23 Jan 2020

Autobond develops cross cutter for use with any make of laminator/encapsulator


Autobond has developed a stand alone cross cutter - the CC 76 - that can be used with any make of sheet-fed laminator or encapsulator, the first time the UK manufacturer has introduced a product that can be integrated with competitors’ equipment. The first model to be built at the Derbyshire factory is due to be delivered to a customer in Toronto during June, where it will be linked with both a Billhofer laminator and Autofeeds encapsulator to produce mouse-mats.

“The new CC 76 can be interfaced with any sheet-fed laminator or encapsulator and will cut material as thick as 500 micron (10 mil) polyester,” says managing director John Gilmore. “The CC 76 is the only dual purpose, stand alone cutter on the market. An arrowhead blade is used to cut laminated work and this can cross cut single-sided nylon and polyester where sheets have been under-lapped. The blade can be changed within a couple of minutes for a circular cutting disc, which enables the separation of encapsulated work.

“Material can be cut up to 76 cm (30 inch) wide and the CC 76 will handle any length of web. The length of sheet determines the throughout speed, and a B2 (28 inch) job should allow a top speed of 60 metres (200 ft) per minute. We believe there is a significant market for the new CC 76 amongst printers and finishing houses looking to extend the functionality of their laminating or encapsulating equipment, for example, to handle special materials such as metalised board or pressure sensitive adhesive stock.”

The servo-driven cross cutter is fitted with an in-feed facility that pulls in the web with great accuracy even at high speed. The web stops exactly at the centre of the gap, where the servo-driven flying knife cuts the film. Autobond has incorporated a high degree of automation into the CC 76, which makes it easy to operate and highly accurate.

The CC 76 can also be programmed to make a double cut for flush cut or tab work. Two dancing rollers ensure that the web is maintained at a constant tension throughout production, while ultrasonic detectors provide pinpoint accuracy for the servo driven flying knife. Separated sheets are delivered onto an optional speed-adjustable shingle table or straight into a vibrating jogger. If required, the CC 76 can be moved between equipment so that it can be linked to different laminators/encapsulators at a customer’s site.

Fulmar Boosts Prepress Production Facility With 'exceptional' High-speed Screen Platesetter

Screen PlateRite 8800ZX

Fulmar's focus on delivering superb quality at speed for some of the UK's top brands has led the company to invest £250,000 in a B1 Screen PlateRite 8800ZX platesetter, the fastest thermal platesetter in its class. Fulmar, part of the CPI Group, has also further streamlined production with a major workflow upgrade to Trueflow SE across two sites in Croydon. 

A guaranteed supply of plates to Fulmar's Group's Heidelberg presses comprising a total of 62 units is paramount. "We wanted a platesetter with exceptional throughput to cope with our considerable plate volume needs," says Mike Austin, Group Marketing Director. "Run lengths are growing shorter and response rates are faster and this investment was important to reduce our prepress times still further. With this latest investment we can now produce a full set of plates for one of our 12-colour presses in 15 minutes."

The PlateRite 8800ZX uses GLV (Grating Light Valve) imaging technology to output up to 51 Agfa thermal plates per hour. Integral plate punching and multi-cassette plate loader reduces handling time and ensures plates are quickly on press. Achieving the highest levels of quality is Fulmar's priority and the driver behind its new Trueflow SE workflow investment. Screen's PDF/JDF-enabled, prepress production system provides automated pre-flight, colour conversion, imposition, trapping and Ripping.

The company has achieved the ISO 12647 standard for colour process control which, in Mike's view, "is the backbone which keeps quality at the forefront in everything we do."  A highly efficient production suite complemented by strong environmental credentials (including ISO 14001 Environmental Management, Carbon Neutral manufacturing status, FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody Certification) has attracted an impressive client list.  This includes leading design groups and a raft of corporate clients.  "We expect to continue our investment plan throughout this year and have some strong thoughts regarding purchases at IPEX next year," says Mike.

