06 Apr 2020

Case Study: Screaming Colour moves upwards into a wider digital world


Screaming Colour Qs2000

For award-winning central London-based Screaming Colour, PrintWeek Digital Printer of the year for 2008 and 2009, its ethos has always been to produce high quality digital print to tight deadlines for a broad range of discerning customers. Since the day the company was formed, its objective has been to match its jobs with those normally accomplished via analogue processes and, thus, to exceed the finest standards of expectation from one-offs through to high volumes.

Concentrating originally on the production of full-colour applications which benefited from digital technology, such as personalisation and very low volumes, Screaming Colour typically offers brochures, newsletter and other jobs normally still associated with offset litho printing. Add into the mix proofing for packaging and customised presentation literature, plus comprehensive finishing capabilities, the only element missing was the provision of wide-format facilities.

Having made its mark by guaranteeing the best quality possible in the fastest turn-round times using its HP Indigo and KBA 74 Karat digital systems, Screaming Colour became increasingly aware of the desire for wider format output to be added to its broad portfolio of services. However, wanting to maintain its reputation for the combination of perfection and speed, the company’s managing director Iain Moring was quick to realise that moving into this market sector needed careful scrutiny so that he could maintain his existing exacting standards.

Investigating the different types of wide-format digital ink-jet machine available took time and careful assessment. Moring and his team acknowledged that UV-curable technology would suit the company’s needs because of its versatility on different substrates. But the choice also necessitated finding a solution which provided the quality needed and the short turn-round times essential to maintain Screaming Colour’s reputation. The resulting purchase of an EFI-VUTEk QS2000 from UK distributor CMYUK Digital succeeded in fulfilling the criteria needed and is now being used to produce an ever diversifying range of larger-sized applications, including posters, banners, point-of-sale, retail advertising and exhibition graphics.

The decision to invest in the QS2000 relied on careful scrutiny of the wide-format market and the burgeoning numbers of options which all promised to achieve the same results. But Moring’s canny approach led him to discount those printers which had no track record or which, in his view, wouldn’t be certain to offer him a good return on his investment. EFI-VUTEk’s longevity in the digital sector was an added benefit, as was the realisation that by working closely with UK distributor CMYUK every element was treated with the same importance, from the choice of the system through to colour management, installation and set-up, and technical support.

Unusually, the purchase of the EFI-VUTEk QS2000 was the first wide-format printer to be adopted by Screaming Colour, apart from aqueous-based models used for proofing. Although the company has only ever worked with digital technologies, its key equipment has been the HP Indigo machines which have been at the core of its business for the past 14 years. Although these capabilities are as busy as ever, with market requirements changing Moring recognised that the time was right to adopt larger options in-line with the year-on-year growth he was experiencing.

Screaming Colour’s long standing experience with its Indigo systems has given the company a deep-rooted understanding of colour accuracy, high quality and the fast turn-round times available via digital platforms. Matching the standards of the company’s smaller format work with a larger display printer might have proved to be difficult but, with the addition of the QS2000, the same strict criteria can be applied in terms of quality and throughput speeds.

“We were one of the first companies to adopt Indigo printers,” states Moring. “Having the ability to produce the type of versatility and quality only available from digital technology, this gave people the opportunity to benefit from our high standards and extremely fast turn-round times on all run lengths. We made the decision to move straight up to the EFI-VUTEk QS2000 because it means that we can add value to existing projects and move into new areas without compromising on our existing strategy.”

As an environmentally responsible company, Screaming Colour also needed to ensure that its wide-format investment would sit within its green credentials, which include ISO14001 in conjunction with ISO9001, plus FSC and PEFC accreditations. The EFI-VUTEk QS2000 uses UV-curable ink which produces no VOCs and has the advantage of being able direct to recycled and recyclable materials, both rigid and flexible.

In the autumn of 2009 Phil Phillips was brought in to head up the retail communications’ division at Screaming Colour. He is enthusiastic about the capabilities of the QS2000 and the potential it gives the company to add to its product porfolio. “The addition of a wide-format printer which uses UV-curable ink now means we can output to a vast range of flexible and rigid materials,” he explains.  “And, as we handle a considerable amount of work for agencies, we have the added versatility of being able to produce creative applications as well as more traditional posters and banner graphics.

