Mimaki News

Badgemaster helps brands make the right first impression

Ian Bradbeer, Badgemaster

Managing Director, Ian Bradbeer explains how Badgemaster has become a market leader, with an enviable client list of blue-chip brands operating in the service, retail, hospitality and healthcare industries, thanks in part to the Mimaki UJF MkII.

From its base in Nottinghamshire, UK, Badgemaster offers a unique service to companies thanks to its vision and commitment to quality and innovation. Formed in 1992, Badgemaster now employs over 100 people and turns over £5 million, manufacturing the name badges that are sported by millions of staff at tens of thousands of companies around the world.

With customers in practically every business sector, Badgemaster is widely regarded as the market leader, with an enviable client list of blue-chip brands operating in the service, retail, hospitality and healthcare industries. A full gamut of production processes spans its premises; with screen printing, hot foiling, laser engraving, routing, resin doming and digital printing forming an unparalleled array of capabilities as the company enjoys a sustained period of growth.

Traditional screen printing and laser engraving continue to be key strategic disciplines. In recent years, Badgemaster has transitioned to take advantage of the latest digital technology and a suite of Mimaki printers sits at the heart of its production. “One of Badgemaster’s great strengths is our ability to combine printing and manufacturing techniques to provide the best product for the customer’s needs,” says the company’s Managing Director, Ian Bradbeer. “The ongoing investment in technology puts us at the forefront of the industry and the quality of our badges speaks for itself.”

“Our continued investment in Mimaki flatbed LED UV printers has brought new techniques and capacity to the business,” he continues. “We typically offer a 3-5 day turnaround time for existing clients and this ensures we deliver.”

View UJF MkII Series

A significant recent project involved supplying John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners with around 85,000 badges that were incorporated into their widely publicised rebrand. “The importance of the new identity was significant and Badgemaster was involved at every stage; from design consultation through to rollout, in order to ensure the client got what they required,” recalls Bradbeer. “With the reinvention of the two brands, it was crucial to ensure that the public perception was correct from the outset.”

Senior Sales Account Manager, Claire Geere takes up the story; “We met with the client on a number of occasions, providing concepts for their marketing team, sampling materials, print techniques and colour options.” Badgemaster’s in-house design studio is the starting point for most projects, with the team of four designers using their experience and understanding of the variety of manufacturing techniques to ensure clients’ work is created appropriately. “We were able to rapidly prototype a range of concepts for John Lewis and Waitrose using the Mimaki flatbed printers, assisting the design signoff and approval process,” she concludes.

The addition of two new Mimaki UJF MkII printers that coincided with the John Lewis and Waitrose job gave much needed capacity to the business. “We were astute enough at the time to make the investment,” says Scott Warren, Badgemaster’s Manufacturing Manager. “The new Mimaki printers almost trebled the throughput we could achieve, with their latest generation print heads, larger bed size and ‘logical seek’ function that reduces the time the head carriage takes to move between print areas.”

Headline jobs such as the one for John Lewis / Waitrose are not the only throughput at Badgemaster; the company’s recently introduced online ‘Badge Designer’ tool caters for customers who require much smaller runs, even catering for one-off designs. “Customers can upload artwork and design their own badge in a matter of minutes,” describes Bradbeer. “This then sends production-ready files to the studio prior to printing – it’s added a new dimension to the business and fits perfectly with our digital workflow.”

Bradbeer is keen to stress that in spite of the growth in web-to-print work, Badgemaster is far from being purely an online business. “We’ve introduced this facility to continue our support for customers who require very short runs, but at any stage, we’re just a phone call away if they need assistance setting up artwork or determining the most appropriate material or effect.”

By combining printing and manufacturing techniques, Badgemaster can deliver a highly bespoke solution. Costa Coffee’s recent branding exercise and ‘store of the future’ project warranted a name badge sympathetic to the campaign. “We use a pre-lacquered oak as the base for the badge, screen print the corporate element and after coating with an adhesion promoter, digitally print the person’s name,” describes Warren. “The client is delighted with the end result and how it fits in with Costa’s new identity.”

“We spotted the original UJF at the Sign & Digital UK exhibition many years back, tested the printer with a range of substrates and saw immediate advantage over alternatives,” recalls Warren. “The opacity and brightness of the white, the detail of the imagery and the adhesion of the ink were all beneficial to our business and made choosing Mimaki easy.” The company now sports eight Mimaki printers including roll-to-roll print and cut, grand format flatbed and several of its core small format UJF models.

“The new Mimaki UJF MkII printers have ensured that print has ceased to be the bottleneck in the business,” concludes Bradbeer. “We’re printing four to five times faster than previously and our delivery times and customer satisfaction have improved as well. Our ethos and desire to investigate new ways of working smarter and better, combined with the technology we’ve invested in, make the difference to our customers where it matters most.”

Personal World 38 uncover new solutions for textile sublimation printing

Personal World 38

From the Republic of San Marino, Personal World 38 srl share their experience with sublimation printing. Using the Mimaki Bompan Textile transfer printer, they discuss production capacity and quality, costs and reliability (even in the absence of an operator), with an eye to ecological sustainability.

The field of textile sublimation printing is a promising one. Printing is first carried out on paper by plotters that enable fully customisable designs. The paper is then sublimated onto polyester media through a hot press (manual or calendar). From sportswear to furniture, satisfying and versatile user experiences are guaranteed.