New Roland MDX-40A Desktop Subtractive Rapid Prototyping Machine Offers Greater Ease of Use and Versatility


Hamamatsu, Japan. June 18 2009
- Roland DG Corporation is proud to announce the release of the company’s newest 3D desktop milling machine, the MODELA MDX-40A. The MDX-40A builds on Roland’s advanced Subtractive Rapid Prototyping (SRP) technology with advanced features and bundled CAM software that together make it more versatile and easier to use.

Prototyping is becoming increasingly important to today’s product development professionals. The MDX-40A allows these users to create models from their 3D CAD data, lowering their product development costs and shortening the development cycle. The MDX-40A enables these professionals to create prototypes that reflect a product’s functionality and appearance, key factors that determine its value to consumers. For example, the MDX-40A can mill the design and actual texture of an automotive gearshift prototype so both can be reviewed easily for the highest quality results.

“The MODELA MDX-40A is an ideal prototyping solution for R&D and design departments of manufacturers and vocational educators, and particularly for those without previous milling experience,” said Masataka Otake, Roland DG 3D product manager. “The MDX-40A also includes Roland’s own CAM software, SRP Player, which further increases its ease of use and functionality. “

With Roland SRP Player, users simply follow a step-by-step guide to set up the milling process. From this input, SRP Player automatically determines the right tools and optimum tool path. Roland ClickMILL™ software is included as well, allowing users to round edges, add pockets and holes, create fixtures and add last minute modifications, all without accessing their CAD software. An optional rotary axis unit enables users to mill objects at any angle from 0 to 360 degrees unattended.

Along with this product announcement, Roland has announced that existing MDX-40 customers can update their SRP machines with some of the new features and capabilities of the MDX-40A with a simple firmware upgrade, available upon the release of the new MDX-40A.

Roland MODELA MDX-40A 3D Milling Machine Features:
• Compact footprint of 699 mm (W) x 760 mm (D) x 554 mm (H) (26.34” x 29.9” x 21.8”) fits on the desktop.
• No special electrical installations are required and users can start prototyping immediately upon installation.
• Roland SRP Player CAM software is included and features simple step-by-step settings for easy operation and high quality milling.
• Roland ClickMill™ software is included and enables fast production and easy modifications. Users can surface materials, add holes and round edges – all without accessing their 3D CAD software.
• New on-screen operation panel offers additional functions, allowing the cursor to move in vertical, horizontal and oblique directions, and to a programmed position. It also allows users to adjust the speed of cursor movements for easier origin setting.
• A new optional rotary axis unit supports materials up to 270mm long by 120mm in diameter (10.63” long by 4.72” in diameter). This is four times the capacity of the previous model and large enough to mill a 500ml (16.9oz.) PET bottle.
• Supports NC code (G-code) for both professional and educational applications.

Roland Subtractive Rapid Prototyping Technology
Subtractive Rapid Prototyping (SRP) has several advantages over traditional additive rapid prototyping. SRP devices cost significantly less while producing prototypes from a wider variety of low-priced materials including ABS, acrylic, chemical woods, plaster and styrene form. With SRP, professionals can design prototypes using materials that closely match the substrate of the final product, so that the integrity and mechanical attributes of the design can be reviewed. SRP produces beautiful finishes with smooth curved surfaces, allowing designers to check the texture as well as the design.

Mimaki Summer Promotion makes investment even more attractive


Hybrid Services Ltd announce a limited time promotion on Mimaki’s award winning, integrated solvent printer / cutters – the CJV30 Series – with two of the four sizes currently benefiting from greatly reduced prices.

The Mimaki CJV30-60 is a 60cm wide integrated solvent printer / cutter and sports a multitude of production features that set it – and its larger brothers – apart from alternative machines. Its ability to run white ink, unique die cut feature, big onboard ink supply, powered take up unit and seamless print and cut workflow without operator intervention, all add up to an award winning product that is currently available for just £7,995. That price also includes a fully comprehensive Gold warranty, a feature packed software bundle and over 3.5 litres of ink.

With a choice of eco or full solvent inks, the CJV30 Series really does give the signmaker more choice than ever before. That choice is broadened further with the unique 1m sized variant – opening up even more possibilities for wide format printing from a machine with an ultra-compact footprint. At just £9,995, the CJV30-100 comprehensively dispatches alternative (and narrower) machines and floors them on performance as well as value for money.

