It is rare for us to publish stories about overseas printing company investments on The Gill but when a French print service provider purchases two very expensive high quality swissQprint Karibu roll to roll printers in rapid succession and then says farewell to sublimation printing - we want to know why?


According to Pixcolor, located in Nancy, France, the main reasons are: efficiency, variety of materials and profitability. Pixcolor's customers include trade fair booth builders and shop fitters who are supplied with campaign and decoration elements as well as lettering and displays.


The company commissioned its second swissQprint roll to roll printer in late November 2019. The first had already started work just a few weeks before in early October. "Karibu's potential quickly became apparent," explains Frédéric Toupenay, managing director of Pixcolor. He adds: "We've always printed a lot of flexible materials with our Nyala and a sublimation printer, but Karibu brought an instant leap in quality, efficiency and reliability. The Karibu saves us a lot of time and gives no trouble whatsoever." Hence, the immediate order of a second UV roll to roll printer direct from swissQprint. 


The company says it prints miles and miles of banners, various textiles and self-adhesive films. In addition, there is paper, magnetic sheet on rolls and other films. "Of the many printers we've had, none has processed everything as smoothly as Karibu," says Frédéric Toupenay. "Even older rolls of material that choked other machines worked with Karibu. Karibu doesn't distort substrates, while line sharpness and print quality in general are striking. All these were reasons for purchasing the second system.”

The UV ink that swissQprint developed especially for Karibu is very flexible: stretch frames don't cause stress whitening. Frédéric Toupenay points out problem-free folding in particular: "We fold textiles for shipment and then assemble at the customer's location. No abrasion or creases can be seen.” Toupenay also praises the colour fastness: "It stays absolutely constant from the first to the last metre. Many other technologies have great difficulty with this." Toupenay also very much welcomes the ink's GreenGuard Gold certification, especially as this opens doors to new customer segments.


Pixcolor's management team is delighted with its swissQprint investment.


The printer's built-in light box runs right alongside the printing area, so the operator can immediately and continuously check backlit prints. Frédéric Toupenay explains: "Should optimisation be necessary, we can act quickly and lose little time or material." Pixcolor uses the Mesh Kit for full bleed printing of permeable media. Thanks to this, the machine stays clean, which in turn saves time. "My staff are happy that they no longer have cleaning to do," smiles Toupenay.


Karibu is highly energy efficient, as Frédéric Toupenay confirms: "Power consumption is massively lower compared to that of a sublimation printer." In addition, Karibu produces hardly any rejects. And then there is cool LED curing, which prevents material shrinkage and ensures registration accuracy with multi-part products. "We save a lot of material and have no more complaints," says Toupenay.

Pixcolor now operates a total of three swissQprint large format printers: the two Karibus, plus a Nyala flatbed printer. Their maintenance costs are very modest. "These machines never fail, that's so typically swissQprint," Frédéric Toupenay sums up.

"The Karibu starts at around £250,000 as standard but expect to pay more if you are looking to emulate Pixcolor’s productivity and go for two rows of heads and six colours with white and varnish."