New equipment brings all soft signage printing in-house, saving time, money, and serviced by a single supplier
Event Technology Group has invested in a Mimaki UJV55-320 UV LED dedicated 3.2m roll-to-roll printer and a Mimaki UCJV300-160 UV LED 1.6m integrated printer and cutter from CMYUK. The installation ensures that the business will no longer have to outsource any of its soft signage / textile printed work, saving both time and money.
The new equipment has been installed at the group’s scenic production company, Set.Build.Create, which provides a wide selection of set design and graphic capabilities including exhibition stands, large format print, experiential services set for theatres and stages. Additionally, the business supports all other companies within the Berkshire-based group with signage mostly for the events and exhibitions sector. However, with this new investment the group intends to further its reach to a far wider market.
The key driver for installing the Mimaki UJV55-320 UV LED printer in-house was to establish greater control and efficiency.
“We print soft signage/textile left, right, and centre, and were keen to increase efficiencies that the tight deadlines of live events dictate. We were spending thousands outsourcing. We were finding that clients’ artwork at times required really short timelines that meant they had to be printed last minute. We could then be faced with rush charges, you can find you’re paying out up to £5 per square metre, which when you’re printing at volume really adds up. By bringing a 3.2m printer in-house, we can work up to the wire, not be beholden to anyone else’s time agendas, and importantly for the client, stay within an acceptable budget,” says Chris Norman, Founder and CEO, Event Technology Group.
“Post COVID, we’ve noticed that brands are moving away from Foamex and moving towards textile printing and complete wraps. We were finding that we were having real trouble securing printing slots for our outsourced work,” adds Sarah Hamilton, Operations Director.
The Mimaki UJV55-320 delivers super-wide UV LED high-quality print at volume. This 3.2m wide dedicated roll-to-roll printer is suitable for multiple applications including banners, retail displays, exhibitions, events, window graphics, and more. The addition of twin-roll simultaneous printing ensures enhanced throughput speeds and increased productivity. It offers a resolution of up to 1200dpi and incorporates Mimaki’s Advance Pass System core technology that utilises an algorithm pattern to reduce banding, for superior output, even at higher speeds.
Mimaki integrated print and cut
The installation of the Mimaki UCJV300-160 UV LED printer cutter replaces a 1.6m wide HP Latex printer and an old Mimaki cutter. “We were in the process of decommissioning the HP Latex when we saw the offers on the Mimaki equipment from CMYUK. With the UCJV300-160 being a printer and cutter in one, we’ve been able to slim down, and now we can produce white and spot varnish on banners and other smaller print jobs,” says Chris.
The Mimaki Clear ink capability has already demonstrated its worth. Originally a campaign for a well-known soft drink required print to be laminated to board and covered with Perspex so that the final image looked like a fridge. Instead, the clear ink was applied to create the effect, negating the need for lamination and Perspex.
“When we ordered the Mimaki, I wasn’t aware at the time how much the clear ink would be used, but I knew it was unique,” says Chris.
Due to the high temperature required in the printing process, Latex printers can only output to a limited range of media, In addition, the heat required utilises more energy and therefore increases running costs.
The Mimaki UCJV300-160 can be used on an extended range of materials such as banner, self-adhesive PVC, transparent PET film, paper, backlit media, polyester fabrics, and more. It has high scratch resistance, low running costs, offers up to eight colours including White and Clear inks, and uses Mimaki Core Technologies for high image quality and stable production.
House of Mimaki
Sarah and Chris rate Mimaki technology for its build quality, reliability, running efficiency, colour performance, and the fact that it comes with Rasterlink software.
“Running two Mimakis will ensure uniform consistent colour across all our output, but importantly, we have CMYUK as our single supplier, a reliable point of reference for equipment support and maintenance needs,” says Chris.
The new equipment will run alongside an existing Mimaki flatbed printer. Additional staff including a new Head of Print will be joining, and for the first time the group will be offering its print production services to the wider trade.
Says Chris, “We didn’t just buy the new equipment for internal purposes, not everyone has got a 3.2m printer sitting about. We’re also in a unique position where we’re not just a printing company, however, we want to keep the printer busy and selling to the trade was a big driver. Having white and clear ink on the smaller printer/cutter was an active decision too, allowing us to offer a real differentiator.”