John de la Roche – National Sales Manager for Mimaki’s UK & Ireland distributor, Hybrid Services Ltd – said of the promotion; “There’s never been a better time to invest in a Mimaki than now, and with this combination of award winning product and hugely competitive pricing, it makes a sound investment even more appealing. We’re conscious that this is a limited time promotion, so it’s important to get a demo booked and order placed now to ensure you benefit from the savings.”

Very well received at recent exhibitions in the UK and Europe, the Mimaki CJV30 Series range also includes a 130cm and 160cm machine, and forms just part of Mimaki’s huge complement of solutions for the sign and graphics professional.

Agfa appoints CMYUK Digital to distribute Anapurna M family

Anapurna M2

No-one can have missed the impact that CMYUK Digital has made on the wide-format market in the UK with its in-depth knowledge of the industry complemented by a broad experience of handling colour and understanding every aspect of ink-jet production. As UK distributor for EFI VUTEk’s family of digital printers, complemented by Zünd’s precision computerised cutting systems, the company has now filled the third corner of the triangle through its recent appointment by Agfa to handle its Anapurna M series.

These latest additions to CMYUK’s portfolio of quality products is a logical one and helps to consolidate the company’s position as a leading, successful distributor in the UK. Since its arrival on the market, the Anapurna M Series of combination flat-bed and roll-fed printers has proved to be extremely popular amongst display producers and sign-makers, offering as it does an economic selection of UV-curable solutions which produces photographic quality onto a wide range of rigid and flexible materials.

CMYUK Digital’s Robin East had been looking for a modestly priced printer family for some time but hadn’t rushed into providing historic technologies within this cost sector because none fitted his criteria in terms of quality and duty cycle. “I’d been watching the growth of the Anapurna M range for a while and it struck me that, with its capabilities and pricing, it would be the perfect complement to our high-end EFI VUTEk solutions,” he states. “The opening for us came with the cessation of one of Agfa’s initial distribution agreements in the UK. The timing proved to be perfect for CMYUK Digital, fitting in with our growth plans and intent to cover all equipment investment levels across the UV-curable market.

“Of vital importance, too, is the fact that we refuse to compromise our existing portfolio with a series which hasn’t been proven in the market and didn’t have a good track record,” East continues. “All Agfa equipment sold by us will come complete with all the peace of mind a user deserves and needs, including a manufacturer’s full warranty and, of course, our own technical support. And, in common with our other technologies, all inks and consumables will be supplied from our central ware-house, including an on-line ordering option.”

With many happy customers giving testimony to the levels of service they receive from CMYUK, the company has built up a strong reputation for providing a very efficient follow-through in terms of support and this starts before a machine is purchased. Pre-sales and consultancy are backed-up with full product analysis to make sure that the buyer is getting the right machine for his work-flow and output requirements, and an important emphasis is based on business development and a sensible return on investment.

“CMYUK Digital’s initial consultancy analyses the specific requirement from the customer’s applications, and helps specify accurately the solution required. The implementation of equipment includes bespoke client site surveys, and co-ordination of associated electrical, air and data services. Full training is provided covering machine operation, application techniques and colour profiling,” East explains.

The company stresses it is fully conversant with the training and software side of running a wide-format machine, including RIPs, colour management and profiling to make sure that users of printers supplied produce the correct results, thus reducing wasted output and associated costs. “We strive for trouble-free implementation, working with customers to make sure that they can be productive from the completion of installation — and this is a principle we apply across the board, no matter how large or small the investment,” says East. “We are always available as the client’s first point of contact when it comes to support, liaising with the manufacturer if necessary to minimise down-time and ensuring that upgrades are available as soon as they are released.”

Having made a name for itself as a highly regarded distributor of EFI VUTEk printers and Zünd finishing tables, the addition of Agfa’s Anapurna M series will enable display producers to rely on a dependable source from which to purchase all products. Many potential clients are first-time users of UV-curable ink-jet printers and some are moving into digital production from other print and display related sectors so have minimal knowledge of how combination flat-bed and roll-fed systems work. A further section of users comes from those who are familiar with the technology but who need extra capabilities for high quality colour work. CMYUK Digital’s experience covers all bases and, as East emphasises, no two users are the same and should never be treated as such.

