A star performer
Fujifilm’s Uvistar Pro8 roll-fed printer has proved itself a star performer for eco-substrate innovator, ARIA Print Centres, the creator and manufacturer of ARIA-FLEX, a unique polyethylene (PE) environmentally-friendly fabric ideal for use as banners, billboards, signs and displays.
A total of eight Uvistar printers have been ordered from Fujifilm by ARIA Print Centres, part of the YJ manufacturing group has ordered a total of eight Uvistar printers from Fujifilm and so far, four have been installed across two ARIA Print Centres production sites – three in Selangor Darul Ehsan state in Malaysia and one in Dallas, Texas, where they have been used in a test production environment in combination with the ARIA-FLEX fabric over the past nine months. Three more Uvistar printers will be installed in Malaysia and one more in Dallas during the coming months to meet increasing production demands.
Craig Adams, President of ARIA, explained: “We chose the Uvistar because of its high speed, excellent quality output and because it is designed to handle the very lightweight PE-Flex substrates that we manufacture. ARIA-FLEX has been specifically engineered for the digital printing market and we believe it holds the key to a more sustainable future. It is a very eco-friendly product, made with 100percent recyclable Polyethylene, a material that is a safer, durable alternative to PVC and that performs exceptionally well, offering a smooth printing surface for vibrant, high quality results.”
In the selection of the Uvistar Pro 8, Craig also asked Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth, publisher of the FLAAR Reports, to evaluate the printer: Nicholas and his team are one of the few impartial sources which has both a broad and deep technical knowledge of all the various printers, inks, and RIP and colour management systems: He reported: “There are many good UV printer brands, but Fujifilm took the time to test various ink and RIP settings until it had a perfect recipe that worked well on ARIA PE. Other printer brands either did not have the time for the tests, did not have a strong presence in Malaysia, or their UV inks were different and thus the results were inconclusive.”
Craig continues, “The overall cost per m2 of print is also essential to the viability of this project. The Uvistar proved to be the most cost effective solution by far for our particular set of applications.
“Over the past few months, we’ve been using the first four of our eight Uvistar printers to rigorously test ARIA-FLEX’s compatibility with Uvijet inks and the Uvistar Pro8 platform and the results so far have been nothing short of outstanding. Over this time, we have produced an extensive range of products for our customers, including one of the largest global outdoor media companies, which now has a selection of banners and signage out in the field produced on ARIA-FLEX.
Fujifilm’s Uvistar Pro8, together with the vibrant colours achieved through the use of Uvijet inks, delivers excellent image quality and high productivity. With a light colours ink set, it enables close-view, high value images to be printed, thus widening the range of applications to both high-volume outdoor and added value indoor applications, including exhibition graphics, point-of-purchase and other indoor displays. With two models – 3.5 metre and five metre – and a throughput speed of over 350m2/hr, the Uvistar series has rigid and multi-roll media handling capabilities, is simple to operate and has a robust construction, making it ideal for even the most demanding print production environments.
Fujifilm has worked closely with ARIA Print Centres throughout the installation and product testing process, which included the building of new bulk feeding systems to accommodate the unique attributes of the ARIA-FLEX, something Craig says has been crucial to the overall success of the project.
He continued: “PE is a natural replacement for PVC and a very exciting development for the industry, so it’s great to be working with a global brand hat is respected for its innovation in this field. This product has been a total of five years in development and the team at Fujifilm understands what we want to achieve and has worked closely with us to ensure maximum synergy between substrate, inks and machine. The result is a product that has exceeded both our and our customers’ expectations so far. I can confidently say there has been no ‘buyer remorse’ following our investment in the Uvistar kit. It’s like a meeting of minds, and we’re very pleased to be working together with Fujifilm.”
Another convert is CACTUS IMAGING in Australia. According to its President, Keith Ferrel, Cactus installed its first Uvistar about a year ago. Aside from the excellent print quality, Keith confides that its m2 cost is actually better than theinitial expectations. Keith attributes this to efficiencies that are inherent to the system as a whole, with the Uvistar printer, Fujifilm ink, and ARIA’s PE Flex performing synergistically to deliver an excellent product, quickly and consistently, assuring quality while boosting output and lowering costs for CACTUS.
Craig concluded: “When green printing is the goal, it is all about developing the right combination of substrate, printer, ink, and software.”
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