Mimaki News

Core Technologies that deliver the ultimate image quality

Application Textile - TX300P-1800B

The development of Core Technologies, including Mimaki’s Advanced Pass System and Waveform Control Technology, make the difference by delivering the ultimate in image quality and spectacular print as standard.

Mimaki’s Core Technologies are specifically engineered to assist print operators in two broad areas; ensuring stable production and delivering high image quality. A series of innovative and proprietary features result in empowering users to deliver unsurpassable image quality – a reputation Mimaki is understandably proud of.

It’s no secret that high image quality is a given at Mimaki – we take it as standard that our machines deliver the very pinnacle of output quality day in, day out. So it’s always at the front of our minds. It’s this desire that’s driven our technical team to develop a whole list of exclusive technologies that together ensure your work speaks for itself when it comes to quality.

“We build in a raft of Core Technologies that focus on helping our customers to deliver premium image quality with the minimum of fuss,” says Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki Europe. “Years of experience developing cutting edge print solutions has enabled the technology to trickle down so that even our ‘entry level’ products benefit from features such as Mimaki Advanced Pass System (MAPS) and Waveform Control Technology (WCT) that help deliver these spectacular results.”

MAPS and WCT are just two of the Core Technologies, that together with the likes of Variable Dot Printing, determine how ink is placed on the substrate and maximise the control over dot placement, shape and size to create smooth, vibrant and high-density print. Mimaki’s use of high precision piezo-electric print heads assures users of consistent and reliable output and the addition of the Core Technologies exploits it to its maximum. With a seamless workflow from design creation through to RIP, printing and cutting, these Core Technologies work away in the background to assist the user in producing the highest quality output.

Application-Textile

“We’re proud of our reputation at Mimaki for empowering our customers to deliver beautiful printed output,” continues Benckhuysen. “The development of imaging Core Technologies is key to this and with many of the technologies featuring across our range of print devices, price is now no barrier to output quality.”

With all printers offering a range of operator-led settings for print quality, output speed and imaging, Mimaki’s Core Technologies provide the opportunity for print operators to assess a job and choose specific options to suit its precise requirements. “With Mimaki printers able to output to a vast array of substrates, ranging from paper or self-adhesive vinyl to non-flat or textured objects such as metal and glass, it’s never been more important to be able to assist operators in their quest for the ultimate in imaging quality,” concludes Benckhuysen. “Mimaki’s unique appreciation of print companies’ day-to-day requirements has resulted in innovative and practical inbuilt technology that make the difference.”

Mimaki Unlocks Latest Innovations at FESPA Africa 2019

JFX200-2513-EX

Get set to re-imagine the future of print, featuring Mimaki’s brand new JFX200-2513 EX, at FESPA Africa 2019.

Under the theme ‘Imagine the Future of Print’, Mimaki Europe will take visitors to FESPA Africa 2019 (Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa – 11-13 September 2019) on a journey through its cost-effective and profit-generating printing solutions. Represented by its established distributor in Africa, Graphix Supply World (GSW) on stand D21-43, hall 3, the leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems will demonstrate how businesses can use Mimaki technology to support increased revenues, address new markets and drive pioneering application possibilities.

Mimaki’s brand new JFX200-2513 EX large flatbed UV inkjet printer will be exhibited in Africa for the first time at the exhibition. With a new print mode and an extra printhead, the JFX200-2513 EX boasts substantial productivity increases on previous JFX models – when printing in four colours plus white it reaches a 280% speed increase in draft mode, and is 100% faster in all other print modes. Its predecessor, the JFX200-2513, however will not be replaced by the new model, but offered to the market at a new attractive price point.

Also equipped with Mimaki’s cutting-edge 2.5D Texture Maker, the JFX200-2513 EX uniquely enables smooth embossed print with enticing-to-touch dimensional textured effects at the touch of a button. Designed for supreme simplicity and ease of use, as well as for increased productivity, the Mimaki layering technology opens up new and valuable application opportunities for customers. Eliminating the previous time-consuming and skilled process of creating multiple Photoshop files featuring stacked stepped layers for smooth expression, Mimaki’s genuine RIP software ‘RaterLink6Plus’ completes the process in seconds. 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.

“Mimaki has a history of pioneering innovation and continues that vision, maintaining its position at the forefront of advancements in digital printing. Each new technology that we introduce has been developed to support our customers’ success today and to support their future growth for tomorrow too,” says Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe.