High resolution of the images, optimisation of production times, reliability of the processes even without an operator. These are the three strong points that make us satisfied with Mimaki Bompan Textile”. This is how Christian Giardi, owner of Personal World 38 srl – a clothing and gadget company based in San Marino – sums up the choice offered by the Mimaki TS55-1800 sublimation transfer printer. Providing flexible technology for small runs as well as for large productions, it is placed in the market at mid-range for textile machinery by Mimaki Bompan Textile: a company founded in 2017 in Tradate in the province of Varese, thanks to the joint venture between Mimaki and Bompan Srl.

The meeting of needs and solutions
Christian Giardi is just 40 years old and has a degree in biomedical engineering. The building is a well organised space in the industrial area of Galazzano, at the entrance of the Republic of San Marino. “I called my business this way for a reason: Personal World because I immediately dedicated myself to the world of customisation, 38 because it’s my lucky number,” he explains smiling. “We produce personalised clothing and gadgets, and we do sublimation, digital and screen printing; we are also an embroiderer. We work B2B, but also B2C, directly with end users. I opened Personal World 38 in 2003 with my best friend, who is still with me. Back then, the business was based in a shopping mall and was essentially an embroidery mill. Then came the impulse of digital printing, and about four years ago we entered the world of sublimation printing which has allowed us to grow. The main intention was to make flags and posters in polyester, but then I found a niche market: that of multifunction tubular bands. They can can be branded and used as neck warmers, sweat wipers, headbands, mouth masks and in many other ways. Used throughout summer and winter, they especially apply to sports and outdoor activities. I started out in e-commerce and now I manage four online sales portals: Bandane Personalizzate, T-shirt Personalizzate, Mousepad Personalizzati and Tazza Personalizzate.

The beginnings of collaboration with Mimaki
“For heat transfer,” explains Giardi, “I was using a transmatic press and calendar and a sublimation plotter from a Mimaki competitor. But after a couple of years of high volume work, I had to decide whether to double the number of those machines or switch to Mimaki. I initially met with Mimaki at a trade fair and had heard good things. So when the agent contacted me, I went and visited a dealer in Tuscany: I saw it working and was quickly convinced that it was right for us. It was a really good choice. The TS55-1800 is a very fast, reliable and flexible machine, and is new to the market. During installation at the beginning of the year, the Mimaki technicians followed us onsite to set up the machine and profile the colours according to my needs, showing themselves to be very polite and also available in the follow-up telephone assistance. When we tested it for the first time in a massive band production, we promised the customer two deliveries of 5,000 pieces each. But we were able to deliver all 10,000 pieces together, saving time and costs and making a good impression on the customer. The machine worked almost 24 hours a day for a week without interruption. Without a doubt, our core business found the TS55-1800 to be a great ally.”

Space for the user experience
“With sublimation printing, in addition to bandanas,” continues Christian Giardi, “we also produce mouse-pads and personalised cups; small surfaces that require a great definition of image and a sharp and precise resolution. Most t-shirts are digitally printed, except for a few sports t-shirts that we make in sublimation. The bands are born as white tubular bands, first printed on one side and then on the other, and the double pass is a real plus of this machine. Mimaki allows a perfect calibration of the amount of ink, which for us is essential; this avoids ruining the product with the ghost effect, which often occurs due to an excessive amount of colour penetrating the other side. By using water-based inks, our product has the advantage of being ecological, a fundamental aspect in the case of fabrics in contact with the skin, and in terms of health and safety. Moreover, the price of inks that Mimaki guarantees us is really competitive. This is also thanks to an option installed on the printer which allows us to use 8 tanks of 10 kilos in double four-colour, instead of 2-litre ink packs, with cost savings of around 30%. From the options, we have also chosen an additional heater to speed up the drying of the product, which is already fast.

Now we are thinking about the implementation of the Mini Jumbo Roll to print continuously even over 2,500 linear metres of paper, exploiting more and more the night hours. A prerogative for which we very much appreciate Mimaki products is in the complete reliability of the printing process, even in the absence of an operator, allowing us to run the machine continuously for 24 hours without jamming the work, and with the peace of mind of a perfectly printed roll in the morning. The new TxLink4 software, specifically designed for the Textile sector, allows the launch of several RIPs and the linking of several productions, thus meeting the most varied production requirements, from long runs to small samples.

Eight people work here and half of us are able to use this printer with ease. Mimaki TS55-1800 has a user-friendly and intuitive system, with many options that can be activated or not: for example, the end of work report with production data that orients the company programming in view of Industry 4.0. To avoid the banding effect, we can also activate the MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System) algorithm that assists with ensuring homogeneity of colour between passes. We use it more frequently in the more precise jobs, such as with cups. Then there are the functions of control and rebalancing of the colour nozzles, as well as programmable maintenance checks, made easier by a convenient infographic display.”

Growing business opportunities
“Sublimation textile printing evolves at great speed,” concluded the entrepreneur. “The most eco-friendly aspect of this process, which uses water-based inks that are non-toxic, non-polluting and easy for companies to dispose of, should not be underestimated. Just think of the technical sportswear, where sublimation has the advantage of not blocking the pores of the fabric, leaving them free to breathe. As well as polyester towels, to which recent technologies have also ensured a pleasant “cotton touch” effect, a feeling of softness and greater absorbency. The same applies to large soft signage at the perimeter of football pitches or trade fairs; where heavy PVC banners were once used, they are now printed on fabrics which are lighter and do not fade in the sun. If we think that Mimaki Bompan Textile also has fluorescent colours (available soon with the TS55-1800), we can be sure that we beat our competitors.”

Mimaki Hybrid Printer Demonstration at ITMA 2019 Emphasises Accessibility of Textile Printing

TX300P-1800P hybrid printer

An evolution of the Mimaki TX300P-1800, this new hybrid printer will enable textile and garment manufacturers unparalleled flexibility and enhanced application opportunities.

  • New hybrid printer enables direct-to-textile or direct-to-transfer printing on entry-level printer.
  • Flexibility of press enables smaller print service providers to broaden applications and enter new markets.

Mimaki Engineering, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announces the first global technology demonstration of a brand-new hybrid digital textile printer from the TX300P series at ITMA 2019 (Barcelona, Spain, 20-26 June, Booth B110, Hall 3). Uniquely featuring both direct-to-textile and direct-to-transfer print capabilities, the new printer achieves unparalleled flexibility in ink combinations and substrates – opening new profitable opportunities for businesses.

The new printer is an evolution of the Mimaki TX300P-1800, with the added capability of printing direct-to-transfer. Crucially, print service providers will benefit from enhanced versatility in terms of fabrics, applications and targeted markets. This affords smaller print service providers with an opportunity to provide a full range of textile printing applications with just one system. Aligned with Mimaki’s Total Solution Provider approach, the printer is compatible with Mimaki’s full range of pre-treating, steaming and washing equipment.

“The textile market is still relatively early-on in the adoption of digital printers, with most textiles being printed in the conventional way and a lot of large players dominating the market. With this new hybrid printer, Mimaki has provided an affordable solution that lowers the barriers to entry for smaller print providers,” says Ronald van den Broek, General Manager Sales EMEA. “For larger volume production houses, the printer is valuable for smaller runs and the myriad of benefits digital production provides.”

Interchangeable platens enable the hybrid nature of the printer. When printing direct-to-textile, excess ink that penetrates through the fabric is drained by a platen with an ink-receiving ditch. This can quickly be swapped out for a vacuum platen, suitable for printing onto heat transfer paper. The printer can also be configured with three different ink combinations, comprising textile pigment/direct sublimation, or textile pigment/sublimation transfer, or direct sublimation/sublimation transfer. This means more versatility and more possibilities, making it an ideal entry model.

Reliable productivity is assured with Mimaki Core Technology including a Nozzle Check Unit and Nozzle Recovery System. This enables the printer to automatically clean print heads when nozzles malfunction, and when nozzles are not repairable, and to also switch any missing or damaged nozzles with working nozzles without stopping production and without affecting final print quality. An adjustable head gap also means the distance from print head to substrate can be changed, preventing print heads from touching substrates.

“The features of this new hybrid printer will enable textile and garment manufacturers to achieve unparalleled flexibility and enhanced application opportunities for increased business growth. With this product, Mimaki is effectively democratising accessibility to textile printing, and with solutions like this in the market, we expect to see improved growth of digital printing in textiles,” van den Broek concludes.

Mimaki Deutschland Showcases Business Driving 3D Printing Technology at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D 2019

3D ship

Mimaki Deutschland GmbH, will focus on its colour expertise in 3D printing at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D (25 – 27 June).

Mimaki Deutschland GmbH, a subsidiary of Mimaki Europe, today announces that it will highlight its colour expertise in 3D printing at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D (25 – 27 June, Erfurt, Germany). Visitors to the show will experience the unrivalled levels of photorealism produced by Mimaki’s flagship 3DUJ-553 full-colour 3D printer, thanks to its ability to print in more than 10 million colours. Mimaki will exhibit on stand 2-607 alongside DP Solutions, its local German dealer.

Request a 3D sample

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer allows agencies, designers and product developers to create photorealistic prototypes and models due to its fine detail and extensive colour capability. Printing in true full colour, Mimaki uses the colour expertise it has honed through its extensive heritage in 2D printing to produce consistent and repeatable results, so users can be confident what they design on screen is what will be produced in real-life. Mimaki has also developed a clear resin so that full transparency and semi-transparent colour can be realised. The 3DUJ-553 3D printer delivers super fine detail and smooth surfaces, with options to print in 19, 32 or 42µm layers. Details are preserved during post-processing due to a water-soluble support material that simply dissolves in water.

Visitors to the show can also see Mimaki’s recently launched 3DFF-222 3D printer, which uses Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). The FFF solution was developed as an in-house design and production tool delivering reliable, almost silent creation of prototypes and end-use parts such as jigs and three-dimensional signage. Co-branded with Sindoh, a South Korean 3D printer and multi-function printer manufacturer, the 3DFF-222 uses easy-to-load filament cartridges to print parts up to 210mm x 200mm x 195mm (W x D x H) in PLA material. Users can also benefit from the ability to remotely monitor each print job through a Mimaki app. The 3DFF-222 recently joined the 3DUJ-553 in Mimaki’s portfolio of 3D printers, with both systems offering enduring reliability and global technical support and customer service.

“We have a fantastic range of models to show at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D that will stop visitors in their tracks,” comments Mr. Hisashi Takeuchi, CEO of Mimaki Deutschland GmbH. “Together with DP Solutions, we will show visitors the varied solutions we have to offer in the additive manufacturing market. When it comes to creating colourful, photo-realistic samples, you can’t beat the 3DUJ-553. And for hard, robust models that don’t warp easily, we have the 3DFF-222 3D printer. As is true of all Mimaki machines, both printers are extremely reliable.”

