Cardiff-based Gardners, one of Europe’s largest digital wide format printing companies specialising in retail, fleet, out-of-home and experiential print experiences has invested in an EFI VUTEk HS 125 FAST 4 printer from CMYUK.
The new printer features feature Fast-4 technology that uses eight ink channels with a CMYK x 2 configuration for even faster profitable throughput, which means you get higher speeds for outdoor and distance-viewed graphics.
The HS125 F4 is Gardners seventeenth digital printer in its current roster, designed for continuous shifts and 24-hour industrial production capabilities. It is set to become a central powerhouse in the company’s main production processes. All work from Gardner’s existing HP 7600 printer has been migrated over to the HS125 along with significant amounts of roll and sheet output from the company’s other 5m wide fleet.
Gardners purchased the HS125 because primarily it had a requirement for a 3m wide printer that offered blistering industrial production speeds at super high quality – attributes that traditionally have not been achieved at this level.
“The EFI VUTEk HS125 F4 will sit alongside our Durst 1330 as a mainline printer,” said Richard Courtney, managing director, Gardners. “It’ll become a main printer for us to provide a significant amount of extra capacity to service additional retail work. It will also help deal with ever-decreasing lead times, and will boost capacity by increasing our opportunity to say yes.”
The investment includes the advantage of three quarter loading for multiple rigid sheets. “The addition of the 3/4 automation has allowed us to produce longer print runs with a single operator in turn creating capacity,” he says.
Due to the immense production speeds of the printer and to enhance workflow visibility, Gardners has installed a camera on the printer’s gantry giving the single operator a 360-degree view. It has also added its own self-engineered roll-to-roll offline cutting system, which it has integrated to the front of the printer. This has further contributed to decreasing finishing times.
“The printer has bedded in very well,” says Courtney. “It’s outputting 150 sheets (8 x4ft) per hour, hitting rates that were advised. The printer is going to be a very, very good asset for us.”
This is the first time that Gardners has purchased a printer from CMYUK. Training took place on-site over a two-week period with on-going support from Amira Bouchiba, CMYUK’s training application specialist.
“Our onboarding process is designed to support press operators to become confident and proficient as they transition from training into real life production. We ensure that things that are taught are not forgotten, and the endless functionality in the technology is recognised, understood and utilised. There is no room for mistakes,” says Robin East, Director CMYUK.
According to Richard Courtney it is this level of personal service that has made this buying and installation experience such a gratifying one. “One of the problems with companies like ourselves, those that are £12m, £13m, £14m, £20m businesses is that we have huge manufacturers to deal with. It’s an unusual relationship rather like David and Goliath. It is so much easier dealing with specialist suppliers. Buying the printer through CMYUK has been a very positive experience,” he says.