Printshop Denver, established in 2015 as an associate company of the USS Graphics group, adds a new dimension to its business by expanding its digital operations and advancing its ‘campaignability’ offering. Susan Unsworth reports.
HAVING found the Inca Onset R40i UV flatbed inkjet printer commissioned at its Cape Town facility in early 2015 (PPM July 2015) a perfect fit for the company’s vision, the installation in December 2016 of an Onset R50i at its Printshop Denver operation was a no brainer for USS Graphics.
‘Our “campaignability” approach allows us to offer any product or service entirely in-house – from concept to courier – and encompasses all facets of print,’ explains USS Graphics MD, Louis Burger. ‘Printshop Denver brings this service to Johannesburg, where digital capacity was previously limited.’
This latest model boasts a 14-picolitre drop size, compared to the 27-picolitre drop size of the Onset S40i, achieving 1 000dpi apparent resolution for ultra-crisp images, fine lines, sharp text and smooth tonal gradations close to offset quality at speeds up to 640m²/h. Built using Inca Digital’s scalable architecture, the printer has a truly modular design that allows both productivity and colour configuration to be changed on-site to match altering business needs throughout the unit’s life.
The machine has a dedicated flatbed with a print area of 3.22m x 1.6m, and is designed for ease of loading and positioning with rigid materials, with a best-in-class capacity of 80kg and maximum media thickness of 50mm. The 25-zone vacuum table minimises bed masking, shortening setup times and increasing productivity. Dual registration points ensure accurate and simple registration.
Other features include Fujifilm Dimatix Q-Class printheads, and the availability of four, six or eight channels with lights and whites using Fujifilm Uvijet UV-curable inks for strong, vibrant, lightfast colours with great image quality and superior colour gamut.
Built for business efficiency
‘Onset printers are built with business efficiency in mind,’ says Fujifilm regional sales manager, Andy Smith. ‘They offer like-for-like print quality at higher throughput than any other UV inkjet machine. They also enable the production of high run length jobs, which until now were not viable for the inkjet process, and the Onset is sufficiently powerful to pay for itself in a short time.’
He also explains that the user has a choice of print finishes, from low-glare satin to high-impact gloss. Linear motors and vibration-free air bearings make for smooth and rapid positioning of the print carriage, achieving accurate ink drop placement. Dual UV curing lamps provide the option to print bi-directionally. The system can also vary the dosage to produce a range of print finishes.
The addition of a ‘machine setup files’ function allows capturing and repeated reloading of a huge number of variables, enabling operators to change quickly between substrates. Through the ReporterPro software, the user can view important aspects of the machine’s operation, including uptime, total prints made, ink usage and nozzle mapping. ‘This is a very useful function for owners and production managers who want to monitor productivity, especially where the operation is shift-based,’ says Andy.
Great growth potential
The decision to invest in added capacity in Johannesburg reflects USS Graphics’ confidence in the growth potential of this important market, explains Louis Burger. ‘We had very limited digital capacity in this region, with nothing specifically in place for the corrugated and construction markets, so were slightly lacking in achieving the “campaignability” goal. The purchase of the Onset R50i brings us closer to bringing the concept to life throughout the country.’
Printshop Denver can now expand its offering to the point-of-sale and point-of-purchase market, including the digital production of free-standing display units and entry form boxes.‘The machine opens new markets in terms of high-speed and high-quality digital print in both rigid and non-rigid substrates. It will also help to facilitate shorter litho runs, allowing our litho operation to take on more work,’ he adds. .
Printshop Denver and USS Graphics operate independently, but work together when it’s in a customer’s best interests. For example, if a customer in Cape Town needs urgent delivery of a product in Johannesburg, it will be manufactured in Johannesburg and delivered directly to the customer with no transit delays.
‘We believe we offer great service, pricing and quality of all printed products in our range,’ Louis states. ‘We’re excited to be able to offer a broader and improved service to our current customers and look forward to strengthening these partnerships. The market is moving strongly along a digital trend and we believe we’re well ahead of the curve, but we invite potential customers to judge for themselves by putting us to the test.’