KI&C GmbH, of Norderstedt, near Hamburg, has installed the first HP Designjet L65500 Printer in Germany and is using it to explore new markets as well as replacing solvent-based prints.
Though a very small company with only three employees, KI&C is an extremely productive one and has attracted leading companies as customers for its large and wide format printing, including ones in the United States. An HP customer from the time it was a software business, KI&C has evolved its strategy, products and markets from its first HP Designjet 650 Printer in 1999, and an HP Designjet 3500 Printer, to the installation of the HP Designjet L65500 Printer, using HP Latex Inks.
In a bid to challenge the limits of superwide-format display production, the Virtu RR50 UV-curable roll-to-roll ink-jet printer manufactured by WP Digital is now available in the UK and Ireland from Digital Print Innovations (DPI). Armed with the ability to print on almost any flexible material up to five metres wide at speeds up to 320sq m/hr, the RR50 is not only highly productive but brings 1200dpi addressable resolution to this end of the market in configurations which can include six colours (CMYK, Lc and Lm) and white, making it a formidable proposition for display businesses.
This combination of speed and quality makes the RR50 suitable for a plethora of applications for both indoor and outdoor use, including point-of-sale, vehicle wraps, banners and flags, but also for the creation of billboards and hoardings in one piece. “Previously, five-metre machines were limited by the variety of substrates that they could print to and the type of quality they would receive at the business end, restricting them to external applications with long viewing distances,” explains Stewart Bell, managing director of DPI. “The addition of superior graphics quality to the five-metre width creates an armoury of new opportunities for display producers.”
The Virtu RR50 benefits from the heritage of meticulous Swiss engineering that WP Digital, formerly known as Spühl, is renowned for, giving the machine its compact yet robust footprint – (h) 2.5 x (w) 8.3 x (d) 2.3m, weight 10,000kg – while featuring innovative and practical developments in ink-jet technology. Linear motors eliminate belts, instead running the heads on a monorail-type system; this reduces a bandwidth of traditional problems – such as vibration – while improving acceleration and dot placement. Other sensible production features include an in-built, multi-station X-Y tool for accurate cutting and an anti-static device on the head-assembly, as well as multi-roll capability.
“The machine’s strengths start with complex inventions – such as the linear motor-driven technology – but continue to pragmatic inclusions such as front-loading,” says Bell, whose experience in the UV-curable market stretches back to its inception. “These types of invention mean that the RR50 can actually be handled by a single operator with the aid of a remote control loader. The precision of the rollers and excellent material handling help to put the print quality and ease-of-use in a class of its own. For example, it’s able to print a bulk five-metre roll of flag material with ease.”
Available in 36 or 48 print-head configurations which can add white to either a four- or six-colour workflow, the Virtu RR50 features a high-productivity ink-feed system which provides for six litres per colour. This allows the user to benefit from bulk prices and, most significantly, the fact that less time is wasted changing the inks. The UV-curable, pigmented inks provide prodigious durability while also being VOC-free.
“DPI’s pedigree in UV-curable systems is a perfect match for the Virtu RR50, and we know that there is room to make in the display market for a printer that can do both high quality and high volume,” Bell continues. “With many specifiers demanding these traits from an eco-friendly production machine, we can say, comfortably, that this is the solution. We have already seen significant interest from clients using five-metre machines who want to trade up and take advantage of better material handling and print quality.”
While the RR50 is suited to the whole gamut of display production, DPI says that it will be of particular interest to all printers who are looking to convert to digital, especially from the screen-printing discipline. Bell stresses that DPI is best placed to provide this service. “Because we understand the precise calibration needed to get the best out of this formidable machine but can also provide the ongoing service, we know the RR50 will appeal to all sorts of producers,” he concludes.
As market leader in Pop-Up and Roll-Up display systems, SEAL Graphics guards its position jealously. Which is why it constantly strives to offer better value-for-money and more technologically advanced products to ensure its continued success.
