68-year-old engraving company Skylt & Gravyr starts printing with Mimaki UJF-3042
After 68 years of engraving, the Swedish company Skylt & Gravyr has expanded its business by purchasing the Mimaki UJF-3042. “The time has come to offer our customers full colour prints together with our engraving solutions. The arrival of the UJF-3042 made this plan feasible. At a relatively small investment we now can offer our customers on-demand full colour printed nameplates and badges plus the possibility of white and soon also clear varnish”, says owner Svante Gunhamre.
Skylt & Gravyr first found out about UJF-3042 at an technical trade fair in Stockholm 2010, in which Mimaki dealer Signcom participated. “We were not in the printing business and had never visited any printing exhibition, so it was an unexpected encounter. Although I am not an expert when it comes to printers and judging print quality, I found the print output of the UJF-3042 very good, especially the fine sharply printed details” says Svante Gunhamre. After some successful tests on a number of substrates, such as metal, plastics, and brass, the company decided to purchase UJF-3042. “The relatively small investment made the decision easier”, continues Svante Gunhamre. “Signcom has helped us a great deal by giving us advice on how to pre-treat substrates to get the best adhesion possible. For this, we currently use industrial alcohol, Mimaki’s GM-1 primer and flaming techniques.”
Printing or engraving?
Svante Gunhamre comments about what products will be printed and engraved in the future: “Despite the fact that we can print almost everything with the UJF-3042, we think there is still a market for engraved products, especially for company nameplates which require a very exclusive appearance. We will probably use the UJF-3042 for the more mainstream products, but combinations of printing and engraving can also give great results. Further, we will use the UJF-3042 when we need high detail, because engraving small details generally takes more time. The choice of technique depends on the substrate too. Some substrates, such as stainless steel, are difficult to engrave. We need to use special engraving equipment for this, which takes more time than printing.”
Skylt & Gravyr produces a lot of CE mark signs up to a size of A5, which they currently make with engraving techniques and are painted when colour is required. However, using engraving techniques costs them more time, not to mention the complicated process of applying paint; chemicals need to be added for good adhesion and much of the remaining paint is unused. “I expect that in future we will use UJF-3042 for all CE mark signs,” says Svante Gunhamre.
Transparent ink for special effects
Svante Gunhamre is also enthusiastic about the arrival of clear ink. “When it is available, we will explore the creative possibilities. With transparent ink, we can realize eye-catching highlights and also use it as a protective layer in cases where that could add significant value to our products.”
Ideas for the future
“The opportunities with the UJF-3042 are promising. Now that we have this technology, we can do more than ever before. We can offer our print services to local screen printers who do not have the technology. Furthermore, we can think about expanding our product range with indoor signs, small displays, promotional products and membrane switches.”