Whirlwind adds in-house embellishment

Printers looking to supply added value products to their clients now have a trusted trade partner to deliver just that, with Whirlwind installing the country’s first MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution digital embellishing system, supplied by Konica Minolta.

The JETvarnish 3D Evolution is a radical digital technology that enables foiling, spot UV varnish and raised (3D) varnish for short run work, anything from one to thousands of A1 sheets.
Whirlwind says printers looking to provide added value work to clients, particularly in posters, short run packaging, presentation folders and business cards, will reap the rewards of the Whirlwind investment.

Andrew Cester, managing director of Whirlwind says, “We have been following the MGI technology for some time, and our tests have shown that the new 3D Evolution is more than capable of delivering high quality consistent results, with the registration perfect. It’s the right time for us to make the investment, because we know that our customers, printers around the country, will welcome the opportunity to provide more to their clients.

“The ability of the JETvarnish to produce foil, spot UV and raised UV straight from a digital file is remarkable. It cuts the timeline down to just a day, and means there is no need for dies or screens, reducing the cost significantly, for short runs in particular. In fact it means that work that previously simply could not be offered due to its high costs and long delivery time is now on the table.

“The look and feel of work that comes off the JETvarnish is very appealing, its super high quality embellishment makes the image pop of the page. We are currently putting it through comprehensive testing using current artwork such as a client’s A1 advertising poster for a whisky brand. We took the poster in its current format added the JETvarnish embellishments, and it was a different story, the image was truly compelling.”

The digital technology has also made the whole production process easier at Whirlwind. Our customers can either quote for their requirements online or work closely with their account managers to determine which embellishments will be a best fit. Then they can work with the Whirlwind pre press team to generate the artwork to ensure the perfect embellishment job. Cester says, “We are operating in an on demand world, and print businesses have to get with the times. The days of clients waiting weeks for work are gone. The new JETvarnish means that our customers will be able to offer their clients sensational products in minimum timeframes, and for an attractive cost.”

Whirlwind anticipates the JETvarnish will come on stream by the end of September, with a gradual release of products. Cester says, “We will initially be internalizing the work we are currently sending out, and then we will start to release finished products. It will be a gradual release so we are fully on top of it, and by January we’ll be operating at maximum productivity.
“We anticipate a period of educating our customers as to how they can exploit this new technology. There are two and three dimensional spot UV varnish plus foiling in various colours. At present we are working with six or seven, including gold and silver, and we will be adding to that.”

The JETvarnish 3D is the world’s first B1 digital finishing solution, the large sheet size making it well suited to posters, packaging and presentation folders, as well as ganged business cards.
The JETvarnish 3D Evolution is the world’s first B1+ scalable sheet-fed Digital Enhancement Press and features a modular and field upgradeable architecture, digital foiling and an upgradeable inkjet expansion system with three available substrate size options ranging from 52x120cm, 64x120cm, and 75x120cm.

The B1+ size (75x120cm) format option is designed to give printers the ability to run fully personalised short, medium and long runs in a cost-efficient and die-less manner for multiple applications. Every piece finished on all of MGI’s JETvarnish 3D systems can be an exclusive blend of digitally-embellished images, text, data and brand designs using spot varnish, 3D raised varnish and digitally embossed foil in one pass.

The JETvarnish 3D Evolution is a high-production solution that incorporates pallet stacking, automated inkjet head cleaning, new automatic feeding system as well as a new artificial intelligence-based sheet registration system.

Depending on your file and the substrate used, the coating thickness can vary from a traditional flat spot UV coating of three microns (µm) up to 200 µm for 3D raised texture effects and a tactile finish.

Automatic registration using a built-in scanner for real-time management of entire sheet, which means no registration marks are required.

Paper thickness is minimum 135gsm and not less than 150µm / 6mil before printing and lamination, and a maximum of 600gsm and not more than 600µm / 24mil before printing & lamination.

Enhancement can take place on most matte or glossy laminated surfaces, with or without aqueous coating, layered paper, plastic, PVC and other coated materials. It will Spot 3D coat directly onto most digital prints.

Cester says, “We are thrilled for our clients, this new technology will enable them to offer their customers a whole new range of product which has previously been out of reach.”

The new MGI JETvarnish adds to the impressive print production arsenal at Whirlwind, which in only 20 years since its formation has risen to become a trade printing innovator. It prints with an eight colour B1 Komori perfector which has the H-UV instant drying inks, a ten-colour Komori B1 perfector, and has an iGen5 and an HP indigo for digital printing, as well as a huge array of finishing equipment.

Cester says, “Whirlwind can now produce pretty much anything, from short, medium and long run, paper and board, and a variety of products. We have a better product range, a broader stock range and incredible turnaround times.”

Behind the scenes the Whirlwind team of more than 130 people stretching across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. At the forefront is the Account Management team, who directly support their customers every day.

Cester says, “This is a major point of difference, with no other trade printer offering such a comprehensive account management service. Our Account Managers are backed up by our Estimating, PrePress and Production teams, who ensure the work flows smoothly from quotation, print ready artwork, to dispatch.

“To understand how to better service our customers, we love it when we are invited to visit, to see where they work and how their business functions. We often reciprocate with tours of our production facility, it is the best way to demonstrate how jobs flow through and it visually highlights what we can deliver: A warehouse full of indented stocks (providing cost efficiencies on even premium stock choices). Our imposition room churning out plates – showcasing our world-class print optimization, which saves clients time and money. And our lean manufacturing principles at every machine point across the floor, from the HUV eight-colour press to the stitching lines, ensuring our stringent quality control and swift TATs are adhered to.”

The buzz on the floor, the hum of the machines and the methodical approach of staff as they work embodies what Whirlwind is all about. “To maintain our service levels – from our customer connections to our print deliveries, we are always investigating what new opportunities lie ahead. We talk to our customers, analyse job data through our MIS, and attend industry events and trade shows such as drupa.

Cester says “We are investigating new machinery from print to finishing all the time, anticipating the needs of the local market and determining where our next point of growth and competiveness should be. This systematic approach is what led us to invest in the new MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution.

“There is no doubt that the JETvarnish will enable our clients to develop their markets, get closer to their customers, and generate higher margins.”

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