Two of the latest films to be launched are the company’s Base Stoplight 190 and Jet Guard Crystal Lite, both economical versions of the company’s best-sellers. Although designed to be used in conjunction with each other as part of a complete display solution, they are both equally usable as stand-alone products.
The first is an ideal low cost solution for Pop-Up displays and other short term applications using heated roller laminators. Like its more expensive stablemate Stoplight films it contains an essential light-blocking core.
The second is a lightweight but hard wearing overlaminate with a crystal textured finish, also for use with heated laminators. It offers excellent scratch-resistant properties and is suitable for general lamination of photographic and inkjet media in short term applications.
Colouration, a London-based visual solution provider with a strong footprint in producing retail and store displays for the fragrance and cosmetics industry, has become the first company in the UK to install the high speed Océ Arizona® 550 GT UV flatbed printer.
Océ, an international leader in digital document management and printing for professionals, has strengthened its range of Océ Arizona UV flatbeds – the world’s number one selling product family in this sector – with the launch of the Océ Arizona 550 GT printer. The system is the fastest yet, printing at twice the speed of other Océ Arizona models; it can produce more than 40 square metres of high quality printing per hour, with stunning prints suitable for closely-viewed signage and Point of Purchase, made possible by Océ’s unique VariaDot™ imaging technology.
Colouration first saw the new system late in 2009, during a trip to Océ headquarters in Venlo, The Netherlands, and was immediately impressed, says Managing Director Tony Dennington: “We went to Venlo and we liked what we saw. We did some tests of our own, and the quality was as good as, or better, than anything else out there. There are more expensive machines, but this is better. It was by far the best machine we looked at.”
Dennington reveals that the Océ Arizona 550 GT printer, which was installed in late January, will have a significant impact on the 31-staff company’s business. Colouration produces a lot of “visual merchandising” for retail and department stores – anything from magnetic wallpaper to backlit display units to hanging banners. Clients have included prestigious brands such as Thierry Mugler, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.
Before installing the Océ Arizona 550 GT printer, the company had to print onto rolls, and then mount the substrate onto board or perspex. Now, using the flatbed Océ Arizona 550 GT printer, Colouration can print direct to a wide variety of media types, including metals, woods, acetates and acrylics. The system also comes with a Roll Media Option, which Colouration has chosen to take, as it also has with the White Ink Option to augment the four-colour output with under- and over-printing capability.
Dennington says: “This is going to open the door to so many new ideas, things that we hadn’t even talked about in the past. Our creative team are falling over themselves coming up with new applications. For visual merchandising, the Océ Arizona 550 GT printer is a dream, with the quality, the detail it can produce, and the speed. I’m very, very happy.”
The Océ Arizona 550 GT printer allows print companies to take on peak demand and rush jobs with confidence, due to its productivity and image quality. The next generation model in the award-winning Océ Arizona Series, it uses UV curable inks and Océ VariaDot technology to deliver near-photographic image quality. Designed as a true flatbed, it can print on a wide range of rigid substrates up to 1.25 by 2.5 metres, and roll media up to 2.2 metres wide.
Dominic Fahy, Business Group Director, Display Graphics and Imaging Supplies, said: “The initial response to the Océ Arizona 550 GT printer has been overwhelmingly positive, as companies like Colouration have found. Océ is proud of its reputation as an innovative company that’s continually bringing new products and services to the market. This is a major step forward with another addition to the world’s number one selling product family in this sector. We are delighted.”
GTMS’ production capabilities and client satisfaction are set to soar in 2010 thanks to the arrival of new printing and finishing machinery.
The leading event production company is kick starting the spring with the purchase of a Vutek Flatbed UV Printer set to ensure quicker turnaround time and greater throughput.
As the first flatbed printer at GTMS, the Vutek machine will allow printing direct to substrate up to 2m wide and printing 3m x 2m sheets in one piece is now achievable - a marked improvement on the firm’s former printing process of roll to roll printing.
The Hampshire based firm is complimenting the purchase of the flatbed printer with a Kongsburg CNC cutter which will also increase its efficiency. As finishing times can bottle neck the production process, this new cutting machine will speed up finishing times by 50-60%.
