Last updateTue, 02 Jun 2020 5pm

Fujifilm's Uvistar proves to be a star performer in the rapidly growing market for sustainable printing

Fujifilm's Uvistar Pro8 roll-fed printer has proved itself a star performer for eco-substrate innovator, ARIA Print Centres – the creator and manufacturer of ARIA-FLEX™, a unique PE (polyethylene) environmentally-friendly fabric ideal for banners, billboards, signs and displays.

A total of eight Uvistar printers have been ordered from Fujifilm by ARIA Print Centres - part of the YJ manufacturing group. So far, four have been installed across two ARIA Print Centres production sites – three in Selangor Darul Ehsan state in Malaysia and one in Dallas, Texas, where they have been used in a test production environment in combination with the ARIA-FLEX™ fabric over the past nine months. Three more Uvistar printers will be installed in Malaysia and one more in Dallas over the coming months to meet increasing production demands.

Craig Adams, president of ARIA, explains: "We chose the Uvistar because of its high speed, excellent quality and because the Uvistar printer is designed to handle the very lightweight PE-Flex substrates that are manufactured by ARIA (www.aria.us.com). ARIA-FLEX™ has been specifically engineered for the digital printing market and we believe it holds the key to a more sustainable future. It is a very eco-friendly product made with 100% recyclable Polyethylene (PE) - a material that is a safer, durable alternative to PVC and performs exceptionally well, offering a smooth printing surface for vibrant, high quality results."

"There are many good UV printer brands, but Fujifilm took the time to test various ink and RIP settings until they had a perfect recipe that worked well on ARIA PE. Other printer brands either did not have the time for the tests, did not have a strong presence in Malaysia, or their UV inks were different and thus the results were inconclusive."

Craig continues, "The overall cost per m2 of print is also essential to the viability of this project. The Uvistar proved to be the most cost effective solution by far for our particular set of applications.

"Over the past few months, we've been using the first four of our eight Uvistar printers to rigorously test ARIA-FLEX™'s compatibility with Uvijet inks and the Uvistar Pro8 platform and the results so far have been nothing short of outstanding. Over this time, we have produced an extensive range of products for our customers including one of the largest global outdoor media companies, which now has a selection of banners and signage out in the field produced on ARIA-FLEX™.

Fujifilm's Uvistar Pro8, together with the vibrant colours achieved through the use of Uvijet inks, delivers excellent image quality and high productivity. With a light colours ink set, it enables close-view, high value images to be printed, widening the range of applications to both high-volume outdoor and added-value indoor applications including exhibition graphics, point-of-purchase and other indoor displays. With two models - 3.5 metre and 5 metre - and a throughput speed of over 350m2/hr, the Uvistar series has rigid and multi-roll media handling capabilities, is simple to operate and has a robust construction, making it ideal for even the most demanding print production environments.

Fujifilm has worked closely with ARIA Print Centres throughout the installation and product testing process, including building new bulk feeding systems to accommodate the unique attributes of the ARIA-FLEX™, something Craig says has been crucial to the overall success of the project.

He continues: "PE is a natural replacement for PVC and a very exciting development for the industry, so it's great to be working with Fujifilm, a global brand so well respected for its innovation in this field. This product has been a total of five years in development and the team at Fujifilm understands what we want to achieve and our commitment to it, and has worked closely with us to ensure maximum synergy between substrate, inks and machine. The result is a product that has exceeded ours and our customers' expectations so far. I can confidently say there has been no 'buyer remorse' following our investment in the Uvistar kit. It's like a meeting of minds, and we're very pleased to be working together with Fujifilm."

Another convert is CACTUS IMAGING in Australia. According to their President, Keith Ferrel, CACTUS got their first Uvistar about a year ago. Aside from the excellent print quality using ARIA, Keith says they are very pleased to find that their m2 cost is actually better than their expectations. Keith attributes this to efficiencies that are inherent to the system as a whole: the Uvistar printer, Fujifilm ink, and ARIA's PE Flex perform synergistically to deliver an excellent product, quickly and consistently. And that assures quality while boosting output and lowering costs for CACTUS.

Concludes Craig: "When green printing is the goal, it is all about developing the right synergy of substrate, printer, ink, and software."




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