Key features of the 3DUJ-553 3D printer:

  • Printing in more than 10 million colours to reach high levels of photorealism and detail
  • ICC colour profiling – ensures high quality, consistent results
  • Water-soluble support material – preserves the super-fine detailed parts and smooth surfaces during post-processing
  • Printing in UV-cured photopolymer resins – 3D models have strength comparable to ABS plastic
  • Possibility to mix clear with colours to achieve varying levels of transparency
  • Mimaki 3D Link software – enables colours to be changed on-the-fly

Key features of the 3DFF-222 3D printer:

  • PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid) filament – a hard, robust material that is a plant-derived eco-plastic made from corn and potato starch
  • Automatic Filament Supply – filament installation is simplified, by inserting the reeled filament into the dedicated cartridge and setting it to the main unit, the filament is supplied to the nozzle automatically
  • Auto Filament Cutting – is also possible after the print job is completed
  • A flexible metal bed, with built-in thermostatic function, enables both stable formation and easy removal of the model once it is ready
  • Bed Levelling Assist – automatic measuring of horizontal error of the table and correction also supports stable formation
  • HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter – prevents the discharge of foul air
  • Motor drivers were designed specially to reduce noise levels during operation
  • A camera and LED light are provided for remote monitoring with a smartphone or tablet

“We’re excited to show visitors our growing portfolio of 3D printing solutions. From print jigs and moulds, to toys and prototypes, Mimaki has it covered and a visit to the stand at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D is not to be missed,” concludes Takeuchi.

Mimaki puts the pedal to the metal for Internet of Things at FESPA 2019

UJF-7151plus-Robominds

Process automation and Internet of Things (IoT) a highlight of Mimaki’s Imagine the Future of Print booth at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019.

  • Keeping at the forefront of industry innovation, the company showcases a state-of-the-art production line emphasising the strengths of automation in UV LED inkjet printing processes.
  • In line with its theme at FESPA 2019 – “Imagine the Future of Print” – Mimaki demonstrated a truly integrated and automated print production line to inspire visitors and show how they can take their businesses to the next level.

Process automation and Internet of Things (IoT) are widely recognised as new powerful tools that manufacturers could be leveraging to boost efficiency in production and increase revenue. Mimaki keeps at the forefront of industry innovation, demonstrating how integration and automation in printing production processes can enable print service providers to take their businesses to the next level. Utilising Mimaki’s R&D leadership in advanced workflow automation, together with collaborations with automation experts outside of the industry, the company has been able to create a truly integrated and automated UV LED print production line. This was one of the highlights of the Mimaki booth at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 (Munich, Germany – 14-17 May 2019), encapsulating the company’s theme “Imagine the Future of Print”.

“A pioneer in digital printing, Mimaki has already embraced the countless possibilities of IoT and is now taking full advantage of it,” comments Uwe Niklas, General Sales Manager, Mimaki Deutschland GmbH. “This IoT-based R&D strategy has led the company to develop advanced printing systems able to communicate with robots, as well as with a wide range of hardware including belt conveyors, inspection devices and cutting machines. The objective is to make it possible for print service providers to incorporate inkjet printers in fully-connected industry 4.0 production lines, ultimately enabling unattended on-demand production and mass customisation. This is how Mimaki sees the future of digital printing.”

With the aim of helping customers to take on board a new vision for future growth, Mimaki provided live demonstrations of integrated processes at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 and will continue to do so at successive trade shows addressing other manufacturing industries.

A glimpse into the future of inkjet print production
Encompassed in the Industrial Product area on Mimaki’s booth at FESPA 2019, a state-of-the-art production line demonstrated the power of IoT automation within a UV LED inkjet printing process. Developed by Mimaki with the collaboration of German company Robominds, the ground-breaking production line featured a Mimaki UJF-7151plus compact direct inkjet printer combined with a robotic arm by Danish firm Universal Robots (distributed in Germany by Robominds). Uniquely, the robotic arm loads and unloads substrates from the printer, without any human intervention.

The communication and information exchange between the UJF-7151plus and the robotic arm is enabled by a Mimaki IoT-based interface, called Job Controller IP, which is also available with Mimaki’s current JFX series. “Utilising our long history of developing state-of-the-art workflow management software, we were able to design our own advanced yet user-friendly solution. As an IoT interface, Job Controller IP is extremely easy to install and use – boosting production efficiency and flexibility levels within the print production workflow. The incredible in-house technical capabilities at Mimaki enabled us to successfully integrate robotics within the print production workflow, and achieve unmanned operation,” says Niklas.

The choice of robotic arm from Robominds has also contributed to Mimaki’s ability to deliver top-level performance at the show: a six-axis robot, it featured a modular design which makes it suitable for all kinds of printed products. In addition, the robot is compact, so it does not require any extra space, and is safe, as it stops as soon as someone touches it. Featuring four degrees of movement, the Robominds robot is also equipped with suction cups that enable it to handle different substrates.

For all print service providers, no matter their size, the market they serve or the inkjet solution they use, the benefits of integrating IoT automation into their production lines is significant. These benefits range from increased productivity and print capacity, to flexibility in materials handling and reduced machine make-ready times. For visitors to the show, Mimaki demonstrated how they can enhance their business performance by getting their printing platforms and related hardware ‘intelligently’ connected – to ultimately increase their profitability.

