The first Roland DG VersaUV LEC-540 UV-curable printer to be sold in Europe has been installed at Kent based packaging specialist, Beams International. This innovative wide-format print-and-cut system, which offers colour managed proofing and prototyping as well as high quality display production, features a 1.37m width plus white ink and clear varnish. It was selected for its unparalleled versatility, low investment cost and accuracy of output on all materials.
Beams International specialises in the design and manufacture of gift packs, and packaging of goods for promotions in the food and drinks' industry. The company creates and produces branded and bespoke items for the retail market in the UK and overseas, designed to build awareness for consumers through innovative and unusual packaging solutions.
Realising that its existing wide-format proofing system was limited because its aqueous-based inks were not able to output to the actual materials used in a final production run, Beams wanted a solution which would provide a true simulation of its packaging creations. Working with UK specialist Roland DG's partner, Revolution, the company opted for the print-and-cut versatility of the VersaUV LEC-540 which uses flexible UV-curable inks and outputs extremely high quality results onto a broad range of substrates.
Because of the special finishes incorporated into its packaging prototypes, Beams also required a combination system which not only could print, crease and cut but was able to simulate accurate proofs on a variety of materials. Being able to produce precise mock-ups, incorporating both matched colour and accurate folding, was of vital importance to the company so that brand owners and customers could view and touch a true representation of finished products.
"From the moment that we ordered the new printer we had a demand for its unique capabilities and since its installation and commissioning we have been able to produce prototype packaging that is as good as the real thing," states Matthew Russell, Commercial Director at Beams International. "Our customers have been able to understand in an instant what our proposition is and what the finished packaging will eventually look like."
Jan Edgecombe, managing director of Revolution, comments: "For Beams International it was essential for the company to invest in a dedicated proofing solution which could produce accurate mock-ups and prototypes for the quality end of the bespoke food and drink markets. The existing aqueous-based system was restrictive because it couldn't be used for proofing onto the final material and, with an increase in demand for specialist finishes, both highly opaque white and a versatile clear varnish also bring added value.
"Roland's VersaUV LEC-540 is a complete print-and-cut solution that incorporates LED curing so that even the most difficult materials can be dried satisfactorily," continues Edgecombe. "Combined with its high quality output and ability to produce a range of different finishes and textures, this machine is proving itself in the packaging and labelling sectors for short runs and specialist applications, as well as for proofing and prototyping."
Beams International, was formed nearly 14 years ago to develop gift products for retailers and duty free outlets. The company, which already had considerable experience within the beer, wine and spirit industry, concentrates on the packaging and branding of original and licensed products with emphasis on special promotions.
Based in Coalville, Leicester, Revolution supplies a wide range of printers, materials and software, and has developed a strong reputation for providing added-value solutions for all wide-format users including display producers, fine art specialists and proofing companies. The company also concentrates on colour management and profiling, an area of particular importance and relevance to the prototyping market.
The Roland VersaUV LEC-330 and LEC-540 are UV-curable print-and-cut solutions which offer modestly-priced turnkey systems for very high quality graphics and text for a variety of applications. For proofing and prototyping, this duo of combination machines is ideal for packaging and labelling, with the ability to output direct onto metallic and synthetic papers, PE and PET films, BOPP, card stocks and plastic boards, polycarbonates and other rigid materials up to 1mm in thickness.
Designed to integrate with a colour managed workflow, fully accurate results can be achieved even on difficult and unusual substrates, such as suede and leather. The Roland VersaUV produces output up to a maximum of 1440 x 1440dpi, and benefits from the addition of white and clear varnish to its CMYK palette, enabling complex and tactile graphics. The use of UV-curable flexible inks allows jobs to be cut, creased and folded without any chipping or flaking, with a tough and durable finish on all surfaces.
"This installation of the first LEC-540 at Beams International is a clear indication of how print businesses who need consistent and accurate proofing onto all materials can benefit from Roland technology," confirms Steve Chappell, Business Manager – Packaging and Proofing at Roland DG. "Not only is the VersaUV a low-cost versatile integrated print-and-cut option for this type of production, it is also chemistry-free and can be used in a normal office or studio environment."