The recent investment in a UV-curable flat-bed and roll-fed printer by ESP Technologies Group sees the company move forward as a branding
specialist positioned to produce wide- and superwide-format solutions of all sizes and run lengths for its rapidly expanding customer base. The EFI VUTEk QS3200 was installed in the run-up to Christmas, and now enables the Kent based graphic display specialist to offer quality output direct to wider rigid materials as a complement to its existing screen-printing and roll-fed digital capabilities.
Founded in 1993 primarily producing screen-printed displays and point-of-purchase applications, ESP Technologies Group was an early adopter of digital superwide-format print. The company purchased a VUTEk 5300 5 m wide solvent-based machine in 2000, along with a liquid laminator of the same width which is the only one of this size in the UK.
Two years later, ESP Technologies Group was the first print specialist world-wide to invest in an EFI VUTEk PressVu flat-bed system. As production sizes increased, a 5 m welder was added to enable continuous welding for larger output and to move all finishing processes in-house.
Specialising in the production of a wide range of branding projects, ESP Technologies now offers a broad portfolio of services which includes back-lit graphics, banners, exhibition displays, digital wall-coverings, floor and window graphics, vehicle liveries and hoardings. The company’s extensive experience is demonstrated in the types of materials it uses, including rigid, flexible faced and all self-adhesive media, plus specialist substrates including its own ESP Colourtrans back-illuminated film which offers strong rich colours at vibrant levels not normally associated with digital print production.
The mix of applications on offer to brands seeking quality and consistency, combined with increasing demand for UV-curable print, led ESP Technologies Group to increase its production capacity in this market area. An existing EFI VUTEk customer and partner in the development of flat-bed UV-curable printing, the QS3200 was chosen because of its high standards of print quality and production speeds. The printer is designed to output direct to rigid materials up to 3.2 m wide and 5.08 cm thick, with quick change-over to flexible media taking less than a minute.
Featuring a maximum output resolution of 1080 dpi, the EFI VUTEk QS3200 prints in six colours and has the option for white ink. The machine has been designed to give productivity advantages such as its feed-side control module for near-continuous output and, as a hybrid unit, it is suitable both for roll-fed and rigid materials.
Managing director of ESP Technologies Group, Stephen Hood, comments: “Our client list comprises many brand specialists who expect us to supply far more than typical print provider services; the result is that we produce challenging high quality jobs which meet a wide range of different requirements. The addition of the EFI VUTEk QS3200 enables us to extend the solutions we already offer by further broadening our mix of technologies which are essential when offering a comprehensive and diverse service for all of our clients.
“The increasing use of UV-curable ink technologies throughout the display segment has taken place at a time when ESP Technologies Group was ready to extend its print capabilities,” Hood continues. “As long-standing customers of EFI VUTEk, it made sense for us to opt for the QS3200; its output capabilities and quality complement the other services we provide.”
ESP Technologies Group has built up a strong reputation for producing high standards of work, on time, and Hood believes that much of this success is a direct result of the solid relationships built with its growing client base. The combination of trust and confidentiality, with the ability “to apply correctly human skill and technology”, means that the company is happy to work on new and challenging projects which might appear too daunting for many print providers to tackle.
“A client’s brand is his most important and valuable asset,” concludes Hood. “We have the people, the project management expertise and the associated technologies to bring practical and cost-effective solutions for national and international customers. This applies across all aspects of screen and digital wide- and superwide-format production, from one-offs and short-runs through to high volume applications.”