Fine Print Services is expecting delivery of a new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75, but this Witney printer is far from a litho only maven. It has HP Indigo cut sheet digital presses and over the last ten years has worked its way up to the SwissQPrint flatbed inkjet press that is the centrepiece of its large format inkjet division.
It began by printing posters on Epson printers that were no longer suitable for proofing work, graduating to Roland DG and HP rollfed machines and then to a Fuji Acuity 1600 LED UV, a large format printer capable of printing on rigid materials.
“That was our first direct to rigid material machine,” says managing director Dan Bakewell, “and that quickly became the biggest segment for us. However, as a hybrid machine it was not really designed for lots of rigid materials.”
The company began to look around for a purpose built flatbed taking in Fuji’s Acuity, Canon’s Arizona and the Jetrix machines. “And we also looked at the SwissQPrint offering. It wasn't really a good comparison as this was twice the price of the others. But we wanted to invest for the future and didn’t want to have to change after a couple of years as happened with the Fuji machine.”
Spandex supplied the machine along with the media profiles that are needed to match the colour to its small format digital and litho areas. There is also a Zund cutting table, which shares a combined heritage with SwissQPrint, for cutting out work.
The range of work extends from more for established large format customers that are buying banners and perhaps display materials that have had to be laminated in the past. These can migrate to more sophisticated product types, says Bakewell.
Then there are customers with campaigns that will include litho, digital and large format elements. “We can offer that from under one roof,” he says. “It becomes a very logical fit to be able to supply the combined offering.”
There are no fears that there will be perceivable differences in colour or quality. “The quality of the SwissQPrint is simply brilliant,” he says. “Spandex has been great at providing profiles for the media and the Rip supplied by Perfect Colours runs across our four wide format devices, it drives the SwissQPrint and makes it easy to colour manage the jobs.”
There is a lot producedon foam backed materials, some on Perspex and corrugated for packaging. “It’s quite a range of stuff,” he says. “SwissQPrint will print on anything; we have printed on T-shirts, iPad and iPhone cases; anything that can be held in position on the bed and which is work that we would previously have had to outsource and we can now do in house.”