“Working with rigid materials has also led us into the field of cardboard engineering and three-dimensional applications being used increasingly in point-of-sale,” continues Phillips. “We now have the benefit of a full wide-format print-and-cut workflow which is valuable for production runs as well as for prototyping.”

Colour management is crucial to Screaming Colour which prides itself on getting every job right first time, no matter the material or finish required. CMYUK Digital’s Robin East and Jon Price both believe that this company is a prime example of a business wanting to move into wide-format digital production and which is insistent that its new processes function seamlessly with existing practices.

“For Screaming Colour, working with full-colour print is not a new technique and this has meant that a wide-format machine not only needs to be able to operate at good speeds but, also, at the quality standards to which the company was accustomed,” states East. “The expectations of a company are high when adding a UV-curable system to an existing armoury of high speed digital capabilities for the smaller format market. Whilst all CMYUK’s clients expect the best results, what was critical in this instance was being able to supply a solution which was, at the very least, comparable to Screaming Colour’s existing quality and speed expectations.”

The EFI-VUTEk QS2000 is designed to combine high definition printed output with fast production, with a maximum resolution of 1080 dpi and a choice of four- and six-colour print. Screaming Colour chose to include the white ink option which opens up a raft of options including under- and over-printing and is beneficial when using non-white substrates. With a maximum printing width of 2 m, this machine is designed to work with both rigid and flexible materials, with easily removable tables when the latter option is used.

Price adds: “One the areas in which we specialise at CMYUK is colour management and profiling, both vital aspects to any customer needing to work to exacting specifications where accuracy and fidelity are essential. As quality control is a vital element to Screaming Colour we were pleased to able to provide the necessary criteria to ensure that production standards were maintained.”




Using the free Virtual Printroom Calculator (built for UK EFI-VUTEK distributor CMYUK by the web development team here at LFR), now you can illustrate realistic profit forecasts based on both your current and projected print volumes. Simply enter your buy and sell prices, add your associated production cost elements, and click the ‘Calculate’ button.

It’s a completely free tool and you don’t even need to register to use it. Click here to do the maths now.


Efi Vutek Qs2000



Case Study: Allprint Display finds the EFI-VUTEk QS2000 an easy choice for quality and reliability

Allprint Qs2000


It was the result of reading a variety of testimonials such as these, on EFI-VUTEk printers, that led Allprint Display straight to UK distributor CMYUK Digital, when an investment was needed in a versatile, cost-effective wide-format solution. This enterprising Northamptonshire-based display specialist realised it needed to make a serious transition into digital production if it was going to grow its customer base, remain competitive and extend the range of services which it could supply.

Having started as a screen-printing company 18 years ago, concentrating primarily on trade work, Allprint Display still produces a considerable percentage of analogue jobs. But although the company hasn’t yet experienced a significant slow-down in this area, its directors realised that digital alternatives would become an essential part of business growth. Thus, four years ago the decision was made to invest in an entry-level UV-curable machine.

However, whilst Allprint Display’s first digital wide-format printer provided the company with a valuable introduction to flat-bed capabilities and associated technology, its limitations soon manifested themselves. Not only was the unit slow but it presented constant problems with handling and substrate hold-down, with poor ink adhesion being another major disadvantage. Subsequently, for roll-fed work, the company invested in two solvent-based printers but, inevitably, the time came for investment to be made into a quality solution which could work with both rigid and flexible materials.

“We knew we would have to purchase a machine which could provide the standards and service we wanted,” says James Daldy, one of the three directors of Allprint Display. “Fortunately, this didn’t prove to be a very difficult decision. Having read about so many positive experiences from users of EFI-VUTEk printers, we decided to investigate further and contacted CMYUK Digital. Following discussions and a meeting with Robin East, we were interested immediately in the QS2000’s versatility and speed. We were also keen to take advantage of the new generation of UV-curable inks which had just been introduced.”

East arranged for the Allprint Display team to visit EFI-VUTEk’s European head-quarters in Brussels to see the machine working. “I appreciated the fact that the entire pre-purchasing process was so simple, even down to the fact that we were able to take our own files for testing,” Daldy continues. “To be honest, when we saw the samples they were absolutely spot-on in terms of quality; we were completely blown away with them – so we ordered the QS2000 without any further delay.”

