The first machine arrived at the start of April and has now been fully commissioned. The presses represent an investment of £2.5m and are equipped with robot arms for loading/unloading. They are replacing two other Inca machines, an Onset R40i and an S50i.
While Newcastle-based Imprint assessed the market fully, it elected to stay with Inca as a “natural” progression to the technology it already had onsite. The machines will largely serve Imprint and Pureprint’s clients in the retail sector.
Imprint managing director Dave Bullivant said: “Looking back at our history, Imprint has always been at the forefront of digital investment; we were among the first companies to take on digital flatbed tech.
“But digital machines have a life cycle and our two Incas were coming to the end of theirs so the X3s were a clear natural upgrade. They are an advance on the technology in terms of quality and speed, as well as being built on a better-supported platform.
“The robotics were a key part of the decision too, allowing us to streamline the process by improving on the previous machines’ automated take-off capabilities. Now we can reduce lead times to the retail market, which is facing challenges where reactivity is critical.”
Delivery of the second Inca Onset X3 is expected at the beginning of June.
The 3.2x1.6m machines print at up to 900sqm/hr, cure with two UV lamps and are capable of both uni- and bi-direction printing. The Fujifilm-supplied machines will run with 14 colour channels for triple-CMYK, plus white or orange.
Also onsite at Imprint are an EFI Vutek HS125 hybrid printer, two Kongsberg digital cutting tables and a two-colour wide-format screen press, as well as guillotining, drilling and automated taping capabilities.
East Sussex-headquartered Pureprint Group acquired Imprint in 2014.
The latest investment also comes with three new hires at Imprint. Tony Mullarkey has joined in the new role of manufacturing director, while 3D designer Michael Sibley will be tasked with enhancing Imprint’s 3D offering and Rachel Garvin has also joined as new business manager.
Imprint is located across three sites in Newcastle. It employs 135 staff and contributes £15m to Pureprint Group’s £65m turnover. More than 400 people work across the group.