Matform expands capabilities with Mimaki spend
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Label manufacturer and engraving specialist Matform has taken on a Mimaki direct-to-object flatbed LED UV printer to expand its capabilities and applications.
The Chichester-based business took delivery of the Mimaki UJF-7151 Plus in April. Supplied by CMYUK, the machine has replaced a decade-old Mimaki UJF-3042 FX and will enable the business to produce labels more cost effectively, at higher quality and greater speeds.
With a printable 710x510mm bed size, the 1,200dpi device can print directly onto objects up to 153mm thick.
“With the 7151 Plus, we’re able to produce eight-up artwork, whereas with our old A3 machine we were restricted to two or three. Our investment exposes us to many new opportunities – taking us beyond labels and into the promotional side of the market,” said Matform sales manager Jon Tucker.
Works manager Ian Curling added: “We loved our old Mimaki but obviously, we were restricted by its A3 print size. With the Mimaki 7151 Plus, it’s comfortable enough for a single operator to either load six sheets or a large single one. We no longer have to turn work away.”
The capability to handle a wider variety of substrates will enable the company to attract new customers and, with them, new applications.
“The bigger bed allows us to print single large pieces, and place more specific shapes onto it,” said Tucker.
Matform is using Mimaki’s UV curable LH 100 inks, which emit very low levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) while the curing LED light does not radiate short wavelengths that generate ozone.
“The print quality is really good at whatever setting. We basically always run our Mimaki on a medium setting that gives excellent results for an industrial finish and the style of labels that we do. This setting works well on raised lettering – say about 2mm high – still with good definition and detail,” said Curling.
The 7151 Plus comes with process, white, and clear inks plus a primer, making it suitable for personalised giftware, bespoke products, control panels, pens, packaging, small- to medium-format rigid signage, instrumentation and gauge faces, custom components, branded electronic device cases, and covers.
Matform said it will use the white ink to carry out in-house cold embossing.
“The ink is quite forgiving. You can adjust the software for levels of opaqueness, you can lay down two coats of white or as many layers as you want. There’s also a varnish option,” said Curling.
“We’ve had quite a few customers ask us about producing Braille labels as we have the ability to build layers with the varnish to create a Braille effect.”
Established in 1969, Matform evolved from a traditional screen printer into a digital industrial labels manufacturer and digital printer. It is also an engraving specialist, having migrated from traditional techniques to adopting Trotec laser technology.
The company serves clients ranging from home-based inventors to international engineering companies.