Mimaki will also expound the benefits of its latest 3D printing solution, the 3DFF-222, at FESPA Africa. Based on Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and using PLA material, the 3DFF-222 is designed to enable sign and display printers to produce jigs used in direct-to-object printing in-house. The 3D printer will be combined with the Mimaki UJF MkII series in Johannesburg to illustrate to visitors how production costs can be reduced and new profitable markets reached by introducing the 3D printer to their businesses and employing it to its full capacity. Full colour and fine detail models produced by the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer will also be exhibited on the stand.

GSW executives will furthermore reveal details of an upcoming product release at the show. As part of this, FESPA Africa visitors will get exclusive insights on the SWJ-320EA solvent printer and how it will build on the legacy of Mimaki innovation.

“We are delighted to share some of our latest innovations at FESPA Africa and we strongly believe that our technology enables printers from the region to stand out from the crowd. Epitomising our show theme ‘Imagine the Future of Print’ and building on our industry-acclaimed printing platforms, we will empower our visitors to become forward-thinkers, boost productivity and ensure healthy margins,” concludes Benckhuysen.

Mimaki to champion sustainable packaging at FachPack 2019

UJF-7151plus Package Application

At Fachpack 2019, Mimaki Deutschland will demonstrate how show-stopping technology combined with sustainable choices are key to creating smarter packaging in the future.

Mimaki Deutschland GmbH, a subsidiary of Mimaki Europe, today announces that it will endorse green innovation in packaging at FachPack 2019 (Nuremberg, Germany, 24-26 September 2019). Addressing the exhibition’s key theme, ‘Environmentally friendly packaging’, the company – together with its local dealer, Ernst Mendel GmbH – will exhibit show-stopping technologies and an inspiring array of applications to emphasise how packaging print service providers and converters can use Mimaki solutions to make more sustainable choices.

A diverse range of cost-effective hardware and software solutions together with eye-catching applications, including layer printing with white and clear inks, added-value silver ink effects and 2.5D-textured print, will be on display on the Mimaki booth (Hall 8, Stand 8-312). The company will also highlight how a streamlined production workflow – from design software to digital printers and cutting systems – can empower greener processes for packaging manufacturing.

“Sustainability is a hot topic in today’s packaging industry and a key asset in Mimaki’s strategy,” says Mr. Hisashi Takeuchi, CEO of Mimaki Deutschland GmbH. “Visitors at our booth will experience first-hand how the use of Mimaki’s UV and UV-LED inkjet technologies and packaging solutions can make creative ideas a reality, whilst significantly decreasing the environmental impact of the production process. Championing environmentally-friendly packaging production and driving sustainable innovation in the industry will be our goal at FachPack 2019.”

Mimaki systems have many eco-friendly credentials, including:

  • All Mimaki UV printers are equipped with LED lamps which cure wet ink instantly with UV irradiation, rendering heating unnecessary and saving energy.
  • UV printing enables printing direct onto different types of substrates, giving users the choice to use more sustainable materials.
  • Digital is an on-demand solution for producing packaging and other applications, eliminating the waste caused by over-production.
  • Mimaki UV inks are GREENGUARD Gold* certified. The inks have met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air, and are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.

A technology highlight on the Mimaki booth will be the company’s brand-new JFX200-2513 EX. Seen for the first time in Europe at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019, this cutting-edge large flatbed UV inkjet printer uses the Mimaki 2.5D Texture Maker. This proprietary feature uniquely enables smooth embossed print with enticing-to-touch dimensional textured effects at the touch of a button. Opening new and valuable application opportunities for customers, the new Mimaki layering technology has been designed for supreme simplicity and ease of use, as well as increased productivity. Eradicating the time-consuming and skilled process of creating multiple Photoshop files featuring stacked stepped layers for smooth expression, Mimaki’s genuine RIP software ‘RaterLink6Plus’ completes the process in seconds. For further benefits, the JFX200-2513 EX enables the use of white and clear inks, and prints on a wide variety of substrates up to 2,500mm x 1,300mm (98.4″ x 51.2″), including white board, transparent/coloured board, wood cardboard and metal.

A further highlight on the Mimaki stand will be the UJF-7151plus direct-to-object UV flatbed printer. Achieving flawless print quality on a wide range of substrates, this printer enables short-run packaging applications with reduced waste and minimised use of space, making more sustainable manufacturing options more accessible. Additionally, the UJF-7151plus uses longer-life UV LEDs, consuming less energy than printers using conventional UV lamps. An ink circulation system also provides stable ink jetting and removes air bubbles from the system, reducing the need for nozzle-cleaning and thereby saving energy and costs. At FachPack, the UJF-7151plus will be equipped with Mimaki’s MUH-100-Si UV-curable metallic ink to inspire visitors with a showcase of elegant and sophisticated applications on glass, acrylic and aluminium boards, synthetic leather and cardboards.

