Speedscreen has invested £145,000 in a new Acuity Select HS 38 from Fujifilm to “complete the missing jigsaw piece” in its kit portfolio.
The Maidstone, Kent-based business took delivery of the machine, which is additional to its existing capabilities, last month.
Capable of printing at up to 65sqm/hr, the device is equipped with eight ink channels – six colours plus two white. It is Speedscreen’s first machine purchase away from Durst, which it runs three printers from, including a Durst 1012, which was installed in 2013 in a European first.
Speedscreen managing director Tim Hill said: “This fills a niche that we didn’t have for very, very fine detail work. It goes down to six picolitres so the quality is near photographic – we were simply blown away by it.
“We wanted two white channels for a nice dense white, and we’ve also got the light magenta and light cyan with it, which some say it doesn’t need because it’s so fine, but we find it gives that extra bit of quality with skin tones.
“We also like the fact it gives us double-sided printing and can print very small cut to size pieces.”
Speedscreen also looked at alternatives from Agfa, Canon and SwissQprint but particularly liked the compact footprint of the Fujifilm machine, which Hill said “slotted into a space that wasn’t being used for anything” at the firm’s 1,500sqm premises.
“Fujifilm have been very helpful and the training was swift and precise, though it’s a very easy machine to learn anyway,” he added.
Speedscreen employs 12 staff and turns over just under £2m. Also operating a Kongsberg C64 cutting table purchased in 2014, as well as various other cutters, guillotines, sewing stations and laminators, the business supplies the trade as well as retailers and visual merchandising companies.
It also still runs a screen printing service alongside its wide-format operation.
“We looked at the possibility of closing down screen printing two years ago but I’m glad that we didn’t because there’s been a real resurgence for it,” said Hill.
“It had declined over the years but it’s growing back again and we keep taking on new bits of business where other companies have closed down their screen printing departments.
“For one company we are doing acrylic panels that are screen printed and then need to be digitally printed as well – we can combine the two processes.”