“Providing a new level of production efficiency, the proof of concept robotic demonstration was aimed at offering visitors to our booth at FESPA 2019, a glimpse into the future of inkjet print production for wide format applications and beyond,” concludes Niklas.

First Global Showing of New Hybrid Textile Printer at ITMA 2019

ITMA lady

Mimaki will have its first global showing of a brand-new hybrid digital textile printer at ITMA 2019 in Barcelona, Spain from 20-26 June.

  • New textile printer delivers unparalleled flexibility and unprecedented application capabilities.
  • Mimaki to showcase a wealth of technological breakthroughs and creative opportunities to drive digital print adoption in textiles.

Mimaki Engineering, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announces that it will showcase its broad portfolio of cutting-edge digital print technologies at ITMA 2019 (20-26 June 2019, Fira de Barcelona, Spain). This will include the first global showing of a brand-new hybrid digital textile printer, uniquely featuring both direct-to-textile and direct-to-transfer print capabilities. Crucially, these features enable textile and garment manufacturers to achieve unparalleled flexibility and enhanced application opportunities for increased business growth. To facilitate these benefits, the new Mimaki printer also allows multiple sets of inks to be loaded simultaneously, supporting increased fabric range versatility and maximum product variety.

As the future of textile printing and for further production benefits, Mimaki will also give a sneak preview of its new and upcoming TA Job Controller software, specifically designed for textile production environments. For use on Mimaki’s successful EDP-awarded Tiger Pro Series and Rimslow TR Series – and all Mimaki textile printers – TA Job Controller enables users to connect one-on-one to the RIP and other devices, for an automated workflow from design to pre-print, print and post-print processes.

Featuring pioneering inkjet printing equipment, advanced workflow software and top-performance inks, Mimaki will demonstrate how its long-term commitment to the textile arena and extensive investment in R&D can help textile print service providers boost their business. It will also show them how they can cut their production costs and diversify their offering to maintain competitiveness.

A not-to-be-missed highlight on the Mimaki booth (H3-B110) will be the company’s flagship industrial digital textile printer, the Mimaki Tiger-1800B MkII – in dye-sublimation configuration. Combining Mimaki’s Japanese expertise in electronics with La Meccanica’s know-how in building solid and robust belt printer bodies with ‘made-in-Italy’ design, the Tiger-1800B MkII – the latest model of Tiger-1800B Series – enables users to produce extremely high-quality products (up to 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution) at up to 385m2/h print speed, without the need to compromise on production and throughput.

The Tiger-1800B MkII features a number of pioneering Mimaki core technologies, including MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System) and NRS (Nozzle Recovery System). MAPS prevents banding and colour-shifting during the printing process by spreading the edge of each pass to create a gradient. This feature, alongside NRS, enables the printer to replace damaged nozzles without stopping production – enhancing the printer’s performance and boosting productivity and print quality for the user.

From its advanced TR series, Mimaki will also show the TR300-1850C coating machine and the TR300-1850S steaming machine, and the benefits of a total solution for textile print production. Providing the equipment needed to operate the entire digital textile workflow, Mimaki’s all-in-one solution ensures complete technology compatibility, as well as increased productivity, print quality and reduced production costs.

“As a pioneer in textile printing, this industry has always been in our company’s DNA and we are excited to show our extensive textile portfolio at ITMA 2019,” comments Danna Drion, Marketing Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe. “The potential of digital printing in textiles is clearly evident, and we aim to provide the technology to enable our customers to take full advantage of it and grow profitably.”

Mimaki will also use ITMA 2019 to showcase its wide range of flagship solutions addressing different textile market segments. These include:

  • Mimaki TS55-1800: A dye-sublimation business-enhancing printer, the TS55-1800 addresses the entry and mid-level markets offering continuous operation and an unprecedented price-quality ratio. Equipped with Mimaki’s core technologies, the printer achieves high productivity and high-quality print with vibrant colours and vivid imagery and is suitable for interior fabrics, sports and fashion apparel and soft signage.
  • Mimaki UCJV300-160: A roll-to-roll UV LED inkjet integrated printer/cutter, featuring a white ink capability. A versatile printing system, the UCJV300-160 uniquely enables four-layer printing for transformative backlit applications, and five-layer printing, allowing different designs to be viewed on both sides of a substrate simultaneously. Visitors at ITMA 2019 will see the UCJV300-160 printing wallpapers live.

This array of technological breakthroughs represents only one side of Mimaki’s commitment to the textile industry. At ITMA 2019, the company will also demonstrate its cooperation with world-renowned designers who are driving innovation with cutting-edge and inspirational printed textile applications. As part of this approach, Dutch retail fashion designer, Tessa Koops, will use the show to demonstrate the power of Mimaki digital print technology for increased creativity, personalisation and profitability within the fashion industry.

Mimaki Tiger-1800B MkII scoops two EDP Awards at FESPA 2019

Mimaki’s Tiger-1800B MkII topped two award categories at the 13th EDP Awards at FESPA 2019.

Mimaki, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, celebrated winning two awards at the European Digital Press Association (EDP) Annual Awards ceremony, held at FESPA 2019 last week. Mimaki’s Tiger-1800B MkII was the champion of the day, earning its first award in the category of ‘textile printer roll-to-roll more than 100 sqm/h’, and the second for its Rimslow TR Series complete solution, in the category of ‘pre- and postpress-treatment solutions’.