Since the EFI-VUTEk QS2000 was installed and configured at Allprint Display, it has been working non-stop faultlessly and cost-effectively. While the printer itself was being set-up, the company received training on the EFI Fiery XF RIP, enabling even the earliest prints to be output in real time on actual jobs. From the start, on a day-to-day basis, the machine is pushed to its absolute limits, with new materials being tried constantly, and it has never faltered.

Daldy and his fellow directors opted for the six-colour UV-curable QS2000 without the white ink addition. The company’s experience in screen-printing means that, when this extra capability is needed, it has successfully formulated a method to incorporate analogue elements as an under-, over-print or spot-colour on digital output. Unusually, this involves mixing ink types as the Svecia units at Allprint Display use solvent-based chemistry, but knowledge and experimentation have paid off to produce the right results.

The timing for the purchase and installation of the EFI-VUTEk QS3200 was fortuitous and coincided with the company’s expanding customer base asking for higher volumes of wide-format digital print. These numbers would have been unachievable had Allprint Display not made its investment in a high-end UV-curable solution and, as a result, it has won many new orders.

“With run-lengths increasing, and greater demand for work on rigid substrates, it was critical that our machine choice was right for the future as well as the present,” states Daldy. “It was also vital that the adhesion of the UV-curable ink formulation meant that it didn’t have problems with flaking and cracking, unlike with our earlier printer where wastage was high because of poor, inconsistent performance.”

The types of order carried out by Allprint Display include a large amount of point-of-sale work for its trade clients which need additional cutting and creasing on the company’s Zünd flat-bed machine. One of the immediate benefits of the output produced on the QS2000 has been the stability of the ink when the print is being finished.

Clean edges and flexibility on jobs which need to be cut and creased are features which are complemented by the inks’ excellent adhesion on all materials. This has eliminated the waste factor and allowed the company to remove the margin for error which had to be considered when its older system was used.

The ink capabilities have also proved themselves on roll-fed materials as well as rigid substrates, with no glazing and absolutely consistent results throughout the print run. Although a large amount of flexible media still tends to be handled on Allprint Display’s solvent-based printers, leaving the QS2000 for flat-bed applications, some work is now being moved across to the UV-curable alternative.

With its 2 m wide print area, fast speeds and high resolution, one of the benefits gained by QS2000 users is the ability to change easily from rigid and flexible materials and back again. Despite their rugged construction, the flat-bed tables can be rolled away by a single operator to enable roll-to-roll production, and replaced just as quickly when rigid substrates need to be output.

The versatile EFU VUTEk QS2000 has proved to be the ideal complement for a company which is accustomed to, and expects, the rich colours which can be achieved as standard when using the screen process. Allprint Display has always placed great emphasis on quality and didn’t want its standards to be affected adversely when moving jobs to a digital machine. In fact, the company has been particularly impressed by the extremely high standards achieved on graduated areas, such as skin tones, as well as with strong solid colours that are commonplace in many applications.

CMYUK Digital’s Robin East comments: “Allprint Display is a classic example of a company which has years of experience in screen-printing and understands the demands of working to tight dead-lines. But the need to bring versatile digital print on-board is essential for this type of business when outputting variable run lengths onto a wide variety of different display materials.”

Now a two-family business, Allprint Display was formed in 1992 by Wally Marsden and Pat Daldy. Their respective sons joined the business and, when the founders retired, they have continued to drive the company forward. James and Paul Daldy took over from their mother, along with Rob Marsden who stepped into the shoes of his father. All three are now directors, with a staff of 15.

The company’s consensus is that the EFI-VUTEk QS2000 has been the perfect addition to its business and will help it on its growth path. James Daldy concludes: “Not only does this printer run full-pelt, every day, non-stop, its continued reliability has been another outstanding feature. We’ve no regrets whatsoever about this investment, and its running costs are as cheap as chips.”



Using the free Virtual Printroom Calculator (built for UK EFI-VUTEK distributor CMYUK by the web development team here at LFR), now you can illustrate realistic profit forecasts based on both your current and projected print volumes. Simply enter your buy and sell prices, add your associated production cost elements, and click the ‘Calculate’ button.

It’s a completely free tool and you don’t even need to register to use it. Click here to do the maths now.


