Perth’s Discus Print and Signage and fellow WA operator Signhere Signs are among the first Australian printers to officially install a HP Rigid Latex R2000 press after it was initially trialled in Sydney.
Both say the use of water-based ink, which lifts the 2.5m wide printer’s environmental credentials and makes recycling certain substrates easier, and the quality of the printed product drove the purchase decision.
Discus Print and Signage owner Carl Mendelawitz says he likes to be at the forefront of new technology and says the speed, quality, white ink and substrate adherence are superb.
The new arrival will also complement the stable of presses already housed at Discus, which describes itself as the largest digital printer in Perth.
“We like to have the latest technology and HP are breaking new ground,” Mendelawitz told ProPrint.
“To be able to print on a flatbed with the water-based inks is very impressive. The quality is superb, it seems to adhere well to the substrate, the speed is very good and so is the white ink.”
The lack of odour from the latex ink was also a key factor in the purchase decision, Mendelawitz says.
“There’s no smells coming off the products as well. We can print digital wallpaper and install it straight away without getting the smells off the inks.”
“It doesn’t replace any particular press, it just complements what we’ve already got and gives us another option to sell to clients.
Signhere Signs owner Russell Friedman says his business had previously not had a flat bed printer and when the time came to invest his priority was finding a machine that would meet his environmental objectives.
Being able to print across different substrates with no change in print quality was also a big bonus.
The R2000 enables rigid substrates of up to 5cm thick to be printed on and Friedman says the result can be matched with produce coming off the roll to roll machines.
“For an interior designer we can print the fabric, print the wallpaper, print the floors across the different machines and still maintain the same colour and that’s important from a design perspective where previously if you were printing solvents and latex it’s day and night with what comes off,” he said.
Russell says the purchase has already opened doors to new business.
“It got put in last week and we are currently doing some prints and the quality that’s coming off it is phenomenal,” he says.
“It’s opened up a different market for us. Previously we couldn’t compete with corflutes and foams because we would have to outsource that and we were no longer competitive and now we can do that but also at a higher quality at a lower cost.”
Artref owner Tim Gardner, who sold the two presses, says he’s also just installed a smaller 1.6m wide R1000 at Perth Expo Hire.
Gardner says HP’s investment in latex ink for rigid substrates has produced an ink that’s green, doesn’t smell and leaves no gloss banding as it doesn’t require the use of UV lamps.
“The difference is the ink is environmentally friendly, it’s green, it’s doesn’t smell. It doesn’t have UV lamps so there’s no gloss banding.”
“It doesn’t have gloss banding because it works through a cooking system. The ink durability and scratch resistance is phenomenal and the print quality is out of this world.”
Another benefit is for workers, Gardner says.
“If you were a worker in these environments you probably wouldn’t smell it after a while because the smell is so bad. UV machines are very smelly so the advantage of latex is the environment is much better for the workers.”
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at [email protected]
Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter