Kingswood iOptus has augmented its wide-format digital print offering with the purchase of an EFI VUTEk GS3250lx Pro LED superwide-format printer and an EFI H1625 LED wide-format printer.
Each complements the other in terms of output quality and hybrid roll/flatbed capabilities, giving the company the ability to produce a broader range of graphics applications.
Robert Long, the company's managing director, was looking to expand the services offered to new and existing customers, and with that in mind, he investigated the most versatile and reliable machines for his business. During this year's Drupa tradeshow, Long and his team decided that the EFI printers could uniquely meet the company's needs in terms of reliability, speed and quality.
Kingswood iOptus has specialised in a vast range of services for its clients since 1995 having started in the arena for legal and commercial printing for London-based businesses. Long said the company's intention was always to provide a fast and efficient operation that matched all areas of print on demand. This philosophy has extended across nearly all types of digital print, now including rigid-substrate inkjet graphics done on the company's two new LED inkjet printers.
"Since starting the company more than two decades ago in the legal sector our business has flourished to encompass all types of digital print for an increasingly diverse customer base," explained Long. "The days have long gone when clients were prepared to use different print providers for their orders. The fact that we can offer, from a single source, enormous diversity across all production needs has been instrumental in the 400% growth which we have achieved in the past three years."
Going green with LED
Kingswood iOptus was already using a selection of wide-format printers to handle basic roll-to-roll production but the company wanted to increase its output potential by investing in more-robust technology for exterior and interior graphics applications. Company officials realised that LED inkjet represented the most suitable future proof and environmentally aware investment.
The printers, which can print on rigid substrates up to 5 cm thick, increase Kingswood iOptus's versatility. Having both a wide-format and larger superwide-format printer gives the company more flexibility in scheduling work with minimal downtime.
"Kingswood iOptus' purchase is part of a trend in the commercial printing space, where companies are successfully becoming single-source providers for all types of printed output," said Paul Cripps, EFI's regional vice president of sales. "EFI's portfolio of printers provides the perfect complement to other digital engines in terms of fast turnaround and colour consistency, and offers print shops the opportunity to add wide- and superwide-format production seamlessly to existing operations."
While maintaining its London City base, Kingswood iOptus has taken on additional premises to accommodate its two new EFI printers and to enable further growth plans. The company also has employed a team of highly skilled operators for this side of the business, which is situated in Swanley, Kent, inside Greater London's M25 perimeter for good geographical logistics and fast turnaround.
Full-scale 'cool cure' LED productivity
Kingswood iOptus's new VUTEk printer is a fully loaded production device that gives users the ability to offer more applications, and produce them fast and efficiently. The 3.2-metre hybrid printer delivers stunning point-of-purchase graphics, thanks to its high image quality in resolutions up to 1,000 dpi and 12-picolitre greyscale technology. It features eight-colour plus multi-layer white print capabilities and can print up to 223 square metres (or up to 60 1.2x2.4-metre boards) per hour in five colours.
The EFI H1625 LED printer is a mid-level, 1.6-metre hybrid production device which prints in eight-level greyscale with four colours plus white on an extended range of flexible and rigid substrates, producing high-quality images in resolutions up to 1200x600 dpi. It runs at speeds up to 42.3 square metres per hour and, like Kingswood iOptus's VUTEk printer, it offers the distinct advantage of multi-layer white printing.
Both printers also feature production-speed, energy-efficient "cool cure" LED imaging, which cures inks at significantly lower temperatures compared with UV or latex inkjet devices. That translates into lower running costs because of reduced energy usage. The printers' instant on/off LED curing lamps also last longer than UV-curing lamps, giving users increased uptime and productivity, lower consumables costs, and consistent curing for fewer wasted prints.
EFI's complete printer portfolio, which in addition to industry-leading LED and UV inkjet narrow-, wide- and superwide-format technologies includes aqueous textile and ceramic decoration printers, gives customers profitable opportunities for "Imaging of Things," delivering greater product customisation and appeal in everything from signage and packaging to décor, apparel and industrial manufacturing.