Manchester-based GJ Plastics has installed an HP Scitex FB500 industrial printer to produce POS displays printed on polypropylene, Foamex and laminated MDF. It also planning to experiment printing HP Wall Paper to expand its offering.
The company sells a range of container and display products made from these materials, including newspaper and magazine dump bins, ticket towers, portable voting stations, survey stands, competition entry displays and suggestion boxes. These are not run-of-the-mill large-format products; GJ Plastics has made major investment in specialist equipment to cut and bend its displays to produce distinctive products.
"We use our lasers and CNC routers to cut the dump bins in durable 5mm white foam PVC. It is far longer lasting than cardboard because it is not affected by humidity, moisture and general spills. The HP FB500 (supplied by CWE Solutions) fits well into our production requirements and quality values," said Graham Croston, director, GJ Plastics.
"The UV-curable inks used by the FB500 printer enable us to print direct to the substrate and bend it to finished shapes without cracking," added Croston. "This capability can take us into new areas and enable us to design new products.
"We believe that HP and CWE Solutions have a similar forward-thinking approach to technology and business and this is why we chose to partner with them. In particular, we value the training and support we have received from CWE and we are pleased that HP has enabled us to be using UV-curable and not solvent-based ink as part of our commitment to environmental best practice. To this end, we've also worked to improve our recycling and now recycle about 100 tons of material each year - which is about 95% of our waste."
Web-to-print is a significant part of GJ Plastic's business. With six websites receiving orders, the company is not only embracing the benefits of digital printing, but expanding its market by recognising the effects of digital technologies.
"We have three in-house designers to develop products for us and our customers," said Croston. "With our combination of cutting edge equipment, contemporary product design and a client base that needs to be innovative, we're able to merge the techniques for sign production into the display market, and that makes the future look very exciting."