Hollywood Monster is well known for their innovative and dynamic approach to wide format digital printing. A visit to their facilities on the outskirts of Birmingham is enough to impress even the most hardened veterans of the signmaking community. When you step out from the offices onto the staired platform above the printing and finishing plant, you’d better hold on to your hat – it goes on for miles.
A family run company, their 22 years in the sign, display and graphics market is testament to their hard work and ability to spot trends and new technology, to stay ahead of the game.
Each part of the business is very cleverly sectioned in this 40,000 sq metre building. There’s enough space for every kind of print and finishing solution you can think of including flatbed, UV, flexiface signs, welding, and now, with the introduction of the MTEX 5032, a brand new digital textile printing and finishing department.
The business can be seen as three distinct areas; PVC & Board, Soft Signage & Vinyls and Built up letters & Flexiface signs. Each section has its own defined workspace, dedicated skilled staff and state of the art equipment to ensure maximum efficiency and attention to detail to produce a clean, quality product first time, every time. To accommodate the new digital textile printing facility, Hollywood have spared no cost. They’ve built a brand new dedicated digital textile print room, complete with funky graphics from floor to ceiling. It’s a light and airy dust-free room that separates the printed textiles from other traditionally “dirty” signmaking methods such as welding, cutting and routing.
In addition to the new print room, they’ve designed a state-of-the-art sewing and finishing room, complete with three new purpose-built sewing machines for flag finishing, hemming and sewing on silicone keder edge.
Hollywood Monster was one of the first companies in the UK to install the new MTEX 5032. At 3.2m wide, the MTEX 5032 is a direct to textile printer with in-built fixation, is manufactured and developed in Portugal by specialist textile printer manufacturer, POD Iberia and sold in the UK by specialist digital textile distributor, Digital Print Innovations Ltd (DPI). DPI also specified and installed the new sewing machines.
Simon McKenzie, sales director at Hollywood Monster said that maintaining a controlled environment for the new printer was at the heart of the newly constructed print room. With every new technology or print method that they take on, they look at all the resources required to make it a success from day one. “There’s no point taking on a new printer without all the correct finishing and display solutions to go with it,” McKenzie comments, “So, after much research and working with DPI, we were able to settle on a complete solution from start to finish; print with MTEX, finishing with DPI sewing solutions and display using a variety of framework solutions including Primex.”
McKenzie has taken on three new sales people to seek out opportunities for their new department. With orders rolling off the MTEX 5032 in the first week, the outlook is rosy; “We’re looking at a range of markets to approach including hotels, theatres and galleries. The trend for retailers is also moving away from more rigid displays,” continues McKenzie.
“Multi-national retailers want managers and in-store personnel to be able to change their seasonal graphics and not have to send a fleet of installers every time they have a sale or a new collection. With the range of fabrics display solutions available now, we can create visually stunning graphics that can be posted out in a jiffy bag and installed by shop staff the next day. Simple, elegant solutions that save time and money.”
The MTEX 5032 was launched at FESPA London earlier this year to much acclaim. Designed for printing applications such as lightboxes, exhibition displays, light walls, flags, interiors and much more - with the best investment:quality ratio in the market today. The MTEX 5032 has an integrated heat fixation unit, meaning waste is reduced to a minimum and the whole solution has just one footprint, saving space, time and money.
Steward Bell, managing director of MTEX distributor DPI says; “The MTEX 5032 prints vibrant colours and very intense blacks, meaning dramatic light box and wall graphics can be produced to a standard never seen before at this price point. Flags, textile banners and exhibition graphics are produced in one swift and elegant printed solution, with no need for any further processes involved apart from sewing or hemming. Due to this all-in-one solution from MTEX, the potential for error is dramatically reduced, print speed is increased and wastage reduced to a minimum. It’s clean, easy, fast and affordable - that’s why we know that MTEX have cracked it with their range of textile printers and that’s why companies like Hollywood Monster are investing in this technology now.”
Spotlight on Birmingham Rep Theatre
One of the first jobs that came off the MTEX 5032, was for the Birmingham REP Theatre for a production called Tartuffe.
The graphic (pictured) is a 30m x 9m back wall, it had to be extremely light- weight and not crease. The job took round 7 hours to print and 5 hours to sew together.
Hollywood not only created and printed the backdrop, but in fact worked with the set designers to produce the entire set – from backdrop, to structure graphics and flooring. Everything was produced and finished in house at Hollywood Monster and their team helped fit everything prior to the show. It took 3 days from receiving the artwork to delivering all the finished graphics, which included 400sqm of digital wallpaper.
McKenzie commented; “We love jobs like these – it really shows off the versatility of our company and the way we work. We thrive on challenges and in fact this was one of the easier ones! The backdrop was made possible by the introduction of our new MTEX 5032 because the only way we could do the job digitally was on dye sub so there would be no creasing or UV cracking in the material.
Also, the print quality was an important factor, and we where happy that the vibrant colors from all the substrates worked really well together.”
MTEX 5032 features
- z 4 x Epson DX5 print heads;
- z Printing speed up to 58 sqm;
- z Printing width up to 3200 mm;
- z 1440 dpi maximum resolution;
- z Integrated Infrared Fixation Unit;
- z Dye-based: dispersed inks;
- z 2-litre ink bulk system;
- z 4 x individually controlled temperature sensors
- z 10 x high-resistance INFRARED, individually controlled z Electro-pneumatic feeding device system
- Over 10 years experience in the aluminium framed, textile tension display market
- Manufactured to precision German quality standards z 6.08m lengths available to cut in house
- z Cutting Service also available in the UK
- z UK held stock available for next day delivery
- z Range of profiles for retail, exhibition, signage and display z Precision accessories available for lightboxes, freestanding & wall mounted units, ceiling mounts and more
- z NEW Real wood profiles available in 2.5m lengths in Beech, Ash, Oak and Wenge