GJ Plastics eyes new roll-to-roll kit following Summa install

Simon Nias
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

GJ Plastics is looking to buy a new roll-to-roll wide format printer following the installation of a Summa F1612 cutter at the end of last year.

The Manchester-based printer, which specialises in designing and manufacturing its own range of acrylic and other plastic signage and display products capped a two-year £250,000 spend with the Summa install.

Also included in the spend was an HP FB500 flatbed UV printer, laser cutting equipment from Nottingham-based CadCam Technology and a diamond polisher for finishing acrylic sheets.

Graham Croston, managing director of GJ Plastics, said the firm was planning an additional roll-to-roll investment in the coming months to cope with rising demand.

"We're getting busier and busier and we need to increase capacity to keep up with demand," he said. "We're fairly open minded about the manufacturer, although HP have been very good, and about whether we go for possibly latex or another UV machine.

"Paramount to us is the quality of the print and the products that we do. We started out as a display manufacturer for major bluechip companies, premier league football clubs, etc. We then developed into the signage industry but bringing our exacting standards from the display industry.

"My background is as a qualified engineer and as well as designing our own products we're not averse to designing and building our own equipment or looking at using standard equipment but knowing how to set the equipment up to do certain things differently.

"For instance, we can print products and heat-bend them without damaging the inks - we've designed the capabilities and we don't know anyone else as yet who can do it."

GJ Plastics' latest machine - the Summa F1612 - was supplied by City and West End Solutions (CWE). It is capable of cutting rigid materials as well as roll stock and features automatic tool recognition, as well as digital and mechanical depth control.

Since installing the machine the firm has slashed production time for roller banners, Correx and Foamex signs and added cardboard engineering to its product range.

"We can now manufacture our own cardboard packing boxes, which offers huge - and unexpected - advantages for us," said Croston. "The ability to tailor-make each box to be the perfect fit for our huge range of products means we no longer have to keep thousands of different sized boxes in stock."

This has resulted in "a massive space saving" and "reduced manufacturing costs".

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