MPS takes delivery of UK's first HP Stitch S1000

Manchester Print Services first in UK to install 'superb' new HP Stitch S1000.

Manchester Print Services has taken delivery of the UK's first HP Stitch S1000 super-wide dye sublimation printer, following its much-anticipated launch at the FESPA show in May 2019.

Designed for high productivity and simplified operation, the 3.2m wide HP Stitch S1000 has been developed to meet rising demand for polyester-based textiles for sportswear, fast fashion, home décor and soft signage markets, and more. The printer brings a new level of innovation to high production companies to meet deadlines more easily by enabling fast speeds, high uptime, and unattended shifts.

As a specialist supplier to the retail POS and exhibition markets, Manchester Print Services has recognised a shift in the industry away from standard signage substrates and towards fabrics - materials that are more easily transported and can be finished to a higher standard. As such it has invested in the most cutting-edge textile printing and finishing technology to meet increasing demand for long runs of exceptional quality work.

An HP user for many years - with a workroom already running an HP Latex 360 and two HP Z6100 aqueous systems for smaller work such as poster printing - Manchester Print Services turned to HP again to prepare for a significant new project. From this autumn, a four-year contract will see it supply substantial quantities of backlit displays to a single major customer, with other offshoot work expected. Its work using an older textile printer had secured the job, but Manchester Print Services wanted to ensure it had the fastest, most up-to-date equipment from day one of the project until its end.

"We went to the HP Graphic Arts Experience Center in Barcelona to see the new HP Stitch in July," explains Lee Egan, Director, Manchester Print Services. "We were given a full demonstration, including profiling and material changes, and could see that the Stitch could do everything we need it to.

"We wanted to make sure our new long-term job runs as smoothly as possible, so decided to have the Stitch installed straightaway."

The HP Stitch S1000 was delivered to the Manchester Print Services HQ in Middleton at the end of August by RA Smart. As the exclusive supplier of Stitch in the UK and based nearby in Macclesfield, RA Smart supported Manchester Print Services throughout the purchase decision, including during the visit to Barcelona and providing post-installation training. Advanced training on the Ergosoft RIP software will also take place at a later date.

Since its installation the Stitch's output has been 'superb', says Lee Egan.

"It's easy to load and is very user-friendly. Even a novice could use it, thanks to diagrams that guide you through each step. You really just press the button and it prints."

He adds: "The quality is superb. The colours are very vibrant, and the automatic adjustments mean we haven't seen any sign of banding in any of the tests we've run, or the jobs we've already completed on it since its installation."

The system has been designed to enable unattended printing for hours at a time - meaning users can load a 100m roll of fabric onto the machine at the end of a day shift and leave it running until the morning.

"It gives you confidence to leave it overnight to increase capacity when needed," says Lee.

Additionally, the HP Stitch's ability to print on both transfer paper and direct-to-fabric on one single device gives Manchester Print Services more options.

"We had never printed onto transfer paper using our older machine, so the dual function of the Stitch allows us to make a choice based on what's right for the job. We're renowned for our quality so it's really good to have those options."

Such is the reputation of Manchester Print Services and the excitement around the launch of the HP Stitch, the North-West print business has already attracted multiple new customers from a single LinkedIn post announcing its delivery.

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