Wide-format printer Macro Art has invested around £600,000 in a range of new machinery and software including an EFI Vutek GS3250LX LED UV-curing printer and a Zünd G3 XL-3200 cutter.
The GS3250LX, which was installed at the St Neots-based firm’s 3,800sqm purpose-built facility last week, features cool cure technology, which allows for a much lower UV cure temperature and broadens the range of substrates the machine can print on.
The 3.2m-wide machine prints direct to substrate at a resolution of 1,000dpi and features white ink printing capabilities. In eight-colour-plus-white operation, the machine can output at 111.4sqm/hr.
“We wanted to diversify what we could offer to our clients. We are doing more and more project-based work which is bespoke built and utilises our current dye-sublimation PVC services,” said operations manager Adam McMonagle.
“But we know we can offer more with a hybrid machine because we can offer acrylics, Foamex, metals and a wider range of substrates that can complete the whole offering. With the cool curing, we can put a lot more lightweight heat-sensitive substrates through the machine.”
The firm also looked at alternative machines from Durst but decided to stay with EFI due to its existing relationship with the company.
“The machine complements our existing EFI Vutek GS5000 printer. The software works very similarly, the results are very similar and the support and back-up is a lot easier to manage. We know where we are with EFI,” said McMonagle.
Also included in the £600,000 spend is the Zünd G3 XL-3200 cutter, which will be used to complement the GS3250LX and also for the firm’s existing three-metre work when it’s installed at the end of August, and Caldera’s Flow+ MIS system.
“We wanted to look at three main areas: the front-end computer system, getting into the board work and the finishing side,” said McMonagle.
“We knocked out a few offices in the unit that we have adjoining our main factory to make way for the new machines so we have a dedicated area for them, although it is all linked to the main print hall.”
In June, the company was sold via a management buy-out led by managing director James Jennings and backed by YFM Equity Partners, which has provided the funding for the investment programme.
The firm, which employs 70 staff, has forecast an “almost 8%” increase on its £6.7m turnover in the current financial year.