When someone claims they can print everything on anything. And then they go and do it.
Fine Cut Ltd, Lancing, United Kingdom. Continuing to exceed all expectations of digital output quality, with a state-of-the-art facility to deliver a truly matchless service, Fine Cut has excelled in their work within the medical, automotive, marine and agricultural sectors, as well as the more conventional signage and graphics.
Fine Cut values the possibility to print on an increased range of materials with the Impala LED.
Enter Fine Cut and you see a flourishing company, the array of equipment for a number of different sectors is in full view. This view is enhanced by not one, but two swissQprint UV flatbed printers.
Love at first sight
From the purchase of their first Impala in 2012, Fine Cut fell in love with the swissQprint technology. So much so, that when the opportunity to transition to LED curing became available in the shape of the Impala LED, the company recognised another way to further develop their business. This was the primary driver for Fine Cut’s decision to add this next generation printer. In fact, speciality printer Fine Cut has been the first print service provider to invest in the new swissQprint Impala LED printer in the United Kingcom.
The new 2.5×2 metre large format printer is configured for six colours (CMYK, light Cyan, light Magenta) plus white, primer and varnish. It is used to produce a broad range of precision industrial applications for clients in the medical, automotive, marine and agricultural sectors, as well as more conventional signage and graphics work. Digital print manager, Simon Tourle, explains: “While the original Impala exceeded all our expectations of digital output quality, UV curing with mercury vapour lamps still presented limitations for high precision work on more challenging substrates, due to the media distortion caused by the high temperature process.”
Impala LED is the second acquisition from leading sign and graphics supplier, Spandex UK Ltd. The two companies have a rich history spanning back to 2011, where Fine Cut has valued Spandex’s technical and applications expertise in service and support of the printers and inks. “The Spandex team has been extremely responsive to our needs, showing great interest in how we work with the Impala and helping us to get the best from the technology”, comments Tourle.
swissQprint Impala has surpassed the quality achievable with the screen printing process.
Among others, Fine Cut caters for the medical, automotive, marine and agricultural sectors.
Fine Cut have seen an immediate impact from the Impala LED since it was installed in October 2017. “The new Impala LED has delivered a noticeable step up in speed”, explains Tourle. First of all, there is the acceleration of the printing process itself thanks to more productive print heads. Secondly, Tourle points out the LED curing, which removes the need for warm-up and cool-down cycles between jobs. “In practice, jobs that took an hour to print on the first generation Impala are now taken care of in 20 to 30 minutes. As a matter of fact, our flatbed productivity has more than doubled”, he concludes.
Fine Cut are committed to reducing the environmental impact at every possible opportunity, as an integral part of their ongoing business strategy. Their duty and care stance towards the natural environment has led to them undergoing testing to be SC21 (www.sc21.org.uk) certified to attest their consistently high standards of working practices and product quality, which includes stringent environmental clauses.
The addition of their existing Impala in 2012 allowed Fine Cut to produce traditionally screen printed overlays on a digital platform, improving quality and reducing the waste associated with screen printing. With their latest pur-chase of the Impala LED Fine Cut now produce over 60 percent of their work through digital means at almost half the energy, meaning they have cut their costs and energy usage down significantly. This not only gives the company additional funds, but also allows Fine Cut to keep up their ongoing environmental strategy.
Simon Tourle: “Our flatbed productivity has more than doubled with the Impala LED printer.”
Surpassing screen printing
The premium output quality from the swissQprint Impala was the decisive factor in Fine Cut’s transition from its heritage in screen printing to digital. According to Tourle, the team kept an eye on developments from the early days of digital wide format technology but, until the launch of the first generation Impala in 2010, they had not seen a digital flatbed solution that met their exacting standards for colour accuracy and consistency. They were stunned by the quality of printed samples from the Impala. An impression that was reinforced by a visit to the swissQprint manufacturing plant in Switzerland, where they were shown the wide range of print possibilities that could be achieved with the large format printer.
In practice, Fine Cut found that the swissQprint Impala could actually surpass the quality achievable with the screen printing process, enabling them to produce photographic quality prints on virtually any substrate including many that were historically screen printed. “Our clients absolutely appreciate the exceptional quality we can deliver with this digital printer”, says Tourle.
Alongside its digital production solutions, Fine Cut maintains a strong screen line-up for printing true metallic and conductive inks. With a diverse base of prestige customers, Fine Cut values the versatility to print on an array of materials and handle a range of bespoke requirements. The original Impala printer enabled new, custom applications that would have been uneconomical or impossible with screen. Now the Impala with LED curing opens up many more potential new avenues.
Ready to face any challenge
“As a business, we’ve always invested to stay at the forefront of the industrial print sector with a clear focus on high quality results realised by our technology choices”, says Tourle. According to him, Fine Cut is driven by the wish to be able to respond to any client brief, however challenging. “We like to say that we can print anything on anything and with the Impala, we certainly can.”
Signage and graphics for customers in various sectors