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Dale Studios Goes Large with Mimaki Investment

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

KETTERING, UK - Dale Studios hasn't taken its new investment lightly: to accommodate its new Mimaki JFX500-2131 grand-format flatbed UV printer from i-Sub Digital, the Leicester design house needed a new unit to house it and a flatbed printing expert to run it. It even came with a partner – a Mimaki JV400LX latex printer.

Established in 1984, design, print and installation company Dale Studios marked its 30th anniversary with a major expansion, including the purchase of a new Mimaki JFX500-2131 UV printer. Having seen the smaller Mimaki JFX200 in action at Sign and Digital UK, the business decided against its original intention of buying the smaller model and opted instead to expand its opportunities with the grand-format 2.1m x 3.1m bed size version. Following a flying visit to Mimaki Europe's HQ in Amsterdam, Dale Studios worked with i-Sub Digital as its supplier. 

"We had looked at investing in a new printer for a while but felt the print quality was not there in our budget range," explains Ben Millard, Creative Director at Dale Studios. "Now, modern flatbed printers offer print quality that is on par with roll-fed machines like the Mimaki LX400 latex printer and the Mimaki JFX500 is giving us accuracy and greater capacity.

"When choosing the a new printer, it wasn't all about buying the fastest machine available but about the quality, consistency, size and ink longevity with of course good production speeds that enabled us to retain all of the criteria just mentioned. The Mimaki JFX500 ticks those boxes."

The heavyweight engine offers a maximum print size of 2.1m x 3.1m at speeds of up to 60sqm/hr with CMYK and 45sqm/hr with white ink and, thanks to its Intelligent Microstepping System, outputs even tiny characters accurately and legibly.

Having historically run roll-fed printers previously – Dale Studios currently runs six large-format eco-solvent printers – Ben Millard admits there was a learning curve with the flatbed machine, which was eased by the appointment of an expert flatbed printer operator.


"It took some getting used to," he says. "Having a flatbed means a slight increase in file preparation time but the benefit is that productivity is far greater, being able to print all day at consistent high quality, and opens up a wider range of printable substrates and thickness of materials."


The new flatbed also required more space, so installation was delayed until Dale Studios expanded its production area by acquiring the unit next door, now transformed into a dust-free, air-conditioned design and print space 'about the size of the ground floor of a small terraced house'.


The Mimaki JFX500-2131 was sold as one of a pair with the Mimaki JV400LX latex printer. Featuring six-colour printing (CMYK, orange and green) plus white and prints dry off the machine ready for finishing, the roll-fed latex printer is ideal for Dale Studios's work for commercial, blue chip customers – especially bespoke custom window displays and large POS installs.


"The Mimaki JV400LX's big colour gamut with vibrant orange and green adds another arm to our service," says Ben Millard. "We can now print a wider colour gamut and denser colours which is especially good for backlit materials."

"We're a 100mph, non-stop company; most deadlines are the same day and every customer requires their jobs on time whether it's a one-off print or large project over numerous substrates. By investing in the new machines we have twice as much extra capacity guaranteeing we continue to deliver a high-quality product on time to all of our clients."

Emma Plant, Sales Manager of Kettering-based wide-format print equipment specialist i-Sub Digital, comments: "Dale Studios has grown dramatically over the past ten years, especially in the last six months, and we're delighted to be involved in that expansion. 

"We are also pleased to have been able to assist Dale Studios in the process to establish what they required to enable them to move the business forward and develop new markets. It is also encouraging that they chose and trusted us again as their preferred supplier which demonstrates that successful business is very much reliant on close working relationships that are built over time, in this case over the past six years of i-Sub Digital working with Dale Studios."

She adds: "The Mimaki JFX500-2131 and the Mimaki JV400LX offer different things, all at excellent quality. I'm sure Dale Studios will find them both invaluable for its bespoke design work."


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Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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