Mimaki to Show Business Driving Digital Print Solutions at PSI and Viscom 2019

Highlights include on-demand and personalized 360-degree direct-to-object printing, technology for striking backlit signage as well as the ability to print different designs on both sides of a substrate.

Mimaki Europe today announces that under it’s ‘Join the Experience’ joint show theme, it will exhibit its portfolio of market leading UV flatbed, solvent and sublimation printers at PSI and Viscom 2019 (8-10 January 2019 – Dusseldorf, Germany). Designed to enable profit generating applications across the sign graphics, promotional products, industrial and textile markets, visitors will see a host of print solutions designed to suit a wide range of businesses – but with the flexibility to support their needs today and tomorrow.

As one of two specific highlights of the Mimaki booths, visitors to Viscom 2019 will see the white ink capability for the highly popular Mimaki UCJV300 sign and graphics printer. This feature enables enhanced backlit applications for striking graphics and additional revenue opportunities. Visitors to the Mimaki booth at PSI will also see 360-degree direct-to-object printing from its Mimaki UJF Series, enabling high quality and personalized print onto bottles, cylinders and a wide range of promotional items.

Danna Drion, Marketing Manager, Mimaki Europe comments: “At Mimaki, our worldwide team is committed to customer service and providing products that the market wants and needs. To ensure we achieve this, not only do we spend roughly 7% of our annual revenue on R&D, but we also have a team of over 120 people dedicated to product development.”

“As such, we go to PSI and Viscom 2019 with packed booths demonstrating some of the markets fastest, highest quality and most advanced print solutions available, almost anywhere. So, whether you’re a mature sign shop, a promotional product supplier, a start-up textiles printer, a seasoned marketeer or indeed a retail manufacturer, we have products to suit all your requirements.”

PSI (Stand 10C11)

At PSI, Mimaki will show three of it’s direct-to-shape digital printers designed specifically for the international promotional products market. It will also present a range of creative promotional products in various materials including glass, plastic and (faux) leather – further demonstrating how advanced digital printing enables value adding and profit driving personalization and versioning capabilities:

  • Mimaki UJF-3042MkII – Market leading productivity and ease of use for on-demand, direct
    to object printing up to 420mm wide. Shown with the optional ‘Kebab’ capability plus white ink, visitors to PSI will witness 360-degree printing onto glass and plastic bottles.

  • Mimaki UJF-6042 MkII – Double the print width and shown with an optional ‘Ionizer’ feature, as well as clear, white and primer inks, this solution prints onto products 153mm (6in) thick. At the show, it will demonstrate amazing print quality and colour capabilities on matte black notepads.

  • Mimaki UJF-7151plus – With a maximum print size of 710mm x 510mm, this state-of-the-art high quality and high-performance printer is ideal for wide range of promotional products, ID cards and personalized gifts.

Utilising Mimaki’s renowned high build quality for ultra-reliability, high speed and rich colours, the company will demonstrate to visitors of both shows how they can ‘print and profit’ using Mimaki technology.

Viscom 2019 (Stand 14E55)

At Viscom 2019, Mimaki will display breath-taking print samples from customers around the world, as well as provide live demonstrations from nine of its solvent, UV and sublimation printers for applications in three distinct markets – Sign Graphics, Industrial Products and Textiles. Specific Mimaki show highlights include:

  • Mimaki UCJV300-160 and UCJV300-75 (UV integrated printer/cutter) – The award-winning sign and graphics solution will feature a white ink capability enabling four-layer printing to create transformative graphics for backlit applications. Perfect for applications using transparent film, the printer also enables five-layer printing for producing different designs on both sides of the substrate, simultaneously. These Mimaki capabilities provide new value adding and profit driving applications.

  • Mimaki TS55-1800 – Ideal for interior fabrics, sports and fashion apparel, flags and tapestries, the TS55-1800 Series offering continuous operation, is designed for users that demand high productivity and high-quality print. Featuring a plotter roll for small runs or a mini jumbo roll for long runs, the TS55-1800 Series has the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

“Exhibiting at PSI and Viscom 2019 is a great way to start a New Year, and we look forward to meeting visitors in Dusseldorf,” concludes Drion.

Mimaki Announces Tessa Koops as Fashion Designer for Heimtextil 2019

Koops to demonstrate the power of Mimaki digital print technology for increased creativity, personalisation and profitability within the fashion industry

Mimaki Europe today announces its partnership with Dutch retail fashion designer, Tessa Koops, for Heimtextil 2019 (8-11 January 2019, Frankfurt, Germany – Stand J81, Hall 3.0). Completing its line-up of designer collaborations for the show, clothing specifically designed for Mimaki by Koops, will be used to demonstrate the power of art in fashion and the huge impact digital print can have on creativity and personalization within the fashion design and manufacturing process.

Koops joins a prestigious group of inspirational world-leading designers brought together by Mimaki for Heimtextil 2019. Under the theme of ‘The Fusion of Innovation and Design’ and celebrating digital print within all elements of art, interior design and fashion, Mimaki commissioned work from designers including Sigrid Calon and Claire Vos (Studio Roderick Vos), will also be showcased throughout the Mimaki booth.

