POS specialist Showcard Print has kicked off a £3m round of investments by taking on an Inca Digital Onset X3 with robotic arm system supplied by Fujifilm.
Letchworth-based Showcard took delivery of the new 3.2m-wide machine in March to replace an ageing Onset S70 the company had run for “a number of years”.
With the addition of a robotic arm attachment, Showcard aims to increase its efficiency, productivity and accuracy in order to cut costs and streamline work.
“Looking for a new machine to replace the S70, we considered the market in some depth,” said managing director Mark Smith. “We have enjoyed a close working relationship with Fujifilm and Inca going back more than 20 years, and regardless of what other manufacturers we considered, we concluded that the X3 was the best option on the market.
“Taking all the criteria into account and particularly when linked with the robotic arm we felt it was by far the best machine for us, and we have been delighted with combination so far. The X3 will give us faster print speeds with greater quality, while also being better for the environment, as it uses less ink than its predecessor. This allows us to continue to meet our clients’ needs, delivering high-quality printing at competitive prices.
“Our highly skilled staff have all been retrained to work with the new machine and are really excited to use it.”
Described as an “ultra-high productivity” machine, the Inca Digital Onset X3 takes substrates sized up to 3.22x1.6m at a maximum thickness of 50mm. It prints at what Inca called a “blistering” speed of 900sqm/hour. Its 14 channels feature three sets of CMYK plus the choice of white or orange.
Alongside the X3, Showcard still runs an Inca Digital Onset S50.
Including the Inca, Showcard is spending £3m on updating its machinery. It has also taken on a TAV-R 32.22 fully automatic cutting system from Elitron with a maximum working area of 3.2x2.2m, and a Lamina Blackline 2.2x1.6m laminator/mounter that will double the firm's mounting capacity.
The spend will also see a change of layout at the 140-staff firm’s 8,825sqm premises to increase efficiency alongside investing in workflow technology, new MIS and further “IT sophistication”.
According to Smith, Showcard will go forward into the next financial year with a focus on growing the business and expanding into “non-core revenue areas” within retail, but outside of its typical POS output.