Featuring a cutting area of 610 x 510mm, the multifunctional, versatile and compact CFL-605RT will complete Mimaki’s FachPack line-up. Ideal for packaging sampling, prototyping and short-run production, as well as packaging inlays and foam materials cutting, the system has a wide range of cutting and creasing tools, including an eccentric cutter for coated packaging board, a pen tool for line drawings and a creasing roller for folding lines.

Many Mimaki printers include a number of pioneering core technologies, which Mimaki executives will be on-hand to discuss with visitors at FachPack. MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System) prevents banding and colour-shifting during the printing process by spreading the edge of each pass to create a gradient. NCU (Nozzle Check Unit) monitors nozzle outages and automatically activates a series of recovery functions, whilst NRS (Nozzle Recovery System) enables printers to replace damaged nozzles without stopping production – enhancing performance and boosting productivity and print quality for the user.

“As the label and packaging markets thrive, it is the right time to take a step back and look at environmental impact. We look forward to demonstrating how brands can make smarter, more sustainable choices with Mimaki technology at FachPack,” Mr. Takeuchi concludes.

*List of GREENGUARD Gold certified UV inks: LH-100, LUS-125, LUS-120, LUS-150, LUS-170, LUS-175, LUS-200

3D printing? It’s all about colour!

3D sample model

With industrial mass production touted as the next big thing, accurate colour simulation, achieved using the Mimaki 3DUJ-553, will be the key to its success.

There has been a lot of buzz about 3D printing in recent years. While the 3D printing market continues to expand globally, there is a strong sense in the industry that mass production will be the next big thing. Indeed, additive manufacturing is quickly moving from prototyping into full production, with enhancements in workflow, standardisation and automation underway. However, at Mimaki we have reasons to expect another scenario to play out in parallel, with the leitmotiv being “What colour you see is what colour you get”. In fact, we believe that colour will be key to the growth of additive manufacturing across a number of areas in 2019.

It’s 3D-colour time!
The latest developments in 3D printing technology have achieved full colour capabilities, meaning that additive manufacturing can now produce true-to-life, photo-realistic models. Here Mimaki is a pioneer, thanks to its established expertise in colour and colour management within the industrial 2D inkjet printing environment.

The new Mimaki 3DUJ-553 is the first ever polymer 3D printing system that enables more than 10 million different full colours. Based on UV-curable inkjet technology, it builds objects by jetting successive layers of inks that are hardened by LED UV light at each pass. The 3DUJ-553 uses CMYK, white and clear inks to produce photo-realistic products, with rich colour expression including spot colour, shades and gradients. In addition, the use of white and clear inks enables the production of special effects, such as total transparent textures or layered textures with clear on the outside and white or plain colour on the inside (and vice versa), boosting opportunities in applications.

Yet, this is only one side to the story. The other one concerns the support of ICC colour profiles – a world premiere in 3D printing – which is crucial to achieving accurate colour simulation and perfect reproducibility from the design screen to the real printed 3D object. Mimaki has drawn on its knowhow from 2D printing and applied it to 3D: MPM3, a proprietary colour management software, enables colour accuracy, colour adjustments, as well as colour matching among same printer models through equalisation (by measuring colour charts), allowing the same colour output on multiple 3D printers – no matter where in the world they are located. For further quality benefits, Mimaki has also introduced an enhanced waveform control system, which adapts the waveform for each ink that is used. What is waveform? It is the process whereby ink droplets are jetted in near-perfect circles and positioned with absolute precision, resulting in flawless print quality.

Thus, how can Mimaki’s colour-powerful 3DUJ-553 change designers’ lives? Three key terms here: output quality, simulation matching and consistency. The new 3D printing system helps designers ensure that the projects they create on screen perfectly match the printed output, broadening up creative opportunities and enabling time and cost savings – provided, of course, that screen calibration is done properly! Consistency and repeatability bring in further time and cost benefits in terms of less reliance on transportation, thereby decreasing the environmental impact. As soon as the project is ready to be printed, production can run locally with the guarantee that the final product looks and feels the same.

Mimaki 3D Link Software

Beyond colour
Colour is not the only strength of our core 3D printing technology. Mimaki’s long expertise in industrial 2D inkjet printing, as well as in inkjet direct-to-object printing has enabled us to be accurate in every detail of our 3D printing systems.