During the 13th EDP Awards contest, over 100 entries across five main categories were made, with 28 products announced as winners. Chosen based on numerous criteria including quality, value to user and environmental impact, the winners were selected by 20 leading trade publications within the digital printing industry, reaching over half a million readers across 25 European countries.

As part of the Tiger Pro Series, the Tiger-1800B MkII is a high-volume textile printer for direct printing or paper transfer with a print speed of up to 385m2/h. This versatility and speed paired with the printer’s ability to print at up to 1200 x 1200 dpi, enables users to produce extremely high-quality products without the need to compromise on production and throughput. Capable of handling all kinds of fabrics and papers, the printer can be used for a wide range of applications including tapestries, interior decoration and fashion & apparel.

Other important features of the Mimaki Tiger-1800B MkII include MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System) and NRS (Nozzle Recovery System). MAPS prevents banding and colour-shifting during the printing process by spreading the edge of each pass to create a gradient. This feature, alongside NRS, which enables the printer to replace damaged nozzles with operating nozzles without stopping production, enhances the printer’s performance and boosts productivity and quality for the user.

“We’re delighted that our Tiger-1800B MkII came first in two categories during such a prestigious awards ceremony,” says Bert Benckhuysen, Product Manager for Mimaki Europe. “To be recognised for the fact that we listen closely to the needs of the market and constantly work to improve our products for customers, affirms our position as a strong force within digital textile printing.”

Allowing textile printers to take full control of their workflow, the Tiger-1800B MkII and the TR Series is a complete solution for coating, printing, steaming and washing machines. Rather than purchasing technology from different manufacturers to handle the four production processes, Mimaki ensures complete technology compatibility, for improved efficiencies and quality.

“The Mimaki TR Series is all about increasing productivity and cutting costs throughout the whole digital textile printing process. Providing an entire workflow solution instead of a stand-alone product, enables us to offer a much more stable and reliable production line. This enables increased uptime and allows our customers to focus on designing products that make them stand out in the crowd,” Benckhuysen concludes.

Mimaki Europe will be showcasing both the Tiger-1800B MkII and the TR Series at ITMA 2019, Hall 3, Stand B110.

Mimaki Announces JFX200-2513 EX Large Flatbed UV Inkjet Printer European Launch at FESPA 2019

JFX200-2513-EX

World’s first flatbed inkjet printer to offer ‘one-touch’ 2.5D texture capabilities with significant productivity gains thanks to a 280% increase on speed.

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announces the European launch of the new JFX200-2513 EX large flatbed UV inkjet printer at the FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 (Munich, Germany – 14-17 May 2019). Introducing a new print mode and an extra printhead, the JFX200-2513 EX boasts substantial productivity increases on previous JFX models – 280% faster in new draft mode when printing in four colours plus white, and 100% faster for all other print modes. This entry-level printer also uses Mimaki’s 2.5D Texture Maker to enable smooth embossed print at the touch of a button. For the first time, this allows print service providers to offer large format digital print with enticing-to-touch dimensional textured effects without lengthy file preparation.

Opening new and valuable application opportunities for customers, the new Mimaki layering technology has been designed for supreme simplicity and ease of use. Eradicating the previous time-consuming and skilled process of creating multiple Photoshop files featuring stacked stepped layers for smooth expression, Mimaki’s genuine RIP software ‘RasterLink6Plus’ completes the process in seconds. It achieves this by adding a greyscale image of the original coloured file in the RIP.

This feature was originally developed for Mimaki’s 3D printing technology and is unique to Mimaki in sign and graphics printing. Taking large format print applications to a different dimension, Mimaki print houses can now offer exceptional printed textures such as simulated woodgrain, oil painting on canvas, as well as raised, high-visibility lettering for more traditional signage applications.

Danna Drion, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe, comments: “In a market where competition is fierce and margins have been squeezed, we’re excited to launch the new Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX. In terms of offering new profitable services, our new product represents an important business differentiator for customers. If that wasn’t enough, the productivity gains that the JFX200-2513 EX represents, makes it a very compelling proposition. Irrespectively, no matter the size of your business, it’s important that when you enter a new market, you do so with a technology and partner you can trust. Offering Japanese product quality and a culture built around customer service excellence, this is certainly assured with Mimaki.”

Seen for the first time in Europe on the Mimaki booth at FESPA 2019 (stand B6-A30), the new Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX is the successor to the JFX200-2513 large flatbed UV inkjet printer. Since its launch six years ago, the JFX200-2513 has enjoyed excellent commercial success and a global install base. The new Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX builds on this legacy, pushing innovation further with its increased productivity and value-added print proposition.

Ideal for demanding production workflows, the JFX200-2513 EX prints on substrates up to 2,500mm x 1,300mm (98.4″ x 51.2″), in a wide variety of materials including white board, transparent/coloured board, wood, cardboard and metal – commonly used for applications including sign panels, furniture displays, building materials and much more. Usability has been improved with a vacuum-controlling foot switch, for when the user has no hands free and needs the media to be held stable on the print bed. An ethernet connection is now also provided, improving the functionality for IoT. connections. Another interface has been added to connect external safety devices such as a safety curtain. Additionally, the system includes Mimaki Core Technologies, Nozzle Check Unit (NCU) and Nozzle Recovery System (NRS), for uninterrupted printing with no loss to quality if print nozzles become clogged or unproductive.

