An easy option
When Baz Ogle formed his new company, Format Graphics last March, his choice of wide-format printer was easy.
As a long time user of VUTEk platforms, beginning with an early PressVu 200-600 and followed more recently by QS and GS machines, it was a straightforward decision to continue with EFI technology. And accordingly, Baz was quick to invest in the first ‘cool cure’ GS3250LX 3.2m flatbed and roll-fed system with LED technology to be installed in the UK.
Formerly the founder of Milton Keynes-based Icon Graphics, Baz started his current company in order to concentrate on producing a broad portfolio of high quality wide-format applications for a diverse customer list. Working primarily with designers and agencies servicing blue chip clients, Format Graphics is expected to deliver the fine standards of print and accurate colours that meet the exacting criteria set by end customers, many of which are major brand owners.
Originally considering the VUTEk QS3-Pro when he visited EFI’s showroom in Brussels, Baz changed his mind when he discovered more about the opportunities available and the overall benefits of the GS3250LX.
He explained: “The idea of EFI’s ‘cool cure’ technology appealed to me greatly, and since we use a diverse range of materials it was easy to assess the advantages that LED curing could offer. In the end, it was the machine’s ability to print directly even onto the most difficult media, without compromising on either speed or quality that made me decide that the VUTEk GS3250LX was the printer we needed. In addition, it was the only one that offers a full 3.2m width for both rigid and roll materials, plus the capability to print continuous boards, a feature that no other printer in the same class was able to provide.”
Format Graphics also needed a true hybrid printer with quick changeover from rigid to flexible materials and back again. Currently, the company’s throughput is split evenly between flatbed and roll-fed work, and the capabilities of the GS3250LX, along with its LED curing have proved to be ideal for handling sensitive media that reacts badly to heat.
The environmental benefits of the VUTEK GS3250LX were another key benefit for Format Graphics. Baz continues: “These days many of our clients want to work with suppliers that offer greener productivity and by using UV-curable inks, in combination with LED lamps, we can eliminate hazardous missions, such as ozone or VOCs, while our energy requirements are also significantly lower too.”
Dan Preston, an experienced VUTEk operator who joined Format Graphics at the outset, is finding the GS3250LX is a joy to use. “As well as the advantages we’re finding with the LED curing, this printer gives us stronger, more vibrant colours across all materials,” he reports, adding: “We use a lot of white ink, and the opacity on this machine is particularly good.”
Since EFI first launched the VUTEk GS3250LX in 2011 it has steadily gained in popularity, with more and more users growing to appreciate its versatility and innovative LED curing technology. Also available as the 2m GS2000LX and, as an option, the Pro with greyscale capabilities, this printer series has gained a reputation for being able to handle difficult, heat sensitive materials and surfaces that, hitherto, have been unsuitable for use with the UV-curable production process.
Baz affirms: “Having a printer which is kinder to vinyl and other difficult materials has certainly extended our range of applications, and better still, we don’t get any ruined jobs. There’s nothing more disheartening than finding that a surface that should print perfectly has been damaged beyond use at the curing stage, due to the high levels of heat that have been emitted. Knowing that applications won’t buckle or warp, and eliminating the possibility of head crashes, is a tremendous advantage.”
The printer’s speed of throughput has also impressed both Baz and Dan. The machine uses the latest version of EFI’s Fiery XF RIP, which enables it to be run at 90 square m/hour, printing a 2.4 x 1.2m board in less than three minutes.
Baz concludes: “ To sum up, the GS3250LX is fast, reliable, versatile and green – what more could you possibly ask for?”
For further information on Format Graphics visit: www.formatgraphics.biz
For further information on VUTEk printers visit: www.efi.com