Farben Frikell has earned its position as a leading supplier to the German visual communications sector over five decades. Today the business operates from three locations in Berlin, Braunschweig (Brunswick) and Dresden, serving screen and digital wide format printing businesses across Germany.
With a long heritage of helping its customers to extend their digital production capabilities, Farben Frikell represents a broad portfolio of digital technology brands, offering a comprehensive range of solvent, latex and conventional UV print engines.
Since the decision in Autumn 2017 to add the Océ Colorado 1640 roll to- roll printer featuring Canon UVgel technology to its range, the company has been able to tackle the productivity challenges of a variety of customers, enabling them to increase their production capacity for everything from classic POS display items such as posters to self-adhesive applications including labels, vehicle graphics and surface décor.
Filling a gap in the roll-to-roll market
Head of Technology at Farben Frikell, Torsten Stark explains the background: “We were aware of Canon as a wide format technology innovator with the Océ Arizona flatbed series printers, but Canon was not active in the roll-to-roll space prior to the launch of the Océ Colorado 1640, which is where our focus lies.”
“Our first close interaction with Canon came at Drupa 2016, when our leadership team was invited by Canon Germany to participate in one of the exclusive briefings on the new Canon UVgel technology. What we saw and heard immediately piqued our interest. We could see the potential for this innovation to significantly boost customer productivity, but we needed to understand more about the printing system and inks before committing ourselves.”
The detail Farben Frikell required came at a follow-up event for prospective partners, hosted at Canon’s Customer Experience Centre in Venlo, The Netherlands. Here, the Océ Colorado 1640 product management and R&D teams provided a comprehensive briefing on the technology, positioning and pricing.
Measurable gains for customers
Within a year of introducing the Canon technology, Farben Frikell had already successfully installed the Océ Colorado 1640 with three separate customers, including Arte Werbung in Berlin, Brewes near Dresden, and another company in northern Germany, with further installations imminent. The customer businesses have distinct specialisms; Arte-Werbung produces a diverse range of retail graphics while Brewes specialises in signage and self adhesives for promotional and industrial applications.
“Regardless of their segment, these customers have introduced the Océ Colorado 1640 alongside existing roll-to-roll technologies for the potent combination of high productivity, output quality and media versatility, and all are achieving production speeds of 40 to 60m2 per hour across their diverse substrates”, explains Stark.
In each case, the customer’s existing printer line-up did not offer the capacity they needed to handle growing workloads, and they were looking for a solution that would deliver high production speed and the ability to streamline end-to-end production, for example by eliminating drying time and moving printed output straight to finishing.
Escalate productivity, gain applications versatility
“While solvent and latex certainly have their place in our customers’ businesses and perform well, they have fundamental limitations. The underlying technology is mature, so realistically there is not much these manufacturers can do to achieve significant leaps forward with these platforms.” Stark is confident that other customers will adopt Canon UVgel technology now that such varied businesses can testify to their success with the new technology.