Image Reports | Wide Format Digital Print Industry News | Analysis

Tue09022014

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Features

Working from the ground up

Printing flooring offers huge scope – but not just for printers. Flooring specialists too can see opportunities and are getting in on the act, so are there lessons you can learn from them?

Twenty years after it was founded, German-based laminate flooring business Falquon has been revitalised by a management team with an innovative business model that revolves around the purchase of an Océ Arizona UV flatbed printer from Canon.

Latex vs solvent

This HP Latex 3000 uses the latest generation of latex inks, which cure at a lower temperature.

Solvent inkjet has been around for many years but latex is gaining ever more traction, so which is the best choice? Nessan Cleary investigates.

On the face of it latex and solvent printers appeal to the same people – those using flexible roll-fed materials for banners, posters, general display signage and vehicle graphics. There’s a lot of overlap between the two technologies, which offer similar levels of performance in terms of image quality and outdoor performance. So, how to choose between them?

IR talks to… Glyn Farrow, Chief Executive of St Bride Foundation

Glyn Farrow, chief executive of St Bride FoundationThe St Bride Foundation is well known in print circles. Based behind the church of St Bride at the bottom of Fleet Street, it has been synonymous with the industry since it was founded in 1891. It’s aim then was to provide a social and cultural centre for local people, with emphasis for those in the printing and associated trades. Over the years it became well known for its printing school, library and archives, but is it all about the past? Does it have a valuable role to play in print’s future too?

Image Reports editor, Lesley Simpson, asked chief executive Glyn Farrow about the foundation’s current remit.

Aware of Reforest’Action

For every roll of inkjet media you buy CMA imaging will plant/protect a tree in Peru as part ofthis little-known initiative.

Just over a year ago Ilford Imaging acquired CMA Graphix, a provider of colour management solutions and of inkjet papers across Europe and America. Following Ilford’s financial meltdown the company is again operating – as CMA Imaging – and as an independent business. And, in collaboration with Reforest’Action, it is pledging to plant/protect a tree in Peru for each roll of inkjet media sold.

IPEX: Worth a look for wide format?

When it comes to wide-format inkjet at IPEX it’s all about getting the technology in front of potential new investors from the commericial print sector, but it’s worth looking at the talks programme.

If you want to get a good grounding in all the latest digital inkjet wide-format print technology Ipex is hardly the place to do it. One of the largest and longing running UK-based trade print shows it might be, but a platform for already knowledgeable wide-format print providers to investigate the newest wide-format developments it’s not. Having announced in January a ‘World of Wide Format’ sector to the show - mainly to focus the commercial sector’s mind’s on potential diversification into this arena - the feature has since been scaled back and will run as the Wide Format Zone with Epson, Screen, D&K, Grafityp (showing Roland DG kit) and M Partners signed up at the time of writing as exhibitors within the space. No doubt, other vendors will have wide-format kit and solutions in other areas of the show too but, for those of you already operating in this market, what's probably of more use to you will be the event’s seminar/educational features.

HP Latex 260

Nessan Cleary looks at just what sort of print quality you can expect from this entry-level latex printer.

The HP Latex 260 is an entry-level latex printer that offers an alternative to solvent printers, particularly for more office-alternative to solvent printers, particularly for more office- based type users. It's based on the same chassis as HP’s T7100 CAD and Z6200 graphics printers, albeit with additional heaters to cure the latex inks.

Preparing for pension change

Phil Thompson is head of BPIF BusinessPensions are being reformed, and given that it’s your responsibility to ensure your business is ready for the changes you had best be well prepared. Automatic enrolment is not an option but a process each employer must follow and there are fines for those who delay. Phil Thompson, head of BPIF Business, reports.

Your automatic enroling staging date is based on the number of persons in your PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012. The staging dates for companies with over 250 employees has already started. The next section, for companies with between 50 and 249 employees, will be between 1 April this year and next. 1 April 2015 - 1 April 2017 will see the automatic enrolment of those with fewer than 50 workers. New employees will need to start on the 1 May 2017 and this will be ongoing.

Find and replace

With recruitment high on many a print company agenda, Jonathan Malyon, MD of executive search firm M Associates, provides his take on the key considerations/issues/actions needed to find the right people for the right price.