Efi Vutek Qs2000


Case Study: Durrant Wapshott gets it right first time with EFI-VUTEk QS3220 investment


Durrant Wapshott Qs3220

Having spent 15 years working together to develop a creative relationship between end-user clients and their needs for a diverse range of display work, including retail, advertising and other promotional applications, Simon Durrant and Chris Wapshott made the decision to invest in their own wide-format production instead of using third-party suppliers. Based in Rotherhithe, south London, the duo concentrates still on project management and problem solving for its customer base but realised that, in order to produce consistent quality on time, the solution was to invest in its own wide-format printer.

Typical projects undertaken by Durrant Wapshott include support graphics for events, refits of existing retail environments and the design, production and installation of all display elements for major product launches. As well providing value for money, increasing environmental pressure necessitates the use of recycled materials, the reduction of waste and the provision of greener principles in-line with many of the company’s client practices.

“Because of the exacting demands of our client base, our experiences showed us that it was time to bring much of our work in-house,” explains Chris Wapshott. “We work to incredibly tight deadlines, with jobs often needing to be turned round in a matter of hours, so the luxury of using external print service providers was losing its practical appeal. The only way we could guarantee the right quality standards within very short turn-round times, yet retain control over production, was to output the orders ourselves.”

Durrant Wapshott started making preliminary inroads into investing into its own printer with thoughts initially towards a relatively low-cost purchase to start the company on the road to wide-format production. However, the partners wisely adopted an open-minded policy regarding the right type of technology for its needs and this was a practice which ultimately paid off.

The company was all too aware of the likely future demands of the jobs which they should be able to produce themselves, with a sensible return on investment joining reliability, quality and speed on the list of priorities. Thus, finally the decision was made to choose a print option which not only would be future-proof but also took into account the move away from solvent-based printers towards UV-curable ink formulations.

“We have an excellent relationship with our clients, all of whom rely on us to bring them first-rate results. Moving our print work in-house was also certain to secure additional orders once we were able to control every aspect ourselves from pre-press through printing to finishing,” comments Simon Durrant. “In addition, we decided that we wanted to be able to output onto both roll-fed media and rigid substrates suitable for interior and exterior applications using the greenest solution available.”

Thus, Durrant Wapshott’s quest into locating the most suitable printer took time, with first thoughts about a low-end machine swiftly evolving into a solution which would grow with the company and enhance its output options. Primary consultation with an industry guru, and discussions about concerns for fast throughput and the ability to output to exacting colour standards across all materials, was followed by an introduction to CMYUK’s Robin East, UK distributor for EFI-VUTEk.

As a result, the partners of Durrant Wapshott opted for a 3.2 m wide EFI-VUTEk QS3220 as they believed this to be the machine which covered all the production criteria needed immediately and well into the future. The printer’s second generation UV-curable inks and their ability to provide excellent adhesion and vivid colours on a broad range of rigid and flexible materials were extra benefits which influenced the purchasing decision.

As Wapshott emphasises, the full year it took to decide whether or not to buy a machine has paid off handsomely. Since the time of the company’s initial investigations, UV-curable technology has improved, along with better throughput speeds and higher overall quality. Opting for the white ink option in its EFI-VUTEk QS3220 has brought additional benefits to the company, allowing creativity and versatility to be realised within a single printer.

Having set out originally with the intention of printing mainly digital wall coverings, Durrant Wapshott has since moved into a wealth of complementary areas and now outputs as many jobs onto rigid substrates as it does onto flexible media. The addition of a Zünd G3 contour cutter, also purchased from CMYUK Digital, has extended the type of work and finishing services which can be produced in-house. Using the EFI Fiery XF RIP allows jobs with integral cutting paths to be created for an efficient print-and-cut workflow.

“This investment has opened doors to new projects and brought us the opportunity to achieve more creative results,” continues Wapshott. “Since making the decision to opt for a UV-curable hybrid solution we’ve found an increasing number of clients requesting to print direct to a selection of different rigid substrates. We’ve made the right choice with the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 as it has allowed us to cater for diverse requirements we didn’t originally calculate into our in-house capabilities, as well as giving us the option to experiment with, and use, different materials in the future.”

