Chichester-based labels printer announces significant new expanded capabilities and applications
CMYUK, Shrewsbury – Label manufacturer and engraving expert, Matform has installed a Mimaki UJF-7151 Plus next generation direct-to-object flatbed LED UV printer from CMYUK. The investment replaces a decade-old Mimaki UJF-3042 FX and significantly expands the company’s capabilities and applications reach.
The 5171 Plus has allowed the company to produce labels far more cost effectively at higher quality and greater speeds. Its printable 710 x510mm bed size has bought with it a slew of benefits.
“With the 7151Plus, we’re able to produce 8-up artwork, whereas with our old A3 machine we were restricted to 2 or 3. Our investment exposes us to many new opportunities – taking us beyond labels and into the promotional side of the market,” says Jon Tucker, Sales Manager.
“We loved our old Mimaki but obviously, we were restricted by its A3 print size. With the Mimaki 7151 Plus, it’s comfortable enough for a single operator to either load six sheets or a large single one. We no longer have to turn work away,” says Ian Curling, Works Manager.
The UJF-7151 is geared to high quality on-demand printing at industrial production levels. A digital alternative to traditional screenprinting processes, it offers high speed printing, direct-to-substrates up to 153mm thick and offers precise ink drop placement to 1,200dpi.
“The fact that it’s such a versatile piece of equipment that can handle a wide variety of substrates, it will attract new customers and with them new applications. The bigger bed allows us to print single large pieces, and place more specific shapes onto it,” says Jon.
Matform uses Mimaki’s UV curable LH 100 inks which it previously used with its older machine, but the bonus here is that the ink comes in litre bottles rather than 40ml cartridges, resulting in cost savings and an improved environmental footprint. These inks emit very low levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) while the curing LED light does not radiate short wavelengths that generate ozone.
“The print quality is really good at whatever setting. We basically always run our Mimaki on a medium setting that gives excellent results for an industrial finish and the style of labels that we do. This setting works well on raised lettering – say about 2mm high – still with good definition and detail,” says Ian.
The 7151 Plus comes with process, white and clear inks plus a primer making it highly suited to personalised giftware, bespoke products, control panels., pens, packaging, small to medium format rigid signage, instrumentation and gauge faces, custom components, branded electronic device cases, covers and more.
Matform uses the white ink to carry out in-house cold embossing. “The ink is quite forgiving. You can adjust the software for levels of opaqueness, you can lay down two coats of white or as many layers as you want. There’s also a varnish option. We’ve had quite a few customers ask us about producing Braille labels as we have the ability to build layers with the varnish to create a Braille effect,” says Ian.
The Matform heritage
Matform was founded in 1969, evolving from a traditional screenprinter into a digital industrial labels manufacturer and digital printer. It is also an engraving specialist, migrating from traditional techniques into adopting Trotec laser technology.
Its in-house capabilities means that Matform attracts a wide variety of work from servicing the home-based inventor to international engineering companies.
While self-adhesive reverse printed labels on Lexan-style material is a staple, the company is finding that more varied applications are starting to register on the dial.
Another application area that has gained a great deal of traction at the company is the printing of sequential QR codes.
Says Jon, “We’re printing unique markings on so many different substrates – we’ve printed codes on wood for restaurants. The point is now whatever customers require we can fulfil it in-house. We now have the capabilities that allow us to be truly versatile. Word is getting out – yes labels are our main business but we can offer so much more. Whatever a customer requires we make it our business to deliver.”