"This has given us an edge without a doubt"
Commercial printer Loop Print has installed a Mimaki UCJV300-160 to spearhead the “next step” of its wide-format evolution.
The new Mimaki replaces an EFI Vutek QS2000 flatbed and was delivered to the Sheffield-based printer last month. It will also pick up some work from a Roland VersaCamm VS-420 solvent printer that will remain onsite as a back-up.
The printer cost around £24,000 and is Loop’s first Mimaki. The company chose it for its high-quality output after a demonstration from Barnsley vendor Sabur Ink Systems at the Sign & Digital 2018 expo in Birmingham during the spring.
“It’s not quite replacing two printers completely, but this machine is definitely our next step,” said managing director Chris Gray. “The speed is not quite as high as the old Vutek, but its quality is just in a different league and we do not do huge volumes, so we had breathing space speed-wise.
“Running with a mounting table, it has a very quick setup and the drying is immediate – its UV-LED curing was the absolute selling point. It also means we can do white now and the overall quality is just fabulous.
“For our clients, we can show them that the reliability and stability of its reproduction is superb, and jobs come out scratch-proof with no need for lamination. As soon as we saw this at the show we knew this was our bag.”
Mimaki’s UCJV300-160 inkjet system takes media up to 1.6m wide and prints resolutions up to 1,200dpi with the aid of two drop-on-demand piezoelectric printheads. It prints at a maximum speed of 25sqm/hr.
It will produce a variety of wide-format graphics jobs for Loop, including posters, banners, exhibition displays, vinyls and self-adhesives.
On its 1,486sqm premises, Loop also runs a five-colour B2 Komori Lithrone S29 H-UV press and a Heidelberg Speedmaster 52, as well as full in-house finishing capabilities.
With 22 members of staff in his employ, Gray said the next steps would be more measures to keep Loop “ahead of the game” in what he described as a “very difficult marketplace”.
“This has given us an edge without a doubt,” he said. “Only a month in, we can already tell this will be a good investment for us and we look forward to continuing to push things forward at Loop.”