Tessa Koops is a fashion designer of women’s clothing, specialising in dresses with floral/patterned prints. In addition to dressing different celebrities, her clothing is sold in more than 50 retail outlets across the Netherlands.
“Ordinarily, I work a lot with purchased prints for my clothing. However, this collaboration with Mimaki has enabled me to go beyond the typical design limitations of fashion and better understand how digital print can increase creativity, personalisation and diversification across a range of pieces. As you will see on the booth, one of my own paintings is used in a variety of ways including as a print for dresses,” comments Tessa Koops.

“I am very impressed and inspired by the possibilities that Mimaki printers offer the fashion industry. As a designer, you normally don’t get to experience such cutting-edge technology first hand, so this has been quite enlightening. In fact, exposure to the potential of digital print has enabled me to think in broader terms than just fashion design,” concludes Koops.

With printed applications on a diverse range of textiles, fabrics and interior materials, visitors to the Mimaki booth at Heimtextil 2019 will learn how they too can use advanced print technology to drive design innovation and profitability. Additional Mimaki designers include Anousjka Röben displaying shoes and creative studio Deux d’Amsterdam showing a unique kimono designed specifically for Mimaki – all designs were digitally printed by Textiles & More (T&M).

The Mimaki stand will showcase a printer for almost every type of textile application, with other digitally printed textiles applied to design classics in the ‘Pode’ range from Leolux, and feature walls utilising photography from Arjan Benning also being displayed.

Mimaki Announces Digitally Printed Design Collaborations to be Showcased at Heimtextil 2019

World leading designers to demonstrate creative, profit driving digitally printed applications

Mimaki Europe today announces its collaboration with over 10 inspirational world leading designers for Heimtextil 2019 (8-11 January 2019, Frankfurt, Germany – Stand J81, Hall 3.0). Under the theme of ‘The Fusion of Innovation and Design’ and celebrating digital print within all elements of art, interior design and fashion, Mimaki commissioned work from designers including Sigrid Calon and Claire Vos (Studio Roderick Vos), will be showcased throughout the Mimaki booth and used to demonstrate the power of digital print to increase the creative process.

Seeing printed applications on a diverse range of textiles, fabrics and interior materials, visitors will learn how they too can use advanced Mimaki technology to drive design innovation and profitability. From designers including Anousjka Röben displaying shoes; creative studio Deux d’Amsterdam showing a unique kimono designed specifically for Mimaki and Heimtextil, all designs were digitally printed by Textiles & More (T&M). The Mimaki stand will showcase a printer for almost every type of textile application, with additional digitally printed textiles applied to design classics in the ‘Pode’ range from Leolux, and feature walls utilising photography from Arjan Benning also being displayed.

“Heimtextil is always a really good show for us. For 2019, we’re excited to share the results of our collaboration with these amazing designers and to demonstrate what’s possible with our comprehensive range of printers,” says Mark Sollman, Mimaki Application Manager EMEA.

“From entry-level printers to production workhorses, each Mimaki system delivers premium quality print and profit-enhancing productivity. What’s more, using our wide range of inks, a huge variety of substrate applications now becomes available too. So, whether you’re a designer seeking to push the creative boundaries of textile printing, or a brand looking to increase your productivity and lower your environmental footprint, a visit to the Mimaki stand is a must,” continued Sollman.

Heimtextil visitors will experience Mimaki’s broad portfolio of printing solutions, split into three distinct areas including interior design, fashion and art. In the art section, the UCJV150-160 inkjet printer with environmentally-friendly UV-curable inks, will be used to produce wallpaper. Textiles will be printed in both the interior design and fashion areas, with the ultra-productive TS55-1800 sublimation transfer inkjet printer focusing on upholstery. Using a belt-conveying solution, the TX300P-1800B entry-level direct-to-textile system will also be printing onto stretchable fabrics used in fashion.

Claire Vos, introduced by Textiles & More (T&M) and a graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, studied her craft in Italy, Switzerland and Indonesia before settling in the Netherlands. With a contemporary graphical industrial flavour to her work, many of Vos’s products are produced using Mimaki printers for Textiles & More. Her work, shown under the theme of ‘The Dressing Room’, will be shown at Heimtextil through Mimaki-printed upholstery including chairs and cushions.

Bringing vivid colour and fine graphical elements into her work, Sigrid Calon is a visual artist. At Heimtextil, the detail and vibrancy of Calon’s art will be brought to life by a 2×2 metre artwork utilising Mimaki’s latest printhead technology delivering smooth gradations and sharp and precise details. Examples of Calon’s work will also be shown in various materials, produced by Mimaki advanced print technologies, including UV and 3D printing.

“Quite simply, fabric diversity means that designers no longer have to compromise,” states Sollman, “Whether it’s for the fast paced and ever-changing high-street marker or for more bespoke pieces, substrate availability is paramount for all fashion today.”

Danna Drion, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe, concludes: “We’re absolutely delighted to be showcasing this collection of talent at Heimtextil – it perfectly demonstrates what can be achieved when you mix design excellence with high quality digital printing from Mimaki technology. Of course, we will also show the business case that supports these projects too – profit generating print solutions that enable innovation and business growth.”

