Celebrating three hundred months / 25 years of a successful printing centre and design studio, FormsXpress, has seen continuous transformation, evolving into the most versatile company they are today.
With 120 permanent staff, utilising the best colour management and production software, FormsXpress are able to produce an extensive range of products, all in-house and always on time.
The services offered at FormsXpress range from Digital Print, Variable Data Laser Printing, Litho Printing, Continuous Litho Printing, Book Binding and Finishing, Warehousing and Logistics. It is no wonder they are Cape Town’s most versatile printing centre.
FromsXpress pride themselves on two key factors, one: their fast turnaround time and two: the buy in of their staff. The owner was proud to disclose his staff are dedicated to getting the job done, regardless of having an ‘early day’.
We had the pleasure of speaking with FormsXpress’s owner, John Donaldson, who has invested in only the best printing equipment, that being the very first LED UV Litho press and two brand new Mimaki CJV150-160 to name a few.
When we asked John why he had acquired two of the CJV150’s he had this to say: “I liked the fact that the Mimaki had a print and cut solution, it makes our work easy and allows us to be flexible with the services we offer, we purchased two CJV’s because we don’t want to let our customers down, so if the one machine is busy, we have another”.
The Mimaki CJV150 Series is an affordable, high-spec, high-performance, integrated printer and cutter. The CJV150 delivers:
- Fast printing speeds up to 56.2m2 per hour
- High quality print resolution of up to 1,440dpi
- Printing widths up to: 1,610mm
To find out more about this affordable solution for your sign and display graphics, click here.
To find out more about FormsXpress click here.
Highlighting personalisation of a wide array of items in response to increased demand for customised items, clothing, and home décor among Millennials
Amsterdam, January 12, 2018
Mimaki, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announced that it will be exhibiting at C!Print 2018 in Lyon, France. Mimaki will be located in Stand 2K14 at the show. The interactive stand will be configured with a variety of application displays enabled by Mimaki’s industry-leading digital printing capabilities, ideal for creating unique, personalized items. In addition, Mimaki will once again be participating in the show’s PLUG & PLAY area, also with a focus on personalization.
“Our goal is to make a visit to the Mimaki stand fun, interactive and educational,” said Ronald van den Broek, General Manager Sales at Mimaki Europe. “We want visitors to be inspired by the possibilities and to understand how they can create new personalized items for business or pleasure once they return home. Not only will visitors be able to experience how Mimaki printing and cutting solutions make personalization of just about anything easy and affordable, but we will also send them home with a special show memento – a photo of each of them in front of our sample area or the background of their choice.”
Mimaki will be showing live printing of personalized applications using a variety of inkjet printing technologies, ranging from UV-curable to dye sublimation and solvent printers. “Mimaki offers an inkjet printing technology suitable for creating everything from signs and display graphics, including our innovative 4-layer day and night printing, to promotional items, home décor and more,” van den Broek added. “We believe visitors will be astonished at the possibilities!”
World’s broadest array of digital promotional printing solutions
At the show, Mimaki will demonstrate how digital printing solutions are set to revolutionize the printing of personalized, customized and short-run items on a broad range of materials. With the innovative solutions on show, visitors will be inspired to push the limits of digital printing to quickly, affordably and sustainably produce unique, high quality personalized items that will set them apart, in business and in their personal lifestyle. On display will be:
- The Mimaki UJF-7151plus printing on phone covers of different sizes. The UJF-7151plus is a flatbed UV LED direct-to-object printer that utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver a powerful and reliable digital alternative to traditional screen print operations. With a print resolution of up to 1200 dpi, the UJF-7151plus features a 710 x 510 mm printable area using process, white and clear inks plus primer.
- The Mimaki UJF-3042MkII. The UJF-3042MkII represents the latest generation of UV flatbed printers from Mimaki. This printer offers multiple ink options and support a wide range of applications, such as LUS-120 inks that can stretch up to 170% for printing on soft material surfaces such as wallet smartphone cases. The LH-100 rigid inks, on the other hand, are perfect for accessories or stationery products that must stand up to high levels of abrasion, as well as for printing on glass, metal and resins. The UJF-3042MkII will also be operating in the show’s PLUG & PLAY pavilion, where visitors get the chance to personalise promotional items.
- The UCJV300-160.This integrated roll-to-roll UV LED printing and cutting solution includes a unique 4-layer Day/Night printing capability and internal lighting system that enables two different images on the same sign – one image appears when the sign is backlit and another when it is not. It’s LED curing allows the use of an expanded range of media including uncoated print media and many thin film substrates that may be too heat sensitive for latex or solvent high heat fixation systems.