The purchase by Durrant Wapshott of the high-end QS3220 has also resulted in additional credibility. The company has always been renowned for problem-solving many of the projects being managed, such as those which need to be installed in difficult locations. Producing jobs in-house has increased flexibility and versatility as well as shortening turn-round times; maintaining total control over applications from start to finish is particularly beneficial. Now, even if an order is received at extremely short notice, it can be supplied quickly to strict quality standards and, often, can be ready for installation in a matter of hours rather than days.

Deciding to buy an industrial strength printer might have been considered a gamble by any company investing for the first time during a period of tight economic conditions in the UK. However, for Durrant Wapshott, the purchase of its QS3220 was designed to see the company through the tougher times being experienced generally throughout the industry into the future with a machine which would, without doubt, take it there.

The installation of the machine took place at the beginning of 2010, and was up and running immediately. Durrant Wapshott’s decision to opt for white ink is proving to be advantageous when working with coloured and clear materials, enhancing the vivid colours output by the printer’s high definition (HDP) capabilities and its maximum resolution of 1080 dpi. The strong vacuum bed on the QS3220 is complemented by strengthened input and output tables, and optimum throughput speeds of 84 square m/hour can be achieved on materials of thicknesses up to 5.08 cm and 3.2 m wide.

CMYUK Digital’s Robin East comments: “This installation of an EFI-VUTEk QS3220 at Durrant Wapshott is a perfect example of how the right machine can generate creativity alongside high throughput production requirements. Unlike many suppliers, we know how important it is that a capital investment pays dividends from the start; our installation and training procedures guarantee that the printer will be ready to earn its keep immediately.”

“We are also proving time and time again that the service we provide to new investors in wide-format UV-curable printers is second-to-none,” emphasises Jon Price of CMYUK Digital. “Moving across to digital technology doesn’t just involve buying a machine – it also requires correct set-up, colour calibration and profiling plus intelligent, customised training to minimise maintenance procedures and unnecessary down-time. If our users aren’t happy, then nor are we; Durrant Wapshott is testimony to the added value we provide to first time buyers as well as to users adding to, or upgrading, their existing wide-format capacity.”



Using the free Virtual Printroom Calculator (built for UK EFI-VUTEK distributor CMYUK by the web development team here at LFR), now you can illustrate realistic profit forecasts based on both your current and projected print volumes. Simply enter your buy and sell prices, add your associated production cost elements, and click the ‘Calculate’ button.

It’s a completely free tool and you don’t even need to register to use it. Click here to do the maths now.


Efi Vutek Qs3220


EskoArtwork “shapes the future” with complete workflow and digital finishing solutions for the sign and display market at Fespa 2010


Eg Kongsberg Xp

Show marks introduction of i-cut production software, a rich collection of software solutions for sign and display, plus demonstration of new Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated digital finishing table

EskoArtwork will demonstrate during Fespa 2010, at Stand 270 in Hall B1, its comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end workflow and digital finishing solutions. Highlights at the show – which takes place from June 22nd to 26th in Munich, Germany – include the introduction of i-cut production software, the collection of pre-production solutions that streamline the workflow for the large-format digital printing and finishing throughout the entire production process, from prepress to the finished product.


There will also be live demonstrations of the new Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated and the most successful Kongsberg XP product lines for sign makers and digital printing converters. EskoArtwork will also be present at the HP Scitex stand,  located in Hall B2 stand 120, where the Kongsberg i-XL will be demonstrated along with the EskoArtwork pre-production solutions.

“Fespa is this year’s most important event for the sign and display industry in Europe, and it's the ideal backdrop and timing to introduce our new solutions,” says Nicolai Gradman, EskoArtwork Senior Vice President CAM & Supply Chain. "We are committed to “shape the future” of our customers´ business and of this industry. Across the ‘design-to-print-to-cut’ spectrum of printed graphics production, EskoArtwork solutions improve each step of the process. In the design phase, application tools improve the graphic and structural design, editing and layout of files to make them print-ready. In the print stage, our workflow integration with RIP software allows the seamless, automated creation of cut ready files for finishing operations. And, in the cut phase, the Kongsberg finishing tables provide flexible, versatile and productive finishing, transforming printed graphics into usable products.”