At FESPA, Mimaki is expounding the benefits of its MUH-100-Si UV-curable metallic ink, the world’s first metallic ink available for flatbed direct-to-object printing. By mixing a special bright aluminium pigment into the ink, printers can place UV metallic ink directly onto products without the need for a separate glitter or foil transfer process. “It’s just another way Mimaki provides solutions for its customers to stand out from the competition and provide value-added print for brands using their services,” adds Drion.

Mimaki’s latest 3D printing solution, the 3DFF-222, also features with Mimaki explaining how sign and display printers can cut operational costs and open new profitable markets by introducing the 3D printer to their businesses. Using in-house 3D printing to produce jigs used in direct-to-object printing, allows print houses to broaden the products they offer. It also enables them to introduce new products very quickly, without having the expense and time it takes to receive outsourced jigs produced using traditional methods. 3D signage can also be produced and, with a 3D printer in-house, new markets can be explored to employ the printer to its full capacity.

Mimaki is also using FESPA 2019 to demonstrate its collaboration with some of the market’s most inspirational and world-leading designers, creatives and photographers. Commissioned work from designers including Claire Vos (Studio Roderick Vos) is showcased throughout the booth. From creative backlit graphics and novelties, to fashion dresses and upholstery fabrics, a myriad of Mimaki produced digitally printed applications are on display, enabling visitors to understand the power of digital print to increase the creative process and drive new profitable application opportunities.

“Epitomising our show theme ‘Imagine the future of print’, the new Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX launched today, featuring cutting edge technology and capabilities designed to drive business growth. Indeed, each new technology that Mimaki introduces has been developed to support our customers’ success today, but also supports their future growth for tomorrow – we are delighted to share some of these latest innovations at the show.”

French debut for new Mimaki 3DFF-222 3D printer at 3D Print Congress & Exhibition

3DFF-222-3D-Printer

Mimaki will show for the first time its newly launched 3DFF-222 3D printer at the 3D Print Congress & Exhibition in Lyon, France from 4-6 June.

  • The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer offering 10 million colours will also be demonstrated.
  • Mimaki officially introduces new French dealer, ERM Fab&Test, at the show.

Request a 3D sample

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announces that it will show for the first time in France its newly launched Mimaki 3DFF-222 3D printer at the 3D Print Congress & Exhibition (4-6 June, Lyon, France – Stand C05). Visitors to the Mimaki stand will also see the unparalleled levels of photorealism achieved by Mimaki’s flagship 3DUJ-553 3D printer, which prints in over 10 million colours. Mimaki will also use the show to introduce its new French distributor, the automation and manufacturing experts, ERM Fab&Test.

Using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology, the Mimaki 3DFF-222 3D printer has been developed as an in-house design and production tool, delivering ultra-reliable, almost silent manufacture of prototypes and end-use parts such as jigs and 3D signage.

A product co-branded with Sindoh, a manufacturer of 3D printers and multi-function printers based in South Korea, the 3DFF-222 system prints in PLA material. Using easy-to-load filament cartridges, it prints parts up to 210mm x 200mm x 195mm (W x D x H), and offers remote monitoring of each print job through a Mimaki app. The new platform recently joined the 3DUJ 553 in Mimaki’s portfolio of 3D printers, to which Mimaki has applied the expertise from its long heritage in 2D printing. Consequently, both systems offer enduring reliability and have technical support and customer service in place across the globe.

“Flexibility and ease-of-use are key features of the new desktop 3D printer,” states Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki Europe. “It’s been developed so that you can have it sitting in your office without disruption. Running at 45dB, the noise levels are almost the same as a museum, and the footprint is small enough that it fits onto a desk, running off design iterations as they are needed with maximum convenience.

“With the PLA material you can also produce hard, robust models that don’t warp easily with the new Mimaki 3DFF-222 system. Ideal for the French market, this makes it perfect for production parts such as jigs and moulds that can be produced rapidly, helping manufacturers to reduce their lead times. And this is provided with Mimaki’s renowned build quality and extreme reliability benefits,” says Benckhuysen.

Key features of the 3DFF-222 3D printer

  • PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid) filament – a hard, robust material that is a plant-derived eco-plastic made from corn and potato starch.
  • Automatic Filament Supply – filament installation is simplified, comprising insertion of a reeled filament in the dedicated cartridge and setting it to the main unit. The filament is supplied to the nozzle automatically.
  • Auto Filament Cutting – is also possible after the print job is completed.
  • A flexible metal bed – with built-in thermostatic function, enables both stable formation and easy removal of the model once it is ready.
  • Bed Leveling Assist – automatic measuring of horizontal error of the table and correction also supports stable formation.
  • HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter – prevents the discharge of foul air.
  • Motor drivers – designed specially to reduce noise levels during operation.
  • A camera and LED light are provided for remote monitoring with a smartphone or tablet.

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer, launched in 2018, allows bureaux, designers and product developers to reach unparalleled levels of photorealism due to its fine detail and extensive colour capability. The 3DUJ-553 3D printer prints in over 10 million colours and the results are consistent and repeatable thanks to Mimaki’s expert use of ICC colour profiling. Mimaki has also developed a clear resin, so full transparency and semi-transparent colour can be realised. Printing in 19, 32 or 42µm layers, the 3DUJ-553 3D printer delivers super fine detail and smooth surfaces, which are preserved during post-processing as the support material is water-soluble and simply dissolves away with immersion.

