SIGNUMrètols expands its service offering with Mimaki UJV 160
The family run firm, based since its founding in Alcoletge, near Lleida (Spain), has installed a Mimaki UJV 160 wide format inkjet printer to meet their customers’ demands for high quality print on rigid media.
Founded by Josep Cano, the company began its activities dedicated to decorative painting and sign making using manual processes. The seven people working in SIGNUMrètols are highly trained and experienced allowing the company to offer solutions for all kind of signs, including POP, vehicle decoration and window dressing. the company specializes in decor for events, from a full football field to a fair or congress.
From painting to digital printing
The company evolution from decorating with paint and manual signage to digital production has been smooth and fast: “At first, most of the activity was painting and just one or two percent was sign production. However, things have turned around because now anything and everything can be digitally printed so we don’t paint anymore, “said Oriol Cano, son of the founder and current head of the firm.
Around the turn of the millennium there was a change in our activity from painting to digital printing and signage. “We kept to vinyl cutting for quite a time, because at first wide format presses cost too much. Once the prices were more reasonable, we acquired our first water-based plotter and then a pre-owned solvent based one. Soon we bought a second solvent based wide format printer. The whole process was carried out in a very short period during the last seven years, “said Oriol Cano.
“The addition of digital printing equipment has been continuous,” says Oriol Cano. “We’ve been growing and growing at a steady rate until the present crisis, around the year 2007-2008. Now we work at a lower volume in terms of jobs and adapting to the prices that the market demands. Although the number of jobs has not declined as much as the situation indicates, turnover and margins have gone slightly down. “
The extensive production equipment includes two printer-cutter plotters, one water-based ink printer, two solvent-based ink large format printers, one eco-solvent large format printer and the recently installed wide-format Mimaki UJV 160 printer with UV inks for flexible and rigid substrates. The company has also finishing equipment, laminators, cutters, and other ancillary equipment, to complete the entire production process.
The company’s business extends beyond the area of Lleida, with a significant number of clients in the areas of Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.
The contact with Digidelta, Mimaki distributor for the Iberian peninsula, was made during Graphispag Digital 2009 fair, which was held in February. “We decided to incorporate a high quality printer for rigid in December 2008. So I took the opportunity to attend the fair to see some machines, “says Oriol Cano. “I arrived at the fair the last day, Saturday, within hours of the closure and during this visit the capabilities of the 160 Mimaki UJV seemed appropriate to our needs, even in size. One key is that the printer could fit in the space we have available in our production facilities.”
The new printer was installed in June 2009 and from the very first day production work was done. “Times of crisis are also times of opportunity, with this wide format printer we can offer unique applications. We print and install, and the only thing we do not do is design, “says Oriol Cano. “Most of our customers are graphic design agencies, advertising agencies, interior designers and institutions that are looking for service and price”.
The Mimaki UJV 160 is a hybrid inkjet printing equipment capable of printing both on flexible and rigid materials. Print speed is five square meters per hour at a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi in high quality mode, which ensures superb quality images. This printer is an improvement on the UJV series and can use heavier rigid materials, supporting up to 12 kg (previous models supported a maximum weight of 2 kg).
“This printer has the advantage of being able to print over a rippled material,” says Oriol Cano. “You can raise the printhead. The print quality will vary but it can be done. With other printers, the distance is critical because the heads are going to touch the substrate. Scratching the head with the substrate means head cleaning, with consequent ink wastage and production downtime. ”
The Mimaki UJV 160 Printer has a low-power LED UV curing system that generates little heat during use so heat sensitive materials can be printed. The printer uses either two types of ink: flexible UV inks and UV hard inks. The flexible UV ink can stretch up to 200% and allows for UV printing applications such as fleet decoration, using thin PVC that fit both vehicles and any other curved surface.
Big Savings on ink
One advantage of the Mimaki UJV 160, which the SIGNUMrètols manager highlights, is head cleaning process. In other printers this process employ a lot of ink, which is a major expense that is not reflected in production. With the Mimaki UJV 160 this cleaning process consumes a much smaller amount of ink, so the ink cartridges last longer. In addition to the standard cartridges, this printer can use high-capacity cartridges containing 600ml.