RUDI a.s., based in the Czech Republic, was founded in 1990 as a privately-held company, transforming itself into a joint stock company in 1995. The company boasts a wide range of client services around offset, digital and large format printing; graphic design; and prepress preparation. RUDI has always been dedicated to staying up with technology trends to be able to offer superior quality services that set them apart in the marketplace. Product offerings comprise display graphics (including vehicle wraps and bus shelters), marketing collateral, business cards and letterhead, menus, web and graphic design, and promotional items such as jigsaw puzzles, flags, stickers, mouse pads, calendars and more.
“In order to retain our market leadership,” said Daniel Růžička, RUDI Co-Founder, “we decided to replace our three older eco-solvent printers with a more modern solution that would expand our range of services even more while increasing throughput and allowing us to reduce the amount of outsourced work we had. We were pleased with the Japanese quality of the Mimaki printers, as well as the exceptional service from SPANDEX. We could have purchased a printer from China at a lower price, but service and support can be an issue. We needed a relationship that assured both quality and maximum up-time. We have not been disappointed.” RUDI chose to install a Mimaki UJV55-320 super wide format UV-LED printer, a 3.2-meter roll-to-roll model featuring seven ink colours including white for printing on transparent or coloured media.
The day the new printer was installed was exciting for two reasons. First, the installation process was tricky, since the printer was installed through an attic window that was only 2 cm wider than the printer. Using a crane and expert operators, this process was accomplished smoothly. Even more exciting according to Růžička, was the fact that the printer was installed in one morning, with training the following day. “In just two days, we were up and running, and producing billable work. It was an amazing experience,” he added.
Růžička chose UV LED technology due to its many benefits, including:
- The long lifespan of LED lamps compared to conventional lamps.
- The fact that LEDs do not need to be heated and cooled, but only switched on and off – for an immediate start.
- The ability to cure at a low temperature, without damage to heat-sensitive materials that are less expensive and cost less to ship.
- Low power consumption (a 220v connection is sufficient for the printer).
Růžička noted, “This and other investments ensure we have sufficient production capacity, giving us the throughput speed required in today’s fast-paced market while preventing unnecessary price increases we might face if we had to outsource the work. By staying current with technology and ensuring adequate capacity, we can produce most, if not all, of our work internally. That is the goal.”
Růžička comments that in addition to more capacity and improved quality, he is excited about UV LED printing technology as an opportunity to expand his offerings, saying, “Direct UV printing also opens the door for us to print directly on rigid materials such as foam core, wood, plastic and glass up to 2 x 3 meters and 45 mm thick. Other wide format products that are better suited to this technology include our vehicle wraps and bus shelters as well as wall coverings.”
Enthusiastic and Timely Support
RUDI has also been pleased with the support it is receiving from both Mimaki and SPANDEX. “We like the fact that there is local support,” Růžička stated. “As I mentioned, we could have acquired a printer out of China for less up-front money, but we risked greater costs in the long run. If there is a printer issue and you are looking for support from China, it is difficult to get that support quickly, even online, due to the time difference. When this happens, work stops, deliveries are late, and our reputation declines. For that reason, we place emphasis on prompt, high quality service and the availability of timely in-person, online or telephone consultation. SPANDEX has a sufficient number of service technicians, offers a 24-hour service guarantee, deliveries of materials through its own distribution channel and other services facilitating our work. Plus, they know the Mimaki printer line inside-out. In addition, there is a team of pleasant and stable employees working at SPANDEX, with whom you can quickly create personal relationships. For these reasons, Mimaki and SPANDEX were the clear choice for us.”