ERM Fab&Test

Mimaki is also proud to introduce its newly appointed French dealer, ERM Fab&Test, at the show. For almost 30 years, ERM has supported businesses in integrating new technologies into their manufacturing processes – including robotics, IoT and digitalization of workstations. In 2014, the company created ERM Fab&Test, a business unit dedicated to new digital manufacturing solutions for industry, medical, research and education, integrating a professional range of additive manufacturing solutions.

Cyril Liotard, CEO at ERM Fab&Test, comments: “We chose to integrate Mimaki technology into our business offering because it is ‘the’ reference point for anyone looking to produce 3D printed pieces in full colour – and we knew a few businesses looking to do exactly that. The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 can produce polymer parts with a palette of more than 10 million colours, which is absolutely unique in the market, and now allows us to meet all our customer needs.”

Mimaki makes an impression on Bildkraft with the dramatic effects of UV-multi-layer printing

Bildkraft

German sign and display provider, Bildkraft, creates clever effects for day and night displays, previously impossible to achieve, thanks to the UV inkjet printer UCJV300-160 from Mimaki. Multi-layer printing has clearly increased the intensity of backlit illuminated signs for the company.

One illuminated display, two different images: a panoramic alpine view with mountain tops and a deep green lake by day, a tropical beach with palm trees and foaming surf at night. These are the two magnificent images on an illuminated display that can be changed with a simple flick of a switch. There is no need for any kind of roller mechanism or other elaborate image-changing device. The Mimaki UV inkjet printer UCJV300-160 makes this possible with its multi-layer printing. “We are really impressed with the image display effects that we are able to print using our new Mimaki machine. We have never seen anything like it before”, explains Björn Blum, owner of German sign and display provider, Bildkraft. As an expert in advertising technology, he speaks from experience.

He has been printing and cutting wide-format images exclusively on the new Mimaki UV inkjet printer since the beginning of May 2018, having chosen the seven-colour version with CMYK, light cyan, light magenta and white in order to be able to offer backlit effects for illuminated signs on a whole new quality level. The company took action when its previous inkjet printer from another manufacturer was starting to wear down. What remained on the shortlist was a latex printing solution and the UV-curing inkjet printer from Mimaki. Even though the latex option would have been cheaper, Björn Blum decided to go with the UCJV300-160 print-and-cut solution Mimaki announced the previous year. “We spent an entire day with DP Solutions, our incredibly patient reseller, printing our own images on our own substrates, all across the board for hours on end. And then the dye was cast”, Blum recalls.

UV print that looks like it has been varnished
In his view, the print quality and extended colour gamut of six colours plus white make a crucial difference to the brilliant colour and image display. Whilst solvents and latex inks penetrate the substrate and can therefore flatten or “drown” the image, UV ink is cured on the surface without loss of colour brilliance. One of his team’s test images at DP Solutions was a 2.5m print in spot colour blue, which can be a tricky colour as it tends to give a blotchy appearance when applied to a large surface area. “The result was absolutely flawless. It looked like it had been varnished”, outlines Blum. Even during testing, the Mimaki printer demonstrated its strong reliability with its robust industrial printheads.

One of the most exciting applications Bildkraft produced on its Mimaki printer, following the quick installation (in a single day), was a 2.5m tall and 1m wide illuminated sign in the shape of a nose for a local beauty salon. The inverted print on transparent film was then coated with 12mm of acrylic glass. White overprint eliminated the need for coloured interleaf film, saving an entire process step. Other applications Bildkraft will now only undertake with their Mimaki UV printer include vehicle wraps with colour gradients. “The colours appear much more intense and vibrant on the adhesive film, which our customers confirm unanimously”, says Blum.

Technology + craftsmanship = success
Bildkraft is based near Stuttgart, Germany, and boasts more than 100 years of experience in signmaking and displays. Starting out in the signmaking business in 1905, the company produced the first illuminated displays a few years later. The company, as it exists today, was formed through the merger of lettering firms Wiedmann and Bliederhäuser. Björn Blum has been managing the business since 2010, choosing an impactful, future-oriented name, Bildkraft, meaning ‘image power’, to reflect the new opportunities in the sign and display arena. The core competencies of the five-strong team include custom-made illuminated displays for industrial organisations and service providers from the Stuttgart area and across Germany. Customers include Audi, Bosch, Wirtgen Group, banks, car dealerships and football club VfB Stuttgart. “We differentiate ourselves from LFP print providers who have to compete with low-cost print services from abroad. With all the technology we apply, we are ultimately a crafts business continually creating new and individual solutions for customers – therein lies our strength.”

An all-round printer with classy extras
Mimaki first presented its combined UV printing and cutting solution at the key signage shows in 2017. The UCJV300-160 is now considered an all-round machine for print-and-cut applications in sign and display advertising. UV curing enables printing on film, banners, paper and thin substrates that are too heat-sensitive for latex and solvent-based systems. One of the printer’s USPs is the combination of white and coloured ink on transparent and translucent film. This multi-layered printing creates the day and night effects on illuminated banners that Bildkraft offers to its customers. The UCJV300-160 has a print width of 1.61m and a maximum resolution of 1200dpi. It operates at a speed of around 25m2/h in draft mode and 8m2/h in standard mode. The UV ink dries immediately and is extremely scratch-resistant.