Echo House assists development of compact Acuity Ultra

By Rhys Handley, Wednesday 14 November 2018

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Echo House is set to continue its pioneering relationship with Fujifilm on its Acuity Ultra range by taking on a new smaller-format version of the superwide machine in January.

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Cardwell (l) agreed with Fujifilm's Hideaki Kawai to help develop the new, smaller Acuity Ultra

Having been the first company in the world to install the 5m device following an announcement at Fespa Berlin in May, Surbiton-based Echo will take on a new iteration of the machine in January as an expansion of its technology portfolio.

The incoming Acuity Ultra is still in development and details are scarce, although Echo is directly involved with Fujifilm in its completion. After a visit from Fujifilm wide-format inkjet senior manager Hideaki Kawai, it was agreed that the Japanese manufacturer would tailor its new machine to Echo’s needs.

“This new machine is still in the development phase,” said Echo House managing director Mark Cardwell. “Our clients expect the very best quality, as well as rapid turnaround times and excellent value for money.

“We are always on the lookout for the latest technologies to help us stay ahead of this demand, and with very high levels of quality and productivity, we see potential in this machine to help us do that. We are equally a technology- and design-led business and require any investment in machinery to mirror our requirements.

“Fujifilm has presented us with an opportunity we think will be a major benefit to us and to our customers. Like our existing Acuity Ultra, we will be using the new printer to produce a range of premium POS and display work, as well as high end museum graphics.”

Fujifilm’s Acuity Ultra was officially unveiled earlier this year and is currently available at 5m and 3.2m wide. It comes with up to eight colour channels – CMYK, light cyan, light magenta and two white channels – and uses a new, high-quality, low film-weight Uvijet GS Fujifilm ink designed to deliver the highest quality and is fully emission-compliant for interior graphic display work.

The device can run at speeds of up to 236sqm/hr and is able to print on three rolls simultaneously, handling a substrate thickness from 0.1mm to 2mm. Its vacuum table is water-cooled ensuring no excessive heat build-up on the print plate and therefore no shrinkage.

It is Fujifilm’s aim to create a new machine running the same print carriage with comparable speeds and quality to its larger siblings.

With more than 120 staff, Echo House serves clients internationally in the luxury goods, retails and cosmetics sectors. Its premises cover 2,300sqm floorspace, housing two EFI GS LX Pro devices, an EFI Vutek 5r, a Fujifilm Acuity flatbed device and a range of Canon inkjet printers.

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