All of M Associates consultants have dedicated industry experience and the company has worked within the print and communications sector for some time. Managing director Jonathan Malyon says that every business it speaks to is seeking to become more involved in higher margin vertical markets and is progressing down the line of becoming a total solution provider. So the recruitment process needs to start with a clearly defined strategy of what you are trying to achieve as the operation changes shape.

Hands on: Dyss X7 cutting table

Flexpress managing director Steve Wenlock with his?X7 1624T table.Cutting tables are a must-have accessory for a flatbed UV printer but does it make economic sense to plump for an attractively priced import?

Sooner or later most people who buy a flatbed printer also find that they need a cutting table, if only to cut down the large rigid boards to more manageable sizes. But, inevitably, most budget for the printer and look to save money on the cutting table. Step forward the Dyss X7, a solid but affordable cutter that’s been pitched as an alternative to the main suppliers.

Andy Walls, director, Dalesflex Signs and Graphics

Image Reports speaks to Andy Walls, director, Dalesflex Signs and Graphics.

Think Bigger: Genesis

Is Genesis founder Andrew Owen’s marketing know-how enabling him to push the envelope and put new wide-format print ideas in front of marketers?

While many printers are trying to evolve into ‘marketing service providers’, Cardiff-based Genesis Marketing is making that journey in reverse. Formed in 2005, Genesis is built on founder Andrew Owen’s marketing expertise, now reinforced with in-house wide-format capabilities thanks to a Roland VersaCamm VS540i print and cut machine.

Perspex distribution: Flying the flag for UK manufacturing

Perspex Distribution are continuing to fly the flag for UK print and manufacturing. In a first for the UK print market, it will now be possible to purchase UK manufactured aluminium composite sheets with Perspex Distribution stocking Alupanel® aluminium composite. Following the opening of a new multimillion pound production facility by multipanel UK, Alupanel® is the only range of aluminium composite to be produced in the UK.

Well known for supplying over 150 different variants of Perspex® Cast Acrylic – made in Lancashire for over 85 years – Perspex Distributions’ ever expanding range of substrates is helping them make increasing inroads into the print market. The company’s range of wide format print substrates has continued to evolve – now boasting Alupanel® aluminium composite and Palight® PVC foam with a ‘made in the UK’ stamp of approval.

Fishing for franchises

Franchise chain Fastsigns wants to strengthen its brand and grow its UK network. To help it do so it’s changed its recruitment and training tactics.

The bigger the pool the more fish there are to catch. That’s the logic behind a franchisee-seeking plan thought up by Fastsigns UK managing director Garth Allison. As he is happy to point out, the operation has “typically attracted would-be franchisees who have been made redundant and want to go into business for themselves. From a proactive perspective we’ve usually used dedicated franchise exhibitions, but we’ve been shifting emphasis over the last 12 – 18 months to make sure we’re getting our offering in front of more people.” It’s not just about numbers though, it’s about variety too. “The thing is, too many people are fishing in the same pool of talent. We’re trying to expand that pool of talent and find people that perhaps have not given print franchising a thought.”

Fujifilm supports the Think Bigger report

To promote the power of print to the creative community and stimulate continuous innovation...

As a leading player in the printing industry, Fujifilm recognises it has a key role to play in the future of the industry and is committed to raising awareness of the unlimited potential of print among a wider audience, including print service providers, marketers and the creative design community. With a focus on increasing the understanding of print as a powerful communications medium, Fujifilm decided to supporting the ‘Think Bigger Report’, as it recognised its potential to serve as a platform from which to showcase some of the most original ways in which the power of print can be exploited to maximise communications campaigns.

Think Bigger: HP

In 2014 we'll be asking a number of vendors about what they’re doing to help educate possible would-be users of wide-format print about its potential. For this first report we put the question to Simon Addinall, market development manager EMEA, HP.

Print service providers have not been alone in facing the choices and challenges that rapid changesin printing technologies have brought - they have been felt along the entire length of the supply chain, from the brand managers, designers and marketers, to distribution companies.

Anapurna M2050

The Agfa Anapurna M2050Nessan Cleary kicks off the first of a series of independent tests by looking at Agfa’s most popular wide-format printer in the UK.

The Anapurna M2050, which is Agfa's most popular model in the UK, is targeted at the entry level to mid range user, where its flexibility is suitable for a broad range of jobs.