EskoArtwork’s new solutions reflect the needs of today’s digital printing and finishing markets. The Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated offers the fastest and most productive solution for finishing a wide variety of creative digital print applications. With the new automation features, digital printing companies can bring production in-house. It allows them to not only improve turnaround times but also saves on the use of dies while reducing costs. The Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated works along any small-format to medium-size digital press and is a profitable solution to finish a wide range of digitally printed applications up to print-runs of several thousands, depending in design complexity.

Building on its experience developing prepress and workflow solutions, EskoArtwork also introduces a new range of software tools called i-cut production software. “EskoArtwork is doing something very different in this industry by offering a complete workflow solution from design through finishing,” adds Gradman. “This industry lacks dedicated tools to streamline operations, improve throughput, and reduce errors and material waste. This is an issue that many converters are even not aware of. We are convinced this is set to change when they experience the enhanced i-cut production software.”

New – i-cut production software raises productivity, saves time and reduces errors

The i-cut production software is targeted specifically at companies that drive a large format digital printer and/or digital finishing system and require professional tools to streamline their workflow. i-cut production software is part of the EskoArtwork Suite 10 of design, pre-production and automated workflow solutions.

"For the first time, wide format printing and digital finishing companies will be able to work with a complete, integrated solution, with our new i-cut software, " explains Gradman. "It's comprised of different modules, with i-cut Preflight for efficient PDF preflighting and editing, i-cut Automate for data workflow and i-cut Layout for interactive layout and nesting. For precise and accurate die-less cutting, the i-cut Vision Pro control system is essential."

One of main advantages of i-cut production software is that users don't have to go back to a native application, working within a PDF file. Furthermore, it reduces errors by spotting them before RIPping, and it optimizes the layout, which ultimately reduces material costs and minimizes the set-up time. Users with more specific requirements can easily also add additional modules: Structural Design module that allows integration with all standard structural design programs and contains a brand-new box builder function; Graphics Preparation module to create the cutting contour on both vector files and images and True Shape Nesting module offering a powerful true shape nesting solution, particularly for irregular shapes.

New – Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated digital finishing

The Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated is equipped with a newly designed stacker and sheet feeding system, and has been specifically designed to meet the growing demand for finishing small-format, short-run digital printed materials.. It opens opportunities for creative, new applications with irregular shapes or finishing structures, such as folders, greeting and business cards, small signs and displays, packaging, flyers and many more novel applications.

The sheet feeder system automatically loads and places the printed materials on the table. The automated stacker enables non-stop sorting and neatly stacks the finished parts. The system also automatically separates  waste from the finished items.. As a result, the machine can run unattended, delivering a significant saving on man-hours. The Kongsberg i-XE10 itself combines high production speed and precision with easy operation. It can handle a maximum sheet size of 900 mm x 1200 mm at a maximum speed of 80 m/min.

Kongsberg XP, a true production machine

The Kongsberg XP series is designed to operate continuously in a 24/7 production environment. It is targeted at manufacturers of POP and permanent in-store product displays that need a fast and highly reliable solution for short-run production. With the launch of the Kongsberg XP digital cutting table in 2009, EskoArtwork offered a faster and equally highly reliable solution, specifically suited for short-run production—and the market responded positively with more than 60 successful operational installations worldwide. Customers such as the STI Group in Germany, Third Dimension in the US and Artbox in Sweden to name a few, are enjoying a tangible ROI through dramatically increased productivity and efficiency, reduced costs and faster turnaround times.

On the second day of the show – June 24th – EskoArtwork product specialists Ruben Cagnie and Einar Ek are presenting the latest novelties in the Fespa Innovation Theatre at 13.00.


Case Study: EFI-VUTEk QS3220 helps Artworks Solutions extend its creative capabilities


Artworks Solutions Qs3200

As part of its ongoing development, design and production of an unusual range of digital generated applications, Bristol based Artworks Solutions has invested in an EFI-VUTEk QS3220 wide-format printer. The flat-bed and roll-fed device uses the latest generation of UV-curable inks and was supplied and installed by specialist UK distributor, CMYUK Digital.

Although already a highly skilled and experienced company producing a wide-range of digitally generated output, Artworks Solutions extends its portfolio of print-related services far beyond the normal remit offered by most wide-format display specialists. Now in its thirteenth year, the business has used a sensible path of investment fuelled by its growth and the demand made by its ever increasing customer base which includes architects and designers.