- The JFX200- This UV-LED flatbed JFX200-2531 offers twice the printing area of the entry level JFX200-2513 model with a unique “toggle print” function that increases throughput by allowing operators to mount one board while another is printing. It is compatible with media as large as 2.5 x 3.1 meters, increasing the application range to accommodate large signs, wall decorations, doors and other large items.
- The Mimaki JV150 and CJV150.These solvent printers offer high performance, creativity and versatility with vibrant ink types, including orange and light black inks, in a cost-effective package for sign makers display graphics professionals and print shops. The CJV150 includes an integrated cutter for even more efficient production.
- The TS300P-1800. Developed specifically for digital printing of textiles, this dye sublimation printer delivers cost effective printing while maintaining high quality and high productivity. Perfectly suited to the creation of fashion, apparel, sportswear, furnishings and point of sale materials, the TS300P-1800 uses state-of-the-art technology to set new performance benchmarks for the sector.
Van den Broek concludes. “We believe visitors will be surprised and inspired at the range of materials we can print on and the wide variety of unique – and fun – personalized items that can be created. One unique capability that is important in this market is the ability to print on uneven surfaces, such as printing on the edges of a phone cover, without a noticeable reduction in quality. Our LD mode allows printing on an uneven surface with up to 4.5 mm difference in media thickness, and we believe this is quite unique in the industry. We will look forward to feedback from visitors to our stand and to learning more about what they are inspired to do with Mimaki solutions!”
The rapid growth and success of digital print are prompting brands to experiment with marketing – improving approval ratings and brand loyalty from consumers – as well as meeting new regulatory demands and evolving new business models.
According to Smithers Pira new report, The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2022, digitally printed labels and packaging is worth $13.4 billion in 2017. While the label sector has been the early adopter and is mature in some regions there is very strong growth in corrugated, carton, flexibles and direct-to-shape, with developments in metal printing. By 2022, the rapidly expanding digital (inkjet and toner) packaging market will grow by almost 13% annually to exceed $22.0 billion.
The market for digital print is expanding at over 15% for all formats, except labels where it is already well-established. Digital print platforms are opening up a whole world of possibilities for boosting emotional engagement with a consumer, and creating new revenue streams. This is allowing brands, design agencies and retailers to become more creative, with many launching innovative campaigns to enhance approval ratings; while other businesses across the value chain can evolve new, lucrative business models.
Smithers Pira identifies the key drivers that are making digital print such an attractive option:
Economic short runs
As with most print products, the average run length for packaging jobs is decreasing. Analogue processes are well suited to minimise the costs of long and medium runs which used to account for the bulk of pack and label work.
This situation is changing with more fragmentation and versioning, as new small businesses and boutique retailers join the market. There are many more short runs and high prepress and finishing costs, often added as a “one-off” charge when an initial order is putting off some new designs and products. The ability for digital to produce short runs economically has changed the label sector and it will do so for other parts of the packaging market. Eliminating the minimum order quantity will open high-quality packaging and labels to many more players, and grow the overall market significantly.
Digital is well-suited to short run production, as there are no plate costs. Using online web-to-pack portals is reducing administration and prepress costs for producing press-ready artwork and will further boost the acceptance of digital labels and packaging in the future.
The power of engagement
The digital print for packaging sector has a lot to thank the Coca-Cola Corporation for. The well-known “Share a Coke With…” series of marketing campaigns brought the capability of digital printing into the mainstream for brands, designers, and converters. The main campaign was a mass-customisation versioning of PET bottle labels, supplemented by one-off specific names printed on-demand for glass hobble skirt bottle packs via a website, and more generic versioning of metal cans.
It was the biggest series of marketing campaigns run by Coca-Cola, putting the packaging as the message. The packaging design – of form, function and graphics – has always been important, but the Coca-Cola campaigns showed that the pack can be a critical part of the customer experience. Packaging is being specifically used as a component of the brand strategy to win customer approval, as consumers spend more time interacting with a product after it has been bought.
There were many copy-cat campaigns brought to market with names, places or sports teams featuring on the pack. Many companies put forenames onto their packs, for instance Nutella and Marmite, while Oreo cookies ran a campaign to colour in the pack design and get the pack sent direct to the buyer.
These brands are using digital print to increase their emotional engagement with consumers and potential customers, to boost the brand status. Purina (a Nestlé pet food brand) sells Just Right, a premium range of personalised dog food. The pack has the dog’s name and picture, the owner’s name and the Just Right logo on it. The food is formulated for the dog, taking the breed, size, age, activity and various other factors into account. The company uses the information about the dog they have been given to satisfy the owner’s desire to deliver an individualised experience for the pet. This combination of owner, brand and dog is a very powerful engagement.
