Norton makes wide-format investment

By Max Goldbart, Friday 04 November 2016

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Midlands-based Norton Printwear, Signage & Embroidery has invested in a used 1.4m-wide Roland Soljet XC-540 to handle an influx of wrapping and wallpaper jobs.


The investment included a used Easymount laminator

The machine, installed on 31 October, was purchased for £4,500 from another printer. Norton also bought an Easymount laminator, which it installed on the same day. 

Sutton Coldfield-based Norton’s print division accounts for almost 50% of revenue, according to its managing partner Matthew Smyth. The firm also provides direct-to-garment (DTG) printing services and embroidery.

Smyth said: “We needed the wide-format printer to account for wraps and wallpaper. I could have bought one of many machines but we already run a VersaCamm; it’s the same software and menu, so I feel like I know what I’m doing with it. It’s an old machine but it does print quite quickly, you can tell it has worked hard.

“We have recently had to turn away big jobs because we simply don’t have the capacity and if you outsource you cut some profit out of it so hopefully we can do full wraps now. We do a lot of work where embroidery is our first offering, so hopefully now we can also upsell.”

Smyth is considering upgrading the machine with a Colorific Lightbar, to enable it to run eco-solvent UV inks to reduce the time a substrate needs to dry before it can be laminated.

The six-colour Roland uses a VersaWorks 2.0 RIP, which features a spot colour library and functions for spot colour replacement. It prints at a maximum speed of 41sqm/hr at a maximum resolution of 1,440dpi.

“Roland has always been very reliable,” added Smyth.

“We bought a cutter from them that has been going for about 15 years and does not miss a beat and on the VersaCamm we haven’t had an engineer out in the six or seven years we have had it.”

Norton also runs an R-Jet 5 DTG printer, a Canon poster printer and a Graphtec laminator to work alongside the Easymount.

The four-staff outfit is looking to hire another member of staff and is considering purchasing an HP Latex in the new year. Last year, it turned over around £250,000.

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