Case Study: Antalis Helps University Of Leicester Select New Mimaki JFX200-2531

Antalis helps University of Leicester widen its in-house print offering with the selection of a new Mimaki JFX200-2531 high-performance large flatbed LED UV printer

The University Print Department at the University of Leicester has been producing print work on site since the 1970s.  As the University’s need for printed materials has changed over the years, the department’s output has shifted from traditional printing of literature to encompass large format display applications such as pull-up banners and wall graphics that are used throughout the University’s large estate.

The scale of the University also means that a regular cycle of refurbishment and building work is required – the University currently has a £500 million development plan in place.  To keep sites safe and attractive while work is ongoing, hoardings are used for screening.  The printing of the hoardings had previously been outsourced, but Head of Print Services & Institutional Supply, Ian Hickman, saw an opportunity to bring the work in house that would both expand the output capability of the Print Department and save the University money in the longer-term.

Expert, Impartial Advice

Ian Hickman already had a good idea of the machines on the market when he visited the Association of Creatives and Print Managers in Education (ACPME) conference in Glasgow in June 2017.  While at the event, he mentioned to Antalis Account Manager, James Cuneen, that the University was looking to invest in a new large format flatbed machine.  At the time, Antalis had only recently announced the launch of its hardware partnerships with Agfa Graphics, Granthams and Revolution Digital (and more recently, Atech) so James put Ian in touch with Antalis Technology expert, Paul Duffy.  Paul, who has formidable expertise and knowledge when it comes to large format printing, was able to offer valuable, impartial advice.  He also organised a number of product demonstrations for Ian, and the University’s Print Operations Manager Glyn Johnson, and helped to facilitate their relationship with Antalis’ partners.

The University of Leicester Print Department’s existing large format printer was a reliable, roll-fed Roland Soljet Pro, but to accommodate printing rigid hoardings, a large format flatbed printer would be required.  Although a considerable investment, it would mean that they would be able to keep all the University’s print output in house.

As Antalis is a University of Leicester preferred supplier, Antalis Account Manager Chelsea Clarke and Visual Communications Specialist, Andy Stalmach, were also able to provide advice and information about suitable media and applications that would be possible with a new large format machine.

Mimaki JFX200-2531 Printer

Leicester University’s new Mimaki JFX200-2531 in action

The Solution

After gaining a clear understanding of the applications the University wanted to produce, as well as of their budget, environment and the skills of the print team, Paul presented a number of flatbed printer options that would suit both the University’s budget and output requirements.

Thanks to its hardware partnerships, Antalis has access to the world’s leading manufacturers of large format kit, including Agfa, Mimaki, HP, Roland, Canon, Graphtec, Summa, Drytac, Vivid, Seal and Neschen. Following demonstrations of different flatbed machines, Ian and Glyn narrowed down their options.  They initially considered a Mimaki JFX200-2513, but the hoardings work would require a larger machine, and so on further consideration they decided the wider Mimaki JFX200-2531 with its 2.5 x 3.1m printing area would better meet the Print Department’s longer-term needs.

After a visit to see Mimaki JFX200-2531 demonstration, which a member of the University’s creative team also attended to ensure they were comfortable the machine offered sufficient scope to cope with their requirements, additional funding was secured from the University to facilitate the purchase of the larger machine.

Installation

Installation was an important consideration in the eventual decision to purchase the Mimaki JFX200-2531, which stands at 4.4 metres wide by 2.25 metres deep and 1.25 metres high.

A site survey conducted by Granthams and Hybrid Services concluded that it would be necessary to carry out some structural work to prepare the site for the machine’s arrival.  But because – unlike some other machines in its category – the Mimaki JFX200-2531 comes in two pieces, getting the machine on site and in place was not too much of an issue.

The Result

The University of Leicester is delighted with the Mimaki JFX200-2531, which was installed in October 2017.  Two team members have been thoroughly trained in its use and are now running jobs regularly.  As well as being able to bring the printing of hoardings in house, they are now also producing POS for the University’s shops as well as other larger-scale signage and display for use around the University’s estate.

Glyn Johnson inspecting the print quality

Leicester University’s Glyn Johnson inspecting the print quality

Tip

If you are currently considering investing in new large format hardware, Ian Hickman advises: “Do as much research as you can and try and get impartial advice; Paul Duffy at Antalis was a useful contact for us and was able to facilitate our relationship with suppliers, which helped to speed up the process.  And when attending a machine demonstration, take some print files with you and ensure that your choice of media is being used to conduct the demonstration.  Also ask for the machine to be run at different speeds so you can see the quality and resolution the machine is capable of.”

Product Information

Mimaki JFX200-2531 Flatbed Printer

The latest addition to Mimaki’s family of UV LED flatbed printers, the JFX200-2531 delivers unparalleled results to expand the potential for professional sign and graphics companies.

  • Highly productive print speeds up to 25m2/h and 12.5m2/h with simultaneous white ink printing
  • Maximum print area of 2.5m x 3.1m
  • Newly developed ink supply unit, speeding up ink replacement process
  • Mimaki Advance Pass System reducing banding

The Mimaki JFX200-2531 was supplied to the University of Leicester by Antalis hardware partner, Granthams, with site survey, machine delivery, installation and hardware training carried out by Hybrid Services.

Mimaki JFX200-2531

For further information, contact Paul Duffy hardware@antalis.co.uk

If you are considering investing in new, large format hardware and would like to gain a better understanding of different applications, the Antalis Academy runs a range of workshops that offer hands-on experience and a useful a useful opportunity to network with other printers and signmakers.