The 3DUJ-553 is equipped with in-head ink circulation systems, which helps prevent pigment sedimentation and removes air bubbles near the nozzles. With NCU (Nozzle Check Unit), automatic cleaning is performed when a nozzle is missing or damaged. Both technologies are borrowed from Mimaki’s 2D inkjet printing knowledge, ensuring advanced uptime, improved productivity, reliability and production stability is also achieved in 3D printing.

Another feature worth mentioning is the modelling area of 500x500x300mm, which makes the 3DUJ-553 suitable for a wide range of applications, including large-scale prototyping and modelling, with high detail accuracy and efficient positioning of printable objects.

All in all, we expect new frontiers to open up for 3D applications across the coming years. Technology-wise, Mimaki is ready to take on the 3D printing challenges. Application-wise, there are different market segments that can be addressed with the new 3DUJ-553. Ranging from scaled models, mock-ups and prototyping, to 3D art, tools and equipment, figurines, and medical and educational applications: colour-powerful 3D printing technology is set to enhance the way those industries envision creativity and improve the overall production process.

Mimaki Endorses Sustainable Choices at Labelexpo Europe 2019

Mimaki-MUH-100-Si-UV-curable-metallic-ink-applications

Mimaki reimagines the future of labelling and packaging with a greater focus on sustainability at Labelexpo Europe 2019.

Under the theme ‘Reimagine the Future of Labelling and Packaging’, Mimaki Europe will focus on greater sustainability at Labelexpo Europe 2019. The leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems will demonstrate how businesses can use Mimaki’s wide range of solutions to make more sustainable choices when designing and manufacturing labels and packaging.

Mimaki will exhibit a show-stopping array of applications from die-cut labels, metallic stickers and rigid decals, to folding cartons, corrugated boxes and 360-degree-printed-packaging, on stand A40, Hall 8.0. All samples on the Mimaki stand at Labelexpo will be produced with improved sustainability in mind, according to Marketing Manager, Mimaki EMEA, Danna Drion, who enthuses: “We look forward to demonstrating how brands can realise creative ideas whilst at the same time, make smarter, more sustainable choices with Mimaki technology. Digital is an obvious solution for producing labels and packaging on-demand and eliminating waste caused by lengthy start-ups and job changeovers as well as over-stocking. In addition, Mimaki has a market-leading range of compatible substrates so brands can always make sustainable choices for their products.”

A technology highlight on the Mimaki stand will be the UJF-7151plus direct-to-object UV flatbed printer. Printing short-run packaging applications live at Labelexpo Europe 2019, visitors will see the flawless print quality achievable for rigid decals, packaging mock-ups and stickers. Using Mimaki LH-100 and LUS-120 inks, which are GREENGUARD Gold certified, the printing inks have met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air, and is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities. Using longer-life UV LEDs, the printer consumes less energy than those using conventional UV lamps.

Compatible with the UJF-7151plus, Mimaki’s MUH-100-Si UV-curable metallic ink will also feature at the show. Launched this year, this ink can be printed directly onto products such as reusable glass bottles without requiring any further manual processing or handling, enabling users to produce elegant and sophisticated applications with minimal labour.

A further highlight will be Mimaki’s UCJV300-75 UV integrated printer/cutter. The award-winning solution can produce unique five-layer printing to create distinct designs, simultaneously, on each side of a substrate. This makes it ideal for applications using transparent film, such as labels and flexible packaging, creating new, value-adding application possibilities for users. All UCJV Series inks are also GREENGUARD Gold certified.

Mimaki will also exhibit two further systems at the show, both of which are ideally suited to customers within the labelling and packaging markets:

Mimaki CJV150-75: Featuring a state-of-the-art cut-and-print function, this high-quality inkjet printer/cutter eliminates problems faced when printing onto substrates before cutting, such as film separation and faulty cut results, and is ideal for sticker and label production. With a maximum print/cut width of 800mm, the system also offers vibrant inks, including silver, orange and light black for maximum product impact.

Mimaki CFL-605RT: A compact flatbed cutting plotter with a maximum cutting area of 610 x 510mm. The system has a range of cutting and creasing tools, including an eccentric cutter for coated packaging board, a pen tool for line drawings and a creasing roller for folding lines. This makes it ideal for numerous packaging applications, including packaging samples and prototypes, cartons, packaging inlays and more.

“We’re at an important juncture in the label and packaging industries. While markets are thriving and investment is rife, it’s also the right time to take a step back and look at the environmental impact. There are many positive choices we can make together as an industry,” Drion adds.

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.

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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.