As well as providing a full range of digital print and display services, Artworks Solutions has literally lived up to its name by using its resources and skills to generate an astonishing range of additional capabilities. Many of these can only be manufactured using specialist processes and materials, and experience has shown the company that a standard piece of equipment or material can be stretched beyond its original boundaries to create truly innovative and unusual applications.

Mixing fabrication techniques with wide-format digital output has added an extra dimension to the company’s talents and many of its end applications serve more than one purpose. For example, in addition to providing functionality, a large percentage of the jobs produced by Artworks Solutions incorporate highly creative elements; as a result, it is not surprising that, for end users wanting visual appeal combined with practicality, clients nationwide turn to the company knowing it can transform an original idea into a novel, practical and creative result.

John Sulzmann founded Artworks Solutions having gained considerable experience with the sign and display industries, both within the production and distribution sectors. He realised, wisely, that to succeed long term in a fast growing industry sector his company needed to be prepared to diversify in order always to bring fresh ideas and results to his client base.

Today, Artwork Solutions specialises in producing high quality output onto unusual materials, with creative combinations of finishes and effects providing both useful and innovative results. Typically the company can turn its hand to producing digital wallpapers, printed storage walls, acoustic panels and tensile structures which combine functionality with eye-catching designs and features.

As wide-format digital printers have evolved, so Artworks Solutions has been able to diversify further and the use of UV-curable ink technologies has broadened the company’s capabilities for printing direct to unusual substrates. Combined with sand blasting, etching and kiln forming, Sulzmann and his team have established a method of mixing processes and substrates to produce coloured textures for interior design and display projects. This extends onto glass, a medium which is growing in demand for a range of projects where stunning visual results are essential and where the combination of print and the use of light can blend effectively.

Although Sulzmann had experience of UV-curable inks, he knew that Artworks Solutions was reliant on well-tested technology in a device which was proven across the market yet which would allow the company to continue on its path to greater creativity. When the time came to invest in a new printer, he investigated the options available and chose the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 because of its reliability and its ability to work with a vast variety of rigid and flexible materials up to 3.2 m wide.

“The combination of speed and quality was important to us,” Sulzmann states. “We cannot compromise with the types of application we produce and, for one-offs and longer runs, we needed to have absolute consistency in results. Working with many unusual, premium and specialist materials, we need results which are right first time and, with unconventional surfaces and coatings, good ink adhesion is vital.”

The EFI-VUTEk QS3220 is a sophisticated, yet tough unit which, whilst suitable as a work-horse on standard display and industrial materials, can be configured to be compatible with surfaces that aren’t flat and contain deeply etched textures and shapes. Unlike many machines on the market today, with a skilled operator this printer has the ability to be set up manually to enable the print-heads sufficient clearance to produce accurate droplets on uneven elements, such as reverse etched designs, logos and text.

Following the success of its forerunner, the QS3200, the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 maintains many of the same features but adds a high definition print capability, known as HDP, which increases the types of material onto which it can print. Its refined vacuum and revised input and output tables are designed to enhance media handling, performance and throughput, also complemented by an improved UV-curable ink formulation. Along with its efficient UV-curing system, this combination has improved adhesion and durability preventing cracking, chipping and crazing when difficult materials are used.

EFI-VUTEk’s Series 2 UV-curable inks are also formulated to deliver better performance, essential with jobs where an element of flexibility is required in the end application. This feature has extended the range of materials which are now suitable for production using this ink chemistry, with greater durability and high resistance to scratching and scuffing. The QS3220 benefits from a CMYKLcLm configuration with a three layer white ink option for additional versatility, and these are supplied in generous 3.25 litre containers.

Driven by the EFI Fiery XF RIP, also supplied and installed by CMYUK Digital, the software works closely with the throughput requirements of the printer, enabling users to combine images and jobs to optimise material usage. Output speeds of up to 84 square m/hour are complemented by fast change-over from rigid and roll-fed media and back again.

CMYUK’s Robin East comments: “This installation of an EFI-VUTEk UV-curable solution at Artworks Solutions is a typical example of how these printers excel in situations where variety and versatility are the key. Increasingly we are finding that users are wanting to produce unusual applications with complex effects and finishes and, in the past, these jobs wouldn’t have been possible.

