Our July 2018 What’s Happening covers everything from new wide-format printers to the expansion of print service providers.
FastSigns & Epson Offer Franchisees SureColor S60600 Printer
FastSigns International and Epson America are offering franchisees the new Epson SureColor S60600 roll-to-roll solvent printer. All 600 franchisees in the FastSigns network are now able to integrate the high-speed, high-production printer into their centers.
The printer boasts technological enhancements designed to save time and money. Currently, 33 FastSigns centers are expected to open this year with the printer.
“After undergoing an extensive selection process, we made the decision to travel to Epson’s headquarters in Japan to see the design and manufacturing capabilities firsthand,” said Brian Boehm, FastSigns International’s director of Tech and Supply Chain. “In addition to the attainable price point offered by the Epson SureColor S60600, we were incredibly impressed by the updated technology the printer offers. This makes it a true workhorse that we know all of our franchisees will enjoy.”
The 64-inch printer features new Epson UltraChrome GS3 four-color solvent ink. The ink combines with a new media feeding system and a Dual-Array PrecisionCore TFP printhead. As a result, the SureColor S60600 is capable of producing sellable quality banners at 550 feet/hour. It can also produce adhesive vinyl output at up to 310 feet/hour.
“The SureColor S60600 is one of the most productive sign printers we’ve ever developed,” said Matt McCausland, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. “The partnership with FastSigns brings the advanced benefits of the S60600 to centers across the nation. We know each location will enjoy this innovative printing solution.”
Fujifilm Ships Acuity LED 1600R Roll-to-Roll Wide-Format Press
The Acuity LED 1600R is the latest addition to Fujifilm’s Acuity series of wide-format presses and printers. Moreover, it is a flexible, lower cost alternative to the Acuity LED 1600 II hybrid press. That press achieved its 1,000th global install.
“The new Acuity LED 1600R is a great investment opportunity for print service providers looking to produce high-quality, large-format graphic displays,” said Kaz Kudo, associate marketing manager, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division.
Employing Q-class printheads from Fujifilm Dimatix, the 64-inch roll-to-roll press has four color channels. It also offers the option of a modular upgrade in the field of up to seven colors. In addition, it features a high-density mode capable of handling heat-sensitive roll media. As a result, it is suitable for backlit and window applications. Moreover, like the Acuity LED 1600 II, it prints at up to 355 square feet/hour.
Furthermore, the press has instant start-up, long-life LED UV lamps, no ozone or VOC emissions and only one consumable—the ink.
Along with the Acuity LED 1600R, Fujifilm announced the Uvijet RL ink range. It is available in CMYK and CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta. A modular upgrade option also includes white. Picoliter drop sizes range from 10 to 30. This allows for smooth tonal ranges, fine text as well as solid colors, the company announced. Designed for flexible media, Uvijet RL is manufactured by Fujifilm Specialty Ink Systems. The company also stated: “Combined with the Acuity LED 1600R’s patented LED curing system and Fujifilm Dimatix printheads, it delivers near-photographic print quality at an impressive speed.”
Mimaki USA Opens Midwest Region Technology Center
Mimaki USA opened its Midwest Region Technology Center in Franklin, Wisconsin, located near Milwaukee. The technology center replaces the Shaumburg, Illinois (Chicago), facility that closed in April.
“This technology center will make it easier for existing and prospective customers in the Midwest, one of the country’s strongest printing corridors, to see our newest and most innovative digital inkjet printing solutions in action,” said Scott Champeau, general manager at Mimaki USA, a provider of wide-format inkjet cutters and printers. “It will also serve to support our dealers in the Midwest U.S. Moreover, it will inspire end users within that region,” he added.
Led by regional manager Ross Esenberg, the Mimaki sales, support and service teams welcome all to the tech center. Moreover, the center offers hands-on experience with Mimaki’s latest digital inkjet printing technologies, including UV-curable, dye-sublimation, latex and solvent printing.
The 16,585-square-foot facility is the site of solution demonstrations, dealer technician certification courses, end-user software and applications training, open houses and Microfactory events. A showroom is also available for visitors to view samples of the types of applications possible using Mimaki printers and cutters.
The new technology center is located 15 minutes from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport at 4700 W. Ryan Road in Franklin, Wisconsin.
Canon’s hdAlbum EZ V2.0 Photo Book Software
With an ever-increasing amount of photos being stored on smartphones, Canon USA recognizes that “creating photo books to showcase all those memories is a great idea and thoughtful gift, but the process can often feel daunting and time-consuming without the right application.”
To meet this challenge, Canon announced the new hdAlbum EZ v2.0 app. Using the company’s proprietary EAGiAL-M2 technology, the app can automatically arrange images directly from a compatible mobile device to make the photo book creation process easier.The imaging experts at Canon completely redesigned the hdAlbum EZ app with the v2.0 update for a virtually seamless customer experience. The app is now said to allow users to navigate the mobile interface “with ease and convenience.” Moreover, the redesigned software creates layouts for users, making photo books using 20 to 50 of their favorite images. It can also be linked to Facebook, Instagram and Verizon Cloud accounts.
“Canon is committed to offering time-saving solutions and creating intuitive platforms for imaging creation,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and COO, Canon USA, Inc. “The newly redesigned hdAlbum EZ v2.0 software provides a streamlined user experience for consumers to capture and share their memories with friends and families while leveraging the high-quality printing capabilities Canon is known for delivering.”
Starting at $14.99, Canon photo books take less than a week (3–5 business days) for production. Canon hdAlbum books can be created as keepsakes for life’s biggest moments. Themes include graduations, family vacations, newborns, engagements and weddings.
ER2 Image Group Relocates Operations
The ER2 Image Group relocated its business and production facilities to a new space at 4350 Chandler Drive in Hanover Park, Illinois. ER2 is a provider of full-service grand-format printing. The company expects to be up and running in early July with no disruption to project timetables.
A five minute drive from ER2’s current location, the new facility covers almost 35,000 square feet. In excess of 20,000 square feet is devoted to production space. For the first time in 10 years, the company has moved its three facilities, 55 employees and eight grand-format devices under one roof.
Our business has been growing so fast that we simply outgrew our old buildings. Working under three roofs had its challenges. Moving all our production space to one building was clearly the best option for us,” said Gary C. Schellerer, ER2’s COO and vice president of Operations.
“We also saw relocation as a great opportunity to redesign the layout of our equipment, staff and process for maximum efficiency. Furthermore, operations will be revamped. We are using concepts from standard lean manufacturing techniques to increase output as well as ensure control of end product quality,” Schellerer added.
The additional 20,000 square feet of production space also will allow for a substantial investment in cutting-edge production equipment to serve clients better.