Keeping up with legislation
Increasing legislation on the labelling of items is demanding more accurate and easy-to-understand information to be presented in a legible way for consumers.
In June 2017, detailed labelling standards dictated by the European Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) came into force. As well as facilitating safe international trade in chemical products, the CLP ensures that any hazards presented by chemicals are clearly communicated to workers and consumers in the European Union.
This is just one of many regulations on what information has to be printed on packaging. In the US, new nutrition fact tables are mandatory from June 2018, meaning pack designs had to be updated. These requirements mean that all food labels have to meet a range of basic standards, cementing a core set of mandatory information – including presence of potential allergens, ingredients, country of manufacture and nutrition.
This is a challenge for conventional printers, especially when supplying the same product into different markets, involving increases in consumable and changeover/make-ready costs; while for digital this versioning can be accommodated by quick changes via a computer.
Digital print can be used to provide hard to replicate brand protection features to packs and labels, aiding anti-counterfeit efforts. As the quality of packaging printed by counterfeiters has improved, brands are more motivated to prevent losses from counterfeiting and protect the quality and integrity of their products. In an ecommerce environment, consumers increasingly want to assure themselves that a
product is genuine, particularly for high-value items such as fine wine or cosmetics.
There are security inks and toners that can produce overt and covert marks, and some of the electrophotographic presses can produce microtext and features such as photocopy voiding patches. Digital laser finishing systems can add selective “engraving” of text and images, either as a partial burn or creating complex patterns of holes or sheet edges that are difficult to copy.
The capability of digital systems to impart unique information – like an item-specific QR code – onto a pack or label is giving new security capabilities. Such a marking can be used as an identifier to validate the product is genuine via a smartphone scan referencing a secure database look up. Once this initial online connection is made brands or retailers, can then use this online channel to feed customized or even personalized promotions to the buyer.
There are other applications, for example in Japan some cigarette packs have QR codes printed on the outside that provide information to the customer, on health issues as well as promotion for the cigarette brand. Some packs are also using unique QR codes on the inside of the pack. These can be scanned and provide consumer sign up for events and offers, a twenty-first century version of the old cigarette card and coupon promotions.
Track and trace
The same technology platform –inkjet systems printing unique information as numbers or 2D barcodes, and modular software can read these can also deliver supply chain efficiencies enabling item-level track-and-trace.
A simple, visible, easy to understand mark can be verified at any point of the supply chain, using a smartphone; removing the need for specialised equipment or training. The cost of printing such unique identifiers is much less than competing technologies – like RFID tagging – although the time taken to read the visible marks is significantly longer.
This has multiple applications and has the potential to prevent fraudulent trading, for example the recent scandal of horsemeat being substituted for beef in the UK and Europe. The same approach is being deployed widely in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors, where a prescription or hospital drug administration can be checked at point of issue. Legislation is fostering this trend, with 2D barcodes prescribed for such applications by new laws – the US federal Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), and the EU Falsified Medicines Directive.
As digital printing becomes more widely used in labels and packaging, designers are learning how to make the most of the new technology.
Digital print allows continuous tone images and text to be reproduced at high quality, with no penalty for changing any part of the image. In the case of flexo printing, ink is relatively low cost while new plates are costly and changing an image involves press downtime and waste. While some flexo is capable of high-quality image reproduction, much, specifically on corrugated, is limited and the use of large flat colour panels is widespread. This has become the norm in many boxes, with heavy coverage of spot colours commonly used. The cost of replicating the design digitally is expensive, as it involves high ink coverage.
As designers understand the technology is well-suited for continuous tone graphics and fine text, with no additional origination costs, they will provide more appropriate content that is aimed to promote branding and sales.
As success stories permeate out, other designers will copy and develop strategies that work well. In Sao Paolo, the Pelé Coffee brand ran a campaign to prove the freshness of the pack by printing 5,000 packs with the same day front page of the Estadão daily newspaper. It delivered the packs to the news outlets and to subscribers by 8.00am on the day of issue. It reported a 400% increase in sales and a 179% reach on Facebook with 100,000 interactions over a three-day period, claiming it received more than $115,000 worth of media coverage from the campaign.
We began 2017 with 45 employees and as we enter the New Year we have grown to almost 100 staff!
We have seen a significant increase in our R&D team and the majority of our new colleagues have joined our highly skilled manufacturing team in the Laser cutting, Painting, Welding, CNC and Milling departments.
