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On Test: Jetrix KX7D

The Korean built Jetrix printers appear to offer good value for money, so how did this Jetrix model fare on test? Nessan Cleary reports.

Inktec, which was founded in 1992 in Korea, is best known as an ink manufacturer but has also developed its own range of Jetrix UV flatbed printers. It has a European office, based in Witney, Oxfordshire, which has installed some 35 printers in the last three years. Last year Inktec launched the first of its KX series, which now include the compact KX3, the mid-range KX5 and the much larger KX7, which we've tested this month. 

Pay as you go

Can the software subscription model work for large format/sign providers? Jurgen Verhulst, applications specialist at SAi, explores the issue. 

In April this year, SAi introduced a subscription model for its signmaking software package Flexi. The ability to subscribe to powerful software programs on a monthly basis, funded from revenue rather than the capital investment required for an outright purchase, is becoming both more common and popular says SAi’s applications specialist Jurgen Verhulst. With advantages for large-format print/sign providers, software developers and dealers alike, this method of software delivery is seen by many as the future business model, but does it really make economic sense? Here Verhulst argues the point. 

Over to you... Luke Nicholson, Director, Matt Vinyl Graphics

What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?

Our clients new and old wanting vehicle graphics and trying to keep up with the supply and demand. 

Think Bigger: MTEX Solutions


How the company is driving creativity and innovation in the interiors and fashion industries.

When MTEX burst onto the wide-format print scene three years ago it was with a view to presenting a direct-to-textile printer series that would meet the demands not only of the sign and display market, but which would also appeal to designers and creative professionals in the fashion, textiles and interiors


Media suppliers on the move


Why consumables suppliers like Contra Vision are spending more time in collaboration with you  - and your customers.

With their expertise printers can add value to almost any project, if only they seize the opportunity. Of course many jobs require fast turnaround and low costs and it’s not always in a printer’s interest to up-sell solutions but, then again, thinking about unusual materials and novel applications can result in truly striking outcomes. Yet so often the focus is on price when it comes to print companies quoting on jobs, and that can really limit creativity – and the sales of higher end specialist media. Which is why some consumables suppliers, like Contra Vision, are turning their marketing and sales attention to end-users.

An industrial revolution


Nessan Cleary looks at how new inks developed for wide-format printers highlight the printer vendors’ growing interest in industrial printing – and what that means for you.

 It’s easy to talk about new printers and to analyse their performance and associated cost. But by and large it's the consumables - the ink and the media - that can determine new applications or potential cost savings. Most wide-format vendors are working on new inks - this is mainly because they are looking to develop new markets in industrial printing. But, don’t lose faith – this can also benefit the graphic arts market as these newer inks are designed to work with a broader range of materials without needing to use primers. It means that existing wide-format PSPs are in a good position to reach out to new markets, and or provide new applications to existing display graphics customers etc.

Ricoh L4160

altThis month Nessan Cleary tests the latex printer that marks Ricoh’s first foray into wide-format printing.

The market for latex printers has been completely dominated by HP, despite a challenge from Mimaki. Now Ricoh, which supplies the Gen5 heads used by Mimaki, has entered the fray with the L4100 printer, available in 1.3 and 1.6m widths. Ricoh has rebadged Mimaki's JV400 LX series, and there's no discernible difference between the two apart from the sales and servicing, with Ricoh targeting its existing customer base of commercial printers and corporate print rooms. 

Hands On: HP Wall Art

These days everything can be personalised. So how useful is this HP solution? Nessan Cleary asks those who have bought it.

Home furnishings and interior decoration are rapidly becoming popular wide-format print applications, with wall coverings high on the list. There’s a good range of wallpaper substrates available now and HP has built a complete solution around its latex printers that also includes design software, called Wall Art. 

When artists become inkjet innovators

altDr Paul Laidler, research fellow at the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, explains how the work undertaken by the centre and its student artists is pushing the boundaries of wide-format inkjet.

Over to you...Nyssan Deeb, Managing director, GP Digital

Nyssan Deeb,
Managing director, GP Digital

What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?alt

We don’t have one singular thing that’s having an impact; it’s a combination of everything.  We are constantly evolving and learning new things every day. We wear a few different hats in here, all equally important. So I suppose just managing the day-to-day operations in hand with pushing growth in the areas we want, and not letting the ball drop in between! 

Redefining sustainability


Walter Hale explores the concept that sustainability is no longer about being green, but about the way companies perform and how they help, or harm, the businesses, communities and societies they interact with.

The Day of Independents

Why Simpson Group is targeting smaller retailers and businesses with its new retailers shop4pop online ordering service.

It’s too early to say whether north-east based Simpson Group will win the battle to get enough print orders out of small retailers via its new shop4pop ecommerce venture to make it pay, but chairman Mark Simpson is convinced that now is the time to lead the charge.

IR talks to... Mark Perton, MD, Perton Signs

Perton Signs in Acton, London, is 150 years old this summer, and has been in the same family for all that time.
The company, which now has a staff of 25 and a turnover of around £2.8m,  
produces and installs event graphics and signage. The current MD is Mark Perton, 
great great grandson of the founder William Perton. 
I met him to ask about the firm’s longevity and his plans for moving it forward.

Spaced out?


For those of you thinking of extending your workspace Phil Thompson, head of BPIF Business, gives you a down to earth take on the key considerations.  

Due to the challenging nature of the last four or five years, there will be very few companies that have got through them unaffected. Some will have adapted smoothly while others will have had to change business models and practices. As a result, the way that work flows through the production process and how this fits into the space available to the business may no longer be appropriate. So are you one of those looking to change your factory layout, extend your space, or even considering a complete move? 

Becoming a bendy business

Are you set-up to deal with more requests for flexible working now that the law has been amended? Jo Eccles from the Forum of Private Business advises on how to progress in the light of recent legal changes. 

At the end of June the Flexible Working Regulations were amended, with the right to request flexible working extended to cover all employees after 26 weeks' service rather than only those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and certain carers.

Architectural specialist relies on the speed and quality of Vutek GS3250


While most companies investing in wide-format UV-curable printers are involved primarily in the display sector, Artwork Solutions has always taken its fabrication and print expertise into a different dimension. As a result, the company has made its name as a design-led manufacturer of corporate branding products and services, with its client list predominantly being architects and interior designers who seek innovative and functional solutions that can perform a practical role as well as provide highly aesthetic qualities.