Warum der TS55-1800 von Mimaki (r)evolutionär ist

Der Textildruckmarkt ist eher traditionell. Zum Beispiel setzen nur vier Prozent der Unternehmen Digitaldrucker ein. Es gibt verschiedene Gründe dafür, z. Bsp. klammern sich manche noch an die vertrauten Produktionsmethoden oder haben Angst vor hohen Investitionen. Mimaki möchte die aktuelle Situation mit dem digitalen Textildrucker TS55-1800, der mit wärmeübertragendem Sublimationspapier arbeitet, ändern. Dieser Drucker ist preis-leistungsmäßig speziell für Einsteiger und mittelgroße Produzenten eine sehr gute Lösung.

von Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager bei Mimaki EMEA

Ich war jahrzehntelang im Printgeschäft tätig und habe technisches Hintergrundwissen. Darum liebe ich alle neuen technischen Geräte. Ich muss aber auch zugeben, dass ich traditionelle analoge Drucktechniken ebenfalls schätze. Wie eine alte Dampflokomotive dich auf die Geschichte und technische Entwickung der Züge aufmerksam macht, lassen die digitalen Drucktechniken mein Herz höher schlagen. Doch letztendlich müssen wir – inklusive dem Druckmarkt – fortschreiten und die Zukunft des Drucks ist zweifelsfrei digital. Die gute Nachricht ist, dass es Mimaki gelungen ist, trotz kleiner und mittelgroßer Produktionen eine industrielle, digitale Textildrucklösung zu erschaffen. Das ist in der Tat eine Revolution, dank Mimakis evolutionärem und kontinuierlichem Fortschritt.

Hohe Farbdichte und Geschwindigkeit

Der Textil- und Bekleidungsmarkt ist sehr dynamisch und erfordert hohe Produktionsvolumen. Mit traditionellen Drucktechniken lassen sich die hohen Volumen produzieren, jedoch kann die Qualität daran leiden. Dagegen war das digitale Druckverfahren lange Zeit die herausragende Option für die Qualitätsoptimierung. Nur leider erfordert eine verkaufsfähige Qualität gekoppelt mit schneller Produktionsgeschwindigkeit sehr hohe Investitionen. Das heißt, dass lediglich die „großen“ Akteure auf dem Markt sich solche Investitionen leisten können. Mimaki hat diese Kluft bemerkt und deshalb entschlossen, einen neuen Sublimationsdrucker zu entwickeln, der speziell für Einsteiger und mittelgroße Produzenten geeignet ist. Im Gegensatz zu herkömmlichen Digitaldruckern ist der TS55-1800 eine günstigere Maschine, die trotz allem die hohe Druckqualität mit hoher Farbdichte und Geschwindigkeit ermöglicht – und das in der Auflösung von 480×600 dpi und im Ein-Pass-Modus (140 m²/h). Zudem beinhaltet die Maschine das einzigartige MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System), das auch einen Zwei-Pass-Modus ermöglicht und die Streifenbildung eliminiert.

Die Mini Jumbo Rolle

Um den Unternehmen möglichst viel Flexibilität zu schenken, hat Mimaki sich entschieden, als Option zu diesem spannenden neuen Drucker Mini Jumbo Rollen anzubieten. Die Mini Jumbo Rolle ist eine Transferpapierrolle mit 2.500 Meter laufender Länge. Kleinere Druckereien können diese Rolle einsetzen, um die Produktionsmengen zu erhöhen, aber das ist nicht alles. Der Austausch von 150-200 Meter Rollen zur Mini Jumbo Rolle kann bis zu 20 Prozent der Papierkosten sparen und die Produktionskapazität steigen, da man nicht noch einmal wechseln muss. Wer sich auf den digitalen Textildruck umstellen möchte, so macht Mimaki auch diesen Weg einfacher: Zum ersten Mal liefert Mimaki zusammen mit dem Drucker TS55-1800 auch das dazu passende Medium „Mimaki Vision Jet-X“ Transferpapier, das von Neenah Coldenhove zusammengestellt wurde.

Mit zwei weiteren einzigartigen Besonderheiten, das Nozzle Check Unit (NCU; Düsenkontrolle) und das Nozzle Recovery System (NRS; Düsenwiederherstellung) – einsetzbar ab Zwei-Pass-Modus – sorgt Mimaki für einen problemlosen, langen Druck ohne menschlichen Eingriff. Das Nozzle Check Unit kontrolliert automatisch die Düsen und reinigt sie bei Bedarf, das Nozzle Recovery System ersetzt defekte Düsen ohne Druckunterbrechung.

Ich empfehle den revolutionären Drucker TS55-1800 an jeden, der sich an diesem lukrativen Markt engagieren und der den bestehenden Produktionsprozess optimieren möchte. Mit diesem Drucker kann das Textil-Fachpersonal die Operationskosten spürbar senken, das Produktionsvolumen wesentlich steigern und sogar den Jahresumsatz verdoppeln. Die Investition ist auch für den Textil-Einsteiger freundlich. