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Manchester Print Services installs first HP Stitch S1000

Manchester Print Services installs first HP Stitch S1000

Manchester Print Services has taken delivery of the UK’s first HP Stitch S1000 super-wide dye sublimation printer, following its much-anticipated launch at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 last May.

Designed for high productivity and simplified operation, the 3.2m wide HP Stitch S1000 has been developed to meet rising demand for polyester-based textiles for sportswear, fast fashion, home décor and soft signage markets, and more. The printer brings a new level of innovation to high production companies to meet deadlines more easily by enabling fast speeds, high uptime, and unattended shifts.

As a specialist supplier to the retail POS and exhibition markets, Manchester Print Services has recognised a shift in the industry away from standard signage substrates and towards fabrics – materials that are more easily transported and can be finished to a higher standard. As such, it has invested in the most cutting-edge textile printing and finishing technology to meet the increasing demand for long runs of exceptional quality work.

An HP user for many years, Manchester Print Services has a workroom already running an HP Latex 360 and two HP Z6100 aqueous systems for smaller work, such as poster printing, so it was natural for the company to turn to HP once again when it needed to prepare for a significant new project. From this autumn, a four-year contract will see it supply substantial quantities of backlit displays to a single major customer, with other offshoot work expected. Its work using an older textile printer had secured the job, but Manchester Print Services wanted to ensure it had the fastest, most up-to-date equipment from day one of the project until its end.

Lee Egan, a Director at Manchester Print Services explained: “We went to the HP Graphic Arts Experience Center in Barcelona to see the new HP Stitch in July, where we were given a full demonstration, including profiling and material changes. We could immediately see that the Stitch could do everything we need it to.

“We wanted to make sure our new long-term job runs as smoothly as possible, so decided to have the Stitch installed straightaway.”

RA Smart delivered the HP Stitch S1000 to the Manchester Print Services HQ in Middleton at the end of August. As the exclusive supplier of Stitch in the UK and based nearby in Macclesfield, RA Smart supported Manchester Print Services throughout the purchasing decision, including during the visit to Barcelona and also provided post-installation training. Advanced training on the Ergosoft RIP software will also take place at a later date.

Lee Egan reported that since its installation, the Stitch’s output has been ‘superb’.

He said: “It’s easy to load and is very user-friendly. Even a novice could use it, thanks to diagrams that guide you through each step. You really just press the button and it prints.”

He added: “The quality is superb. The colours are very vibrant, and the automatic adjustments mean we haven’t seen any sign of banding in any of the tests we’ve run, or the jobs we’ve already completed on it since its installation.”

The system has been designed to enable unattended printing for hours at a time, thus enabling users to load a 100m roll of fabric onto the machine at the end of a day shift and leave it running until the morning.

“It gives you the confidence to leave it overnight to increase capacity when needed,” added Lee.

Additionally, the HP Stitch’s ability to print on both transfer paper and direct-to-fabric on one single device gives Manchester Print Services more options.

Lee observed: “We had never printed onto transfer paper using our older machine, so the dual function of the Stitch allows us to make a choice based on what’s right for the job. We’re renowned for our quality so it’s really good to have these options.”

Such is the reputation of Manchester Print Services and the excitement around the launch of the HP Stitch, the North-West print business has already attracted multiple new customers from a single LinkedIn post announcing its delivery.

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