Based in Hove, East Sussex, SAS (Special Art Services) Graphics is already seeing significant improvements in productivity and business opportunity following the installation of its latest investment, an Acuity Select X28 flatbed printer from Fujifilm in October this year.
Steve White, managing director, SAS Graphics explains: “We originally invested in a Fujifilm Acuity LED 1600 roll to roll wide format printer in 2014 as the company transitioned to a high end graphics and signage business, following an MBO of the fine art and photographic printing side of the business. This machine has served, and continues to serve us very well. However, we made the decision earlier this year to increase our production capabilities to help meet the demands of a growing customer base.
“As we come from a fine art and photographic background, we had been a customer of Fujifilm for many years, but that certainly didn’t guarantee we would also purchase Fujifilm’s inkjet technologies. Most of our work is producing a range of window, wall and banner graphics for high-end office fit-outs and refurbishments, or corporate branding projects, so we have always been really focused on ensuring we invest in machines with the very highest level of printing quality.”
Mr White says the company went out to the market and investigated a number of direct-to-substrate flatbed machines, but only the Acuity Select X28 could offer the right combination of speed, flexibility, quality and cost per print that their customers had come to expect.
“The eight-channel Acuity Select X28 has given us the ability to add light cyan and light magenta as well as white and a varnish if required. The result is not only amazingly high quality print, but produced at a speed and consistency that is unparalleled in our experience.
“The ColorGate RIP and Fujifilm’s UV inks are also a very powerful combination, which together have resulted in a very high performance machine. What is also impressive, is that the colour consistency between the X28 and the Acuity LED 1600 is right on the mark, which gives us a huge amount of production flexibility. For example, depending on production schedules and jobs, we can now proof a job on one machine and print it on the other one if we have to.”
Mr White says Fujifilm’s technical team also spent a lot of time with SAS, before and during installation, to ensure the colour profiles for both Acuity printers met the company’s highest standards of colour consistency and control. “They took the time to understand exactly what we needed and then worked on the profiles until they achieved exactly what we wanted. That commitment to customer service really impressed me.”
The Acuity Select X28, part of the Acuity Select 20 family of wide format printers from Fujifilm, offers the highest quality output in a wide format UV digital press with a print area over 2.5 x 3.05m. Designed for print applications requiring fine detail and high resolution imaging, the larger print area allows printing on oversized substrates or two 1.25 x 2.50m boards, enabling the operator to set up on half the bed, while printing on the other half for maximum throughput. Like the rest of the Acuity Series, the machine delivers the same high quality on both rigid and flexible substrates, unmatched by any other flatbed printer.
The Acuity Select 20 series features up to eight colour channels, including options to run white, light cyan and light magenta inks and a varnish, making it an affordable solution for a number of creative print applications. The versatility of printing high quality, 1200 dpi or greater graphics on rigid, flexible and even roll media gives printers new, additional opportunities to expand their print capabilities and their businesses.
The Acuity Select 20 series’ print performance is optimised by Fujifilm’s uniquely formulated Uvijet inks. These incorporate the company’s proprietary ‘Micro-V’ dispersion technology that consistently delivers wide adhesion, superb colour vibrancy and excellent durability in every print.
Concludes Mr White: “The new Acuity Select X28 has been a hugely welcome addition to our portfolio. Prior to the investment, we were close to full production capacity. However, since the installation, we have found that this machine can cost-effectively print such high quality at such fast speeds, that our turnaround times have been dramatically reduced, opening up so many new possibilities for the business.
“In addition to growing our client base in our core markets, we are now also providing wide format trade printing services to a number of other printers, who are outsourcing their wide format printing jobs to us. As a result, I see big possibilities for this machine and our business over the coming months and I’m very pleased with our partnership in Fujifilm.”