At the same time, we designed a new purpose-built 4500m2 facility which began construction in March and was finally opened in September.
This mammoth organisational effort influenced our commercial performance during Q3 and still the sales results in 2017 surpassed our target and we are confident that for 2018 we have now created the right platform and conditions for continued and accelerated growth in 2018.
The EFI Reggiani exhibit at Heimtextil features a home environment with numerous direct and transfer-printed applications that highlight EFI Reggiani technology’s high quality and sustainable print processes.
“Our Heimtextil display shows attendees how EFI Reggiani printing technologies successfully address a broad section of the consumer home textile market,” said EFI Reggiani Vice President and General Manager Adele Genoni. “With our leading-edge portfolio, textile companies will see how they can efficiently meet nearly any type of product design need. We are a market leader in home textile, particularly in Europe and other geographies where the home textile market is more developed and growing.”
Outstanding productivity, accuracy, and performance
EFI’s exhibit includes pillows digitally printed using a transfer process, sofas with direct-printed upholstery, direct-printed curtains produced using different types of inks. The range of décor applications comes from the versatility EFI Reggiani provides with technologies that simplify textile production, and are designed and manufactured to the highest standards. EFI Reggiani is one of the top textile imaging product lines worldwide, with digital printers in 180-, 240- and 340-cm widths. Designed for a broad range of industrial production needs, the flexibility in these printers print at speeds up to 1,600 square metres per hour at resolutions up to 2,400 dots per inch enables superior throughput and efficiency for demanding décor applications.
The décor pieces on display were produced with the range of Reggiani and partner hardware available from EFI, from advanced inkjet printers to Mezzera and Jaeggli pre- and post-treatment machines. The exhibit emphasises the wide variety of décor applications benefitting from EFI Reggiani’s 70+ years of product innovation and implementation. The EFI Reggiani product line is especially strong as an eco-friendly alternative to other processes, with new chemistry using water-based inks that significantly reduce pollution without compromising quality and speed.
EFI Reggiani is a leading technology provider of a full range of industrial solutions for textile manufacturing, including high-quality printers especially developed for fashion and home furnishing textiles. Its comprehensive portfolio extends from the original line of Reggiani rotary screen technologies to the most advanced inkjet textile printers, pre-and post-treatment machines, and inks in the industry. EFI Reggiani is part of EFI.
EFI’s product portfolio also includes new software and workflow technologies for industrial textile imaging, including an EFI Fiery Textile Bundle and digital front end print server offering efficient, integrated colour management, colour matching and job processing workflows, and EFI Optitex software for 2D and 3D design.
With two offices as well as its worldwide headquarters, the company lists major clients including JCB, Caterpillar, Kuhn and Volvo for whom it produces high quality decals and liveries for new vehicles that are subjected to harsh and unforgiving working environments.
As such, Gate 7 has developed leading and innovative workflows that ensure the demands of its clients are consistently realised. “We take a unique approach to business,” says managing director, Kate Wickham. “We’ve worked hard to nurture our supply chain through product development, finding new ways of improving manufacturing and constantly innovating.”
Gate 7 underwent a rebranding exercise five years ago, to coincide with the appointment of Wickham as managing director and soon realised the importance of building relationships with its supplier base, ensuring they shared the same passions and innovative philosophies. As the digital revolution gained momentum it galvanised Gate 7’s plans to source the right equipment, enlisting the services of Mimaki reseller, Your Print Specialists as the company purchased its first Mimaki JV33.
Operations manager, George Heads explains, “When we look back at this decision it raises a wry smile on all our faces when we consider the Mimaki Digital Suite now boasts a further five state-of-the-art printers. These include the revolutionary Mimaki UJF-7151plus flatbed LED UV, the high speed, roll fed JV400 SUV and the flagship JV300 and CJV300 solvent printers.”
The group policy is to mirror its capital equipment throughout, offering the same quality products on a global scale. US-based Gate 7 LLC hosts an equally impressive line-up of Mimaki digital solutions with three Mimaki UJF-7151plus printers and eight JV300s. The latest Mimaki purchases have enabled Gate 7 to widen the scope of printable substrates to include polypropylene and membrane switch panels.
Heads explains some of the reasons behind why big brands opt for their solutions. “We rigorously test all of the components that go into manufacturing a decal or membrane switch panel,” he says. “We offer our own unique warranty system that ensures all the components meet and exceed an outdoor performance characteristic of not less than 5 years and all the Mimaki inks are tested using our own in-house UV weather, substance and environmental testing equipment. Our challenge is to meet and exceed our customers’ specifications.”