20 Sep 2019

Case Study: HP Designjet L25500 Latex Printer

HP Designjet L25500 latex printer

Challenges:

  • Grow printing business by offering new products and applications while continuing to supply the robust output demanded for its core business applications
  • Eliminate outsourcing to save 2-3,000 Euro/month and increase profit margins by 50 percent
  • Offer printed output with lower environmental impact in "sensitive" environments


Solutions:

  • HP Designjet L25500 Printer using HP Latex Inks and HP Embedded Spectrophotometer with Advanced Close Loop Colour Calibration


Results:

  • Versatility from single printing solution to successfully compete for higher image quality business to grow revenue streams while still serving established customer demands
  • Profit margins on outsourced printing increased by 50 percent by bringing printing in-house
  • Increased customer satisfaction, faster turnaround and higher quality signage
  • Sell HP Latex printed output for "sensitive" environment applications such as health service sector, restaurants, fresh food stores or kids' toy shops


The year 2009 marked twenty years of business for tot.rètol, a sign printing shop based in Igualada, outside Barcelona in Spain. Joan Torrents, general manager and owner, has successfully exploited his business experience and know-how as a printing professional to steer tot. rètol through the economic downturn that came with the credit crisis, perhaps the most challenging period since tot.rètol started business in 1989. tot.rètol use "hard" solvent printing technology, a term commonly used among printing business professionals to distinguish it from eco-solvent printing technology. They print on PVC, banner and transparent vinyl for tradeshows banners, point of sale displays and outdoor store signs.

Eliminating outsourcing to double profit margins

Joan Torrents describes the business scenario that drove them to explore alternative printing technology to solvent-ink printing. "tot.rètol until recently was a solvent-only technology sign making business. Our solvent printers were adequate for our standard signage orders but customer orders sometimes include a portion of prints demanding higher quality. To ensure a single supplier solution and achieve greater customer loyalty we satisfied all their needs by outsourcing what we couldn't print on solvent. The problem is our profit margins were halved when we outsourced. The second problem is that reduced profit margins meant we could not compete for jobs that demanded only, or principally, high image quality. Also, turnaround times can double with outsourcing, excluding tot.rètol from competing for business with tight deadlines," states Torrents, concluding, "The economic crisis meant print volumes from core solvent-ink applications were down 40 percent. The HP Designjet L25500 Printer has allowed us to expand our applications and products and still serve our core business for robust, durable output. We are seeing our printing volumes grow strongly and we believe we can still do much more."

Making new profits

Joan Torrents explains how the HP Designjet L25500 Printer allowed tot.rètol to successfully compete for new business. "We recently bid for a high image quality job that demanded 150m2 (492ft2) of in-store signage up to 2 x 4m (6.6 x 13.1ft) on vinyl. The viewing distance was short so our solvent printer was not an option due to the low image quality it offers and possible banding. It was an important opportunity as the job was for an advertising agency - an ideal customer in terms of return business. By using the HP Designjet L25500 Printer, as opposed to outsourcing, we were able to make an extremely competitive offer to acquire the new agency as a customer and still make a profit. Delivery time was halved from six days to three by printing in-house. Without in-house printing it is very unlikely that we could have beaten the competition to win the job. The customer was satisfied with our printing service and we have become their first choice supplier," Torrents states.

Versatility offers more sellable applications

Torrents believes printed output with a lower environmental impact will give them an extra competitive edge for certain applications. "Printed output using solvent inks may be perceived as unsuitable in certain types of activities, particularly those widely used by the public. The health service sector, restaurants, fresh food stores or kids' toy shops are a few examples where environmental health and safety are of paramount importance. Printed displays in these "sensitive" environments represent an ideal application for Latex output from the HP Designjet L25500."

HP Latex Printing Technology represents a no-compromise alternative over tot.rètol's solvent ink technology. "A regular client requested some attractive 60 x 60cm2 (23 x 23in2) coffee table tops for their outdoor terrace bar. Output needed to be tough and weather resistant. In the past we would have used our solvent printer and then laminated the output. We printed the job on white vinyl at a higher quality and more quickly on our new HP Latex printer and laminated output to avoid scratching," Torrents says delightedly.

