LumeJet beta site Altaimage buys first S200
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Production agency Altaimage has transformed itself from a beta test site for the first LumeJet S200 digital photonic printer to customer by buying the machine for live work.
Managing director Rob King said the technology was targeted at photo books but his company in London's Docklands was using it for short-run print for bids and tenders because it offered "eye-pooping" quality. A good, but confidential, finance package from LumeJet sealed the deal, he said.
The S200 photonic digital printer is LumeJet’s first commercial offering. The inkless technology works in a similar way to an inkjet using light, rather than ink, to make dots less than 0.005mm on silver halide-based media. It has a maximum print size of 1,000mm x 305mm.
"The LumeJet S200 is a unique new printer and we’re looking forward to building a market for its amazing output," said King. "It's not high volume or super fast but it's ideal for bespoke work in runs of one to 10 or so with amazing 'wow factor' around the boardroom table. That's its niche."
His business had no big problems in the test phase, but the kit ran better at constant temperatures. Producing a high-value book could add about 50p/page to costs, putting £40 on an 80-page copy, which was why "the public must be made aware of the great quality – it's better than an Indigo".
King said the kit arrived with a swatch of 20 papers and he would like capacity to run more. He suggested the 12" depth of the kit could benefit from being twice as deep, while the ability to reverse print would cut the need to mount everything on boards.
The LumeJet S200 arrived at Altaimage’s Canary Wharf premises at the end of July and has been running since the beginning of August. The photonic technology is a little different from Altaimage’s other, more conventional ink or toner printers, he said.
"The print quality is fabulous, quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Fantastic photographs, eye-popping colours, sharp text and line art. Any agency using iPads for client presentations should get the prints made on it. It’s the hard-copy equivalent of a retina screen."