual printing heads allows a rapid succession of fast-turnaround jobs. The head positioning system incorporates a high-resolution linear scale. The extremely precise dot placement translates into legible type on large-size prints, even when outputting sizes down to 3-point text. Thanks to the maximum resolution of 1,200 dpi x 1,200 dpi, coupled with the piezo variable-drop printhead that emits up to seven dot sizes, the reproduction is exceptionally sharp and the tints and gradations exceedingly smooth.
Two types of UV ink, one for flexible media and the other for rigid media, afford a great deal of choice in printing applications. Available in four process colors, the flexible UV ink can be stretched by up to 200 percent, as well as cast or bent. It exhibits excellent performance on white media, including substrates employed for packaging, POP displays and life-size panels.
The rigid ink resists friction and exposure to chemicals. It is particularly well suited to printing on aluminum composite panels and decorative illuminated film. It is offered with cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white inks. The addition of white ink ensures high-quality color output on transparent, metallic and colored media.
Inks are hard-dried using ultraviolet rays produced by dedicated light emitting diodes (LEDs). The UV-LED light source generates low heat, increasing the range of media that it can handle efficiently. As a result, the Truepress Jet1600UV-F accommodates such heat-sensitive materials as foam and channel boards, PVC, acrylic and styrene panels without warping or distortions. The UV-LED light source also lasts longer and draws less electricity than conventional UV lamps so its impact on the environment is minimised.
Screen (USA) representatives will be on hand with print samples and detailed information about the Truepress Jet1600UV-F in booth #1776 at International Sign Expo 2010 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
Prestigious Industry Awards Given to EFI’s Wide Format Printing, Industrial Inkjet and RIP Solutions for Innovation and New Technologies
EFI, a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, today announced that it has won three European Digital Press (EDP) Association Awards for 2010; “Best Wide Format Printer up to 3.5 Meters” for the VUTEk® GS3200, “Best Industrial (Specialty) Printing Solution” for the Jetrion® 4830, and “Best RIP Solution for Wide Format” for Fiery® XF. This intensive evaluation is performed by a committee of independent consultants, editors, engineers and other related professionals, and is based on innovation and the value of the new technologies these products bring to the European market. This includes improving speed, quality, usability and functionality, or reducing environmental impact as well as cost to the user.
“Dedication to our customer’s success is our main priority. EFI has now won seven EDP awards since 2007, which is a testament to both our focus on innovation and continued commitment to our partners,” said EFI CEO, Guy Gecht. “EFI invests heavily in research and development and regularly seeks feedback from our users so that we can offer the products and solutions that will drive their businesses. We are extremely proud of this recognition from the European Digital Press Association; it is great motivation to continue to be leaders in digital printing innovation.”
EFI’s VUTEk GS3200 – “Best Wide Format Printer up to 3.5 Meters of the Year 2010”
The VUTEk GS3200 has earned this award for “being a new generation 3.2m UV-curable flat-bed and roll-fed printer with a maximum output resolution of 1,000dpi and the ability to produce 12 picoliter droplets in all colors including white and continuous board printing capabilities,” as referenced in the EDP report. The combination of superior photorealistic quality and high production speeds without compromises allows business to increase revenues by expanding into new, higher-margin applications.
EFI’s Jetrion 4830 – “Best Industrial (Specialty) Printing Solution of the Year 2010”
“Designed for the label market,” reads the EDP report, “its UV-curable inks provide excellent durability; its re-registration facility enables four-color double-sided jobs to be output accurately and it has the ability to be used on pre-printed and pre-die cut rolls.” The Jetrion 4830 prints 8.3-inches (21 cm) wide, enabling two-up four-inch labels. With its high speed print mode of greater than 120 feet per minute (36.6 meters per minute), the Jetrion 4830 is capable of more than doubling the throughput of the market-leading Jetrion 4000.
EFI’s Fiery XF 4.1 – “Best RIP Solution for Wide Format of the Year 2010”
The easy-to-use Fiery XF RIP has been given the award for “supporting contour cutting machines with drivers for 1,200 cutting and routing tables from 70 different manufacturers and for having an identical interface on both Windows and Macintosh platforms,” per EDP. Its automated workflow maximizes investment by reducing lengthy production times and producing accurate, vibrant colors.
The above winning products as well as other EFI solutions will be on display in EFI’s booth (#2420) at the ISA International Sign Expo, April 8-10, 2010 in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Large Format Review provides daily breaking news on digital printer technology as used for commercial production of print for wide-format sign and display, dye-sublimation textile and fabric printing, packaging and industrial applications. We also cover 3D print and additive manufacturing.