Innovation without complication

As a new, unfamiliar technology to tot.rètol, any initial concerns they had about its implementation were soon dispelled. "Our operator has lots of experience with large format solvent and the HP Designjet L25500 Printer was extremely easy to manage in comparison. It was very, very easy to learn without any special training. Media loading is easy even on your own. It is very clean and maintenance is automated. The printer adopts convenient, user-replaceable cartridges instead of the bottles and tubes used for solvent. You have to be careful not to leave marks with solvent," Torrents says, adding, "The print speed is great and prints are dry when they come off the printer so you can finish and laminate immediately. Ink usage is more efficient than solvent - up to 30 percent less per square meter. To avoid clogging, solvent technology has bigger printheads and regular cleaning and purging is required. Solvent ink is not absorbed so well on certain types of media. We've noticed poor adhesion on Backlit media so ink can run and print results are less reliable," Torrents claims. The embedded spectrophotometer and advanced close loop colour calibration are highly appreciated. "You get reliable results on any media you need to use. Automatic colour calibration and creation of ICC profiles is easy," Torrents adds, concluding, "Although this technology was new to us, HP is a prestigious brand with reliable, quality products and HP has offered us a qualified and professional post sales service whenever we have needed it. That gives you peace of mind."

Epson introduce Water-Based White Ink Proofing

Epson WT9700

Epson America Inc. has announced an all-new contract-quality proofing system that is designed to improve how package designers and flexographic and gravure printing professionals produce packaging mock-ups and proofs. The Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 takes advantage of the world’s first aqueous-based white ink printing technology and Epson’s latest achievements in high-resolution ink jet technology. Together, these advancements produce a new way of printing with the color white on a broad range of substrates including ink jet coated transparent and metallic films.

"For years, proofing products in this market have been very expensive for customers to purchase, maintain and operate," said Mark Radogna, group product manager, Epson America. "When a white ink is required in the printing process, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 represents an exciting new way for proofing and prototyping both flexographic and gravure printing products."

Designed specifically for proofing flexographic and gravure print jobs that require the color white, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 incorporates Epson’s latest achievements in high-resolution ink jet technology—including the breakthrough Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink. Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink introduces an all-new Organic Hollow Resin Particle Technology, which forces light to randomly scatter, producing the illusion of seeing the color white.

This innovative approach to producing the color white results in an extremely high white ink density, as well as the ability for custom white color toning. It also provides professional short-term color stability for mission-critical color proofing on a range of new substrates including ink jet coated transparent and metallic films. Unlike traditional white ink chemistry, Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink is a safer, water-based resin particle that is void of any known carcinogens.

Capable of printing directly on both ink jet coated clear and metallic films, in roll or cut sheet, up to 24 inches wide, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 can proof virtually any size print job. Whether creating contract proofs of various packaging products requiring a clear or metallic base, or producing color accurate packaging mock-ups or prototypes, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 can easily proof the most difficult flexographic and gravure print jobs.

In addition, Epson America worked closely with CGS, EFI, GMG, Esko Artwork, and Kodak to ensure their RIP and workflow software takes full advantage of the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 technology.

Roland Announces New Texture Library for VersaUV

Roland VersaUV LEC-330

Ready-to-Use Patterns and Textures add Luxurious Finishes to Prototypes, Labels and Comps

Roland DG Corporation, the pioneer of integrated Print&Cut technology, have introduced the new Roland Texture System Library for its VersaUV LEC series of 30” UV-LED inkjet printer/cutters. Included in version 3.31 of Roland VersaWorks RIP software, the Roland Texture System Library is supported by popular design packages including Adobe® Illustrator and consists of 22 textures and patterns that can be produced by layering the VersaUV’s ECO-UV Gloss ink.

