No other solution would suffice when this business required more capacity for its on-demand canvas gifting service printed exclusively on UFabrik Canvas Textile
CMYUK has installed a Canon Colorado 1650 UVgel printer at ESP Smile, part of the ESP Group of companies. This brings the business’ Colorado count to three, which together form the production engine of its print-on-demand canvas gifting service.
The purchase of a third Colorado was to ensure the continued smooth 24/7 delivery of canvasses in the light of increasing output volumes.
The business launched its on-demand service in 2017 with the purchase of a Canon Colorado 1640 that output up to 50,000 canvasses per year. Increased volumes led to the purchase of a Colorado 1650 in 2020, which saw output rise to 250,000 canvases per annum, the new system allows ESP to output 350,000 canvases per annum.
“We bought the Canon Colorado rather than any other printer out there because we’ve found something that really works for us,” says Simon Smogur, CEO, ESP Group.
“There’s nothing like it out there in the market. It scores top marks for everything: capital costs, running costs, reliability, quality, and speed. People have asked why we haven’t invested in a larger faster industrial printer, but then I’d have a single point of failure, and also if I ever needed it, I know Canon’s service is second to none. So, no thank you.”
The new Colorado has seamlessly slipped into the existing production workflow, and operated by existing staff, no further training or recruitment has been necessary. “It’s minimal effort for maximum gains,” says Simon.
The Colorado 1650 is a 4-colour 1.6m printer that features a revolutionary UVgel inkset. It can automatically switch between matt and gloss inks, and thanks to the new FLXfinish can print both of these finishes on the same print in a single pass. Even the most stringent deadlines can be achieved thanks to blistering output speeds for ultrafast job turnarounds. Two media rolls with online switching, and ink refilling on-the-fly ensure uninterrupted printing for peerless productivity.
The Colorado family of printers has been engineered from the ground up, designed for unattended printing with continual nozzle monitoring, automatic printhead maintenance, automated media feed, and a roll winding option. Its low ink and energy consumption drive down running costs, while inbuilt printhead reliability and low maintenance optimise printer uptime.
“The gifting market is very competitive, and so the Colorados run 24/7 in peak periods. We leave them printing unattended overnight when no one is here. With some machines, you can’t trust that you’d get breakdowns and issues, but the opposite is true for the Canon Colorado, which makes the running of these machines very cost effective,” says Simon.
UFabrik, the perfect media partner
ESP Group regards CMYUK as a trusted partner for the purchase of its equipment and materials. It is also the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland of UFabrik, a curated range of products that accounts for 95% of all wide-and super-wide format applications. ESP Smile uses UFabrik Canvas Textile exclusively for the output of all its canvas print work. Made from 100% polyester, it has a bright white print surface that is compatible with UV and Latex inks. It features a unique, dual coating – a top layer for ink reception and a bottom coating for durability – both of which ensure superior colour results.
Says Simon, “We’ve looked at lots of canvas materials and took it upon ourselves to compare UFabrik to several other products. We found that UFabrik’s colour reproduction was noticeably more vibrant than the others. Also, when you stretch printed canvas onto a frame, the stretcher bars have the ability to poke through on the corners, and where the print wraps over, a white line can appear, but not with UFabrik. We currently buy about 800 to 1000 rolls a year and rate its quality and consistency.
“We have a great relationship with CMYUK and if we continue to grow in large format, we will probably buy another Colorado. I have never ever had any issues with this printer, which is something you can never underestimate.”