Dominik Short, GTMS’ Director said, “We are delighted with the two fantastic additions to our printing and finishing departments. Investing in equipment is essential in order to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry and can consistently offer our clients a bigger and better service.”
The Vutek flatbed printer can print directly onto many substrates from foam PVC, foamboards, cardboard, dibond and acrylic. GTMS are also trialing a new plywood based material that will be advantageous to the building industry for hoardings.
“We decided that purchasing a used flatbed printer was a sensible option given the current climate. The Vutek printer will look after existing requirements and allow us to develop new business with a view to upgrading in 18 months’ time,” added Dominik.
In addition to offering branding and event production, GTMS provides exceptional print services for large scale and complex projects, in addition to offering branding and event production. With 25 years’ experience under its belt and a wealth of prestigious clients – including the BBC, Bacardi, Fat Face and an array of experiential, marketing and PR agencies, GTMS takes care of every aspect from the initial design through to the production and installation by its expert team.
GTMS’ forward-thinking team of 26 employees operates from under one roof – a 38,000 sq. ft purpose-built site complete with offices, print house, build workshops and warehouse.
HP will be showcasing a comprehensive selection of its portfolio of large to super-wide format digital printing solutions on its stand (Hall B2 Stand120) at FESPA in Munich.
HP's Application City comprises several distinct areas, which reflect the market demands for key applications. HP offers the broadest portfolio of sign and display printers on the market, optimised for each of these sectors, and will be running themed live jobs and demonstrations as well as showing actual applications.
Areas featured comprise:
Packaging and POP
Banners and Flags
Billboards and Posters
On the stand HP will be demonstrating its products that are at the forefront of the analogue to digital revolution, as well as those incorporating innovative latex technology, which are leading the greening of sign and display printing.
In addition to new products, HP will be showing HP SmartStream Designer 4.0 software that processes data for Variable Data Printing (VDP) for wide format localised applications. Improved productivity, internal cost reduction and immediacy are among the key benefits. VDP offers electronic collation (the sequential printing of graphics for a specific destination) and versioning (tailoring graphics for a region or venue). Creating jobs with templates and fixed data or variable text and image elements for merging with data lists can lead to time and cost savings as well as increased versatility for increased marketing capabilities.
HP representatives will also be on-hand to discuss the HP's Print Care programme, which enables customers to gain uptime and achieve virtually continuous printing by providing diagnostic and print quality assistance tools.
Products on the stand include:
The HP Designjet L25500 Printer, which offers easy, low-maintenance printing of a wider range of applications - from indoor point-of-purchase displays, exhibition graphics and interior décor like wall murals and fabrics to outdoor banners, bus shelters and vehicle wraps - than is possible with eco-solvent or traditional water-based printing alone(1)
The HP Scitex FB7500 Printer, which delivers industry-leading productivity along with high print speeds and standard three-quarter automation, set to become a market leader in the analog to digital 'revolution'
The HP Scitex XP5300 Printer, designed for high-speed, high-volume industrial print environments, it offers a powerful combination of industry-leading print speeds(2) and high-quality UV inks.
The HP Scitex XP2750 Printer, a 3.2m wide-format UV ink printer with a new integrated flatbed module that delivers high-quality output up to 635 x 800dpi (1270 x 1600dpi apparent) on both flexible and rigid media. With a maximum speed of 110m²/hr, the printer is ideal for high-volume environments looking for flexibility of output.
"HP is pleased to be continuing its Corporate Sponsorship of FESPA for the fourth year running. Print service providers operate in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment, with increased demands from customers and brand managers". Said François Martin, marketing director, Graphics Solutions Business EMEA, HP. "Keeping ahead of the competition is essential and FESPA is the best venue for PSPs to visit the HP stand and see the latest cutting edge technology."
Large Format Review provides daily breaking news on digital printer technology as used for commercial production of print for wide-format sign and display, dye-sublimation textile and fabric printing, packaging and industrial applications. We also cover 3D print and additive manufacturing.