Designed for versatility, VersaUV inkjets feature 6 colors (CMYK + White + Gloss) and an integrated contour cutter that together produce rich, textured graphics in virtually any shape on a wide range of flexible and rigid media. The VersaUV is ideal for applications ranging from high-end packaging prototypes and comps to control panels, specialty graphics and small lot production of labels and decals.

“The new Roland Texture System Library makes it easier than ever to enhance VersaUV graphics with unique textures and patterns,” said T. Niyama Roland DG color product manager. “With the new system, users simply select a texture or pattern from the swatch library and apply it to their graphics for instant, dramatic effects.”

Roland Texture System Library Features:

  • Patterns and textures add value to finished graphics
  • Choose from 22 unique designs including ginkgo, rhombus, circular, windmill and woven patterns
  • Textures are produced quickly and easily
  • Library developed by Grapac Japan Co., Inc., a leading UV offset printer serving the high-end Japanese market
  • Supported by popular design software programs including Adobe® Illustrator
    • Library is called Roland Grapac Bri-o-coat Library in Adobe® Illustrator


Sample Roland Texture System Library Swatches

Roland Versa UV Swatch
(From left to right: ginkgo, rhombus, circular, windmill and woven patterns)
Gloss textures and patterns are easy to produce and add sophistication to VersaUV graphics


VersaUV LEC-330 and LEC-300

The DPI award-winning VersaUV series is the world’s first line of UV-LED inkjet printer/cutters. Two models are available: the original LEC-300, offered at a lower price point, and the new, faster LEC-330 for greater overall performance and versatility. The VersaUV line supports a wide range of flexible and rigid substrates (except metals) up to 1 mm (0.04”) thick and is ideal for the production of labels, decals, POP displays and posters. The VersaUV prints on semi-rigid sheet stocks such as card stocks for folding cartons and thicker polycarbonate sheets for membrane switch applications. It also accommodates offset paper stock, BOPP, PE and PET film for highly accurate proofs, prototypes and comps. The VersaUV can also be used to create original patterns and 3D domed corporate logos directly onto synthetic and natural leathers. Other applications include interior décor items such as customized window coverings and tapestries.

New Mimaki UJF-706 higher speed, higher quality UV flatbed to ship in December

Mimaki UJF-706

Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutting machines for the sign/graphics, industrial and textile/apparel markets announces the UJF-706, a new higher speed UV curing flatbed inkjet printer for industrial applications that delivers exceptional high quality prints. The new UJF-706 will be shipped from December 21, 2009.

In 2004 Mimaki introduced their first UV curing inkjet printer, UJF-605C, that already featured white ink (under and overprint) to enable printing of bright colorful images on all materials including transparent substrates. Later in 2006, the company introduced its successor, UJF-605CII, that doubled the print speed and is renowned for its high quality prints on all kinds of coated and non-coated materials. This printer was well accepted in the industry and is widely used for short run production and variable data jobs on demand.

Mimaki now introduces the UJF-706 that improves productivity significantly while at the same time enhancing image quality even further. The new Mimaki Spray Suppressor system prevents that satellite ink drops can vitiate sensitive machine parts and enhances consistency. UJF-706 represents a new generation of UV curing flatbed printers for simultaneous full color and white printing that optionally can be equipped with a roll media print mechanism.

The maximum print size of the machine has been enlarged to 700 x 600 mm (UJF-605CII: 600 x 500 mm). UJF-706 also caters to three times thicker materials thus enabling printing on all kinds of material up to a maximum height of 150 mm. The machine is equipped with an automatic optical positioning recognition system for centering of prints on small objects for imprinting as well as variable data printing. Two different ink types - hard and flexible - are available, whose use is determined by the customers' applications. This caters to the needs of printers to broaden their portfolio of on demand offers for industrial printing applications. In addition, UV curing clear liquid is available enabling smooth finishes and furthering the machine's value propositions.

UJF-706 decisively advances and enhances digital on demand production of items with the same or variable data printing.