“Now that workflow, media handling, inks and curing have been refined along with the actual design and construction of the printer itself, our users are constantly putting new demands on their machines,” East continues. “Inventive and innovative companies want to be able to experiment with different effects across a range of materials, and the EFI-VUTEk QS and GS families are designed to cope with taxing and difficult projects and applications whilst still retaining their unswerving ability to print longer runs, day in and day out, in both flat-bed and roll-fed modes.”

For Artwork Solutions, the investment in the EFI-VUTEk QS3220 means that the company can extend its creative ideas and applications to a wider range of clients. Sulzmann concludes: “Today’s display producers are becoming fiercely competitive but, for us, our experience means that we concentrate on market areas which so far remain virtually unchallenged. This latest investment will enable us to stretch our creative skills and attract new business from architects and designers as well as from our other customers who simply want well-produced and executed graphics for a variety of end uses.”



Using the free Virtual Printroom Calculator (built for UK EFI-VUTEK distributor CMYUK by the web development team here at LFR), now you can illustrate realistic profit forecasts based on both your current and projected print volumes. Simply enter your buy and sell prices, add your associated production cost elements, and click the ‘Calculate’ button.

It’s a completely free tool and you don’t even need to register to use it. Click here to do the maths now.


Efi Vutek Qs3220


SEAL Graphics at Fespa 2010: All you need to know about wide-format lamination in one place

Seal As1600

SEAL Graphics will be at Fespa 2010 with a comprehensive selection of its protective and mounting films.   These, together with three popular laminating machines: the SEAL 600 MD, the award-winning SEAL 62 Base and the AquaSEAL AS 1600, will cover a wide range of applications.

The AS 1600 applies water-based liquid varnishes onto a variety of media; while the roll laminators 600 MD and 62 Base have been developed to apply film laminates for the professional finishing of diverse materials.

AquaSEAL AS 1600

By applying a durable external coating the AquaSEAL 1600 is suitable for use with vinyl and waterproof inkjet media.  The liquid laminate protects digital prints against wear, humidity, UV radiation and chemicals.  Visitors to Fespa can see how varnish is applied onto printed digital non-woven wallpapers, such as Neschen's 'Erfurt wallpaper CA'.  Even though digital print wallpapers are robust themselves, it is recommended to apply a layer of clear varnish as an additional protection in high traffic areas, for example in doorways and lobbies in hotels and restaurants.

"The requirements in the graphics industry are extremely multifaceted", says Frank Seemann, marketing and communications director for the SEAL brand, "which is why we are keen to discuss with visitors which varnish is suitable for which medium and which application."

SEAL roll laminators 600 MD and 62 Base

The roll laminator SEAL 600 MD is a robust bidirectional, high-performance, high-demand device equipped with two heated roller pairs.  Due to its two roller pairs this high-performance machine can process hot and cold laminating applications independently.  Additionally, the device comes with variable temperature, velocity and pressure controls.  The rollers are lifted and lowered pneumatically enabling the operator to comfortable mount, laminate and shrink-wrap a variety of materials up to 1.550 mm wide and up to 25 mm thick.

The cost-effective laminator SEAL 62 Base is a powerful starter model equipped with all basic features which users need for professional mounting of finishing and protective films as well as double-sided adhesive film.  The fully developed roller technology reliably processes pressure-dependent materials up to a thickness of 50 mm at a velocity of up to 5 m/min.  Both rollers are made of silicone and the heat assisted (up to 40 C) top roller provides a high degree of consistent quality.  The maximum working width is 1.575 mm.

Among its myriad film laminates, SEAL expects three of its new products - UV Sol Lam, Print Shield Pro Anti Graffiti and Base Stoplight 190 - to be of particular interest.  The UV Sol Lam range consists of especially durable, pressure-sensitive PVC laminating films with a solvent adhesive to enhance all digital print technologies, especially those using UV-curing inks.  Bumps are evened out without problem, so that the print media are very well protected against damage as well as fading due to UVA and UVB radiation.

With its specially finished surface, Print Shield Pro Anti Graffiti film protects digital print media against graffiti and vandalism very effectively.  The film is washable and extremely resistant to damage by a large number of detergents and solvents.

Base Stoplight 190 is a strong polyester rear side film with an aluminium core and works as a light protection for roll-up displays.  Media are mounted to the self-adhesive film in a cold lamination process.