Imprint Group targets new markets following £2m Inca spend

Simon Nias
Monday, October 20, 2014

Imprint Group has become the first printer in the UK to install both the Inca Onset S50i and the Onset R40i as part of a nearly £2m upgrade to its wide-format digital print capability.

The Newcastle-based POS printer has replaced two of the three Onset S20 printers it purchased four years ago with the two new devices, which were supplied by Inca's worldwide distributor Fujifilm.

Based on Inca's Onset Scalable Architecture platform, the S50i and R40i feature the same 3.14x1.6m flatbed, Fujifilm Dimatix Spectra printheads and Uvijet inks, but differing output speeds and drop sizes.

The S50i is Inca's most productive flatbed, with a 27pl drop size and maximum output of 145 full beds per hour (725sqm/hr). It has eight ink channels and is available with CMYK plus light colours and white, or dual CMYK, which Imprint Group has specified.

The R40i, launched at Fespa 2014, has a 14pl drop size and 80 full beds per hour (400sqm/hr) max output. Imprint Group has opted for a CMYK, light cyan, Light magenta configuration, giving it the option to add white using the spare two ink channels once the white option becomes available.

Inca designed the R40i to bridge the gap between its highest quality Q40i printer and the high-productivity S40i. Imprint Group sales director Dave Matthews said the R40i's combination of productivity and quality would open new markets for the company.

"Our business has grown tremendously over the past three or four years, which meant we needed to increase capacity. We were looking at the S50i and we decided we wanted something to run alongside it as well to target new markets, which led to us getting the R40i as well," he said.

"The print quality on the R40i is incredible - we printed a job last week with 6pt text on it, which is ridiculous for a press this size. It's going to open up things like the backlit market, where traditionally you would use a Lambda, and remove the need for litho print-and-mount for FSDUs [floor standing display units] because this allows you to print the same quality direct to substrate."

In addition to the new S50i and R40i, which were installed in early September and October respectively, Imprint Group has also upgraded the ink system on its remaining S20, bringing it in line with the two new machines.

"That will give us better colour consistency across all three presses and it means we'll be able to get a very similar result, if not exactly the same, on any device," said Matthews.

All three presses are equipped with 3/4 automation and primarily used for retail POS work. Matthews added that the company has budgeted for additional capex next year, potentially on the finishing side where the company has a Kongsberg digital cutting table and a number of platens.

Imprint Group employs around 100 staff and has increased its turnover from around £7.4m in 2012 to just shy of £10m this year. Matthews added that the company was aiming for "considerable growth" next year as well.

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