Main Features

  1. UJF-706 offers twice the speed of previous models when printing full color and simultaneous white.
  2. Printing on non-coated materials of up to a maximum size of 700 x 600 mm and a thickness of 150 mm.
  3. Vivid images even on transparent and colored materials due to white ink usage.
  4. Already renowned ink and print quality of hard and flexible UV curing inks that are widely accepted in the industry.
  5. Glossy finishes enhance print service providers' value propositions and enable extraordinary results (only hard UV ink).
  6. Automatic four point optical positioning recognition system for centering prints on small objects.
  7. Equipped with Mimaki's new Spray Suppressor system that prevents satellite ink drops to contaminate sensitive machine parts thus enhancing consistency.
  8. Optional roll media handling and printing.


"We believe that our customers will gain decisive advantages with the newly developed UJF-706 industrial inkjet printer that caters to industrial applications. Its exceptional print quality and features call for new applications to be developed or being transferred from screen printing", explains Kazuyuki Takeuchi, head of Mimaki's IP Business Unit. "UJF-706 enables printers to differentiate themselves from their competition."

Diatec launch HP Latex Demo Days for Irish Market

HP Designjet L25500 latex printer

Diatec, the Dublin based HP reseller, have recently announced a series of Demo Days where Irish print professionals can see the latest HP Designjet L25500 latex printer in action.

David Harpur of Diatec tells us "Customers have been asking for a versatile, cost-effective alternative to eco-solvent-based printing solutions for the production of a wider range of outdoor large-format and indoor applications, while reducing the impact of printing on the environment. The HP Designjet L25500 Printer can deliver on these needs. It offers easy, low-maintenance printing of a wider range of applications - from outdoor banners, bus shelters and vehicle wraps to indoor point-of-purchase displays, exhibition graphics and interior décor like wall murals and fabrics - than is possible with eco-solvent or traditional water-based printing alone."

Interested parties are invited to register their interest online at www.diatec.ie/L25500/demo/ where they can request a Demo time to suit.

For those users of solvent ink technology that are as yet not ready to upgrade, Diatec are currently running an ink promotion that promises savings of up to 40% for users of Roland, Mimaki or Mutoh print systems. Users converting to Diatec alternative ink solutions will also receive a free iPod Touch.

 

3D Systems Announces Large Format High Definition 3D Printing System

3D Systems Projet

3D Systems Corporation has announced the immediate availability of its new ProJet 5000 Large-Format High Definition 3-D Printer.

The ProJet 5000 3-D Printer combines the proven performance and reliability of 3D Systems' patented and proprietary Multi-jet Modeling (MJM) technology with the industry's largest available build size, expanding the uses of high-definition 3-D printing to more users and applications. Designed for heavy-duty operation, the ProJet 5000 features the industry's first and only standard five-year manufacturer's print head warranty, demonstrating 3D Systems' commitment to improving customers' bottom line results through improved feature sets and lower overall cost of ownership. While built for factory performance, the ProJet 5000 features the latest in office functionality. Its ease of use, quiet operation and attractive, space efficient form fits virtually any office environment, allowing customers of varying sizes to enjoy the benefits of easy in-house production of extremely high-detail prototype and end use parts.

"Our customers told us they wanted to build larger parts in-house and gain the benefits of 3-D printing for more of their projects," said Buddy Byrum, senior director of 3-D Printing. "The ProJet 5000 addresses those needs and is ideal for applications in automotive, aerospace, footwear, appliances, and any other industries where part sizes are larger than standard format 3-D printers can accommodate. We look forward to partnering with early adopters as they enjoy the expanded benefits of large-format 3-D printing."

Using 3D Systems' VisiJet MX plastic material, the ProJet 5000 3-D Printer delivers durable high-definition parts that are designed to withstand a challenging exposure environment. Flexible material management can be configured to match customer requirements with up to eight material delivery modules, providing the industry's longest available unattended operation exceeding 80 hours. With its part stacking and nesting feature combined with its enormous build volume of 550 x 393 x 300 mm, the ProJet 5000 provides unmatched productivity, allowing users to produce larger parts and more parts than other available high-definition 3-D printers.