Wed, May

Nessan Cleary talks to users about how this package has evolved from being financial management tool to a vital part of the production system for the modern wide-format operation.

Management information systems (MIS) have become increasingly important to print businesses, partly because there’s more emphasis on automated throughput than there was, but also because the role of the MIS has changed. Traditionally such systems have been all about gathering financial information so that managers can make the best decisions for the smooth running of a business. But increasingly the MIS now sits at the heart of the production process, running everything from estimating and quoting to generating delivery notes and invoices.

Textile printing is said to be one of the fastest growing areas in wide-format, but you do have to tailor the applications around the available materials? 

There’s no doubt that digitally printed textiles is a huge and growing business. But this is partly because it is made up of several very distinct markets. The biggest of these is the garment sector, which itself can cover a huge range from high street fashion to the occasional promotional    T-shirt. This includes printing to various materials from cotton to silk, which require specialist printers with inks suitable to these materials, and plenty of washing before the garment is ready  to wear.

Nessan Cleary takes a look at the machine that heralds Epson’s move into the textile printing market.

Late last year Epson announced its intentions to get into textile printing with two new dye-sublimation printers, one of which was the 64in wide Surecolor SC-F7000. This machine was subsequently officially launched at this year’s Sign and Digital show with quite a number now established in the field.



Avery Dennison has announced the ‘GoForPro Contest 2013’, a competition co-sponsored by HP, Epson and Mimaki that invites print professionals to enter their best graphics projects by 15 December. Winners’ entries will be awarded trips to the sponsors’ training centres in Barcelona, Dusseldorf, Milan or Istanbul.

Fespa 2013 has departed London and it’s time to assess what we have learned before the dust settles. Nessan Cleary reports. 

Even though this year’s Fespa show took place in London, it remained undeniably a European show, thanks to the sheer number of overseas visitors. It was busy, with most visitors having done their homework and knowing exactly what they had come to see. And there was plenty to see, with most stands crammed with equipment and visitors alike.

Nessan Cleary gets to grips with this Mimaki TS34-1800adaptation.

This month’s Machine Matters covers a roll-to-roll solvent printer from Graphic Printing Technologies (GPT), a division of Amari Plastics that is perhaps best known as a reseller of printers from the likes of Mimaki, Epson and Agfa.

Nessan Cleary investigates this high-speed textile printer aimed at the soft signage market.

Earlier this year the Portuguese company POD added a new textile printer, the Mtex 1800, to its line-up of fabric printers which are all distributed in the UK by the Derby-based company Digital Print Innovations, or DPI.

Nessan Cleary finds that latex compatibility and environmental concerns are the main catalysts for wide-format media development.

When it comes to substrates there are myriad different choices. But there are several trends in the types of substrates being demanded that indicate the overall direction of the wide-format market.

Nessan Cleary findsRoland’s new eco-solvent printer really has been built for speed without loss of image quality.

Roland has just launched a new eco-solvent printer, the Pro4 SolJet XF-640, premiered at Sign and Digital UK and immediately available to order.

There are many different stages in the life of a job, from the quotation through to final output, and its not always easy to link these together. But there is help at hand finds Nessan Cleary.

There is a tendency in wide-format to think in terms of individual machines and their capabilities but where there are multiple machines this can lead to a fragmented production department. The Image Reports’ annual Widthwise survey flags-up that, increasingly, PSPs are recognising that as a problem and looking at ways to improve their workflow.

Nessan Cleary investigates the UK entrance of this Memjet-powered wide-format printer.

Reprographic Technology International (RTI) has been showing off a new Memjet-powered wide-format printer, the Vortex 4200, which it is just about to start distributing in the UK. In truth, this is an existing model, the WideStar, first launched at the end of 2011. It’s been developed by the Hungarian company, Own-X, but has not been widely distributed across Europe, mainly because Own-X has concentrated on its label printer, which has sold fairly well. So it’s only now that the wide-format machine is being introduced to the UK market.

Nessan Cleary looks at the current trends in ink development for the wide format sector.

One of the most important components of any print system is the ink itself, thus a great deal of R&D money is spent on developing new ink types as you’d expect. It’s a given that for the most part inks determine application possibiities so in a maturing market like the UK, where print companies are generally satisfied with the print quality, speed and price of their wide-format inkjet printers and will only replace their existing devices if a new machine can demonstrate a clear return on investment, new ink formulations are where it’s at for many suppliers. 

Melony Rocque-Hewitt finds out just what’s so intelligent about this mini-beast.

Roland DG’s SolJet Pro XR-640 was launched in September last year and is billed as the company’s flagship machine. The SolJet range, which it now tops, is a highly successful one with a reputation for being powerful workhorses that are the mainstay of many a wide-format business.

Melony Rocque-Hewitt finds out just what’s so intelligent about this mini-beast.

As is the case for all families, in order to understand the offspring you have to consider the parent, so before we take a closer look at Onset S20i introduced last summer, we need to look at the Onset series as a whole.