Following the signing of the agreement at FESPA Digital in May, CMYUK Digital is now distributor for the four current Agfa Anapurna M models, as well as any future additions to the range. All of these are sturdily and ergonomically constructed as a stable platform from which to output direct to rigid substrates as well as to flexible materials, featuring dual-board and borderless printing. The machines are designed to output all types of application including front-lit and back-lit posters, banners, signs and displays, exhibition graphics, point-of-purchase and indoor and outdoor advertising applications. Their resolution of 720 x 1440 dpi makes the printers ideal for any photorealistic job up to 1.6 m wide and users can even produce wide-format photographic and fine-art jobs on their Anapurnas.

Since the original six-colour Anapurna M was first introduced by Agfa, the series has been enhanced with the addition of options which have brought the display industry an efficient family of products that won’t break the bank. For users wanting to incorporate varnish into their jobs, the Anapurna Mv represents probably the lowest cost option on today’s market with its ability to handle spot and overall coverage. Those who want a four-colour flat-bed and roll-to-roll unit can choose the entry-level Anapurna M4F whilst companies who want a white ink capability can now opt for the recently launched Anapurna Mw. These machines all feature Konica-Minolta’s tried and trusted KM512 piezo electric print-heads.

Also new this year, and launched at Sign & Digital UK, is the Anapurna M2 — pronounced “squared” — which CMYUK Digital sees as being a best-seller. This model features enhanced automation, a special vacuum strength control system for smoother material transport at higher speeds and shuttle safety sensors which protect the print-heads, in this case the Konica-Minolta KM1024 which features 1024 nozzles and is designed to be energy efficient through its low power requirements. Agfa’s also simplifed the media loading with the M2, making it easy to handle different materials, thanks to the automated registration bars and head height adjustment. Unlike many printers in this category, there’s also an ionising bar which eliminates static, thus enhancing adhesion and crispness of fine details and text.

East believes it has been well worth the wait to find the right machine to fit into CMYUK Digital’s product portfolio. “The Anapurna M family completes the triangle for us, bringing a high quality modestly priced printer series to our growing list of customers who want to move to UV-curable production but who don’t want to deal with a different distributor,” he concludes. “The Agfa brand needs no introduction, and we’re proud to be adding the company’s name to our equipment range.”


Canon extends large format offering with Colortrac SmartLF Ci 40 scanner

The Colortrac Ci 40 scanner with the Canon imagePROGRAF 820 large format printer

Canon Europe, world leader in imaging solutions, has today announced the addition of Colortrac’s SmartLF Ci 40 scanner to its large format range of solutions for CAD and GIS users. As a high speed, compact scanner, the SmartLF Ci 40 scans detailed technical documents with precision, making it ideal for CAD & GIS businesses, as well as governments and libraries. When combined with a Canon imagePROGRAF printer, users can scan to print and archive, or copy technical documents with a high level of detail and accuracy in a more time- and cost-effective way using minimal energy and space.

As an Energy Star qualified scanner, the Colortrac SmartLF Ci 40 scanner enables users to minimise energy usage. With a scanning speed of up to 10 inches per second, the device, like the imagePROGRAF large format printers, helps to reduce the time taken to print, scan and copy documents. It uses CIS technology with a 600dpi optical resolution to ensure accurate reproduction of detailed documents and images

A plug and play USB 2.0 connection ensures it is simple to set-up. The inclusion of Colortrac’s SmartLF all-in-one software allows users to start scanning straight away. They can easily scan originals face-up and load and retrieve documents from the front, making it possible to position the scanner in tight spaces, even against the wall.

James Casey, European Product Marketing Professional for LFS says, “CAD and GIS users need to reproduce maps, drawings, engineering schematics, blueprints or logs quickly, accurately and cost effectively. By offering this scanner to extend the capabilities of our large format solutions, we can help them achieve exceptional reproductions without any loss of the quality and detail of the original documents”.

The Colortrac SmartLF Ci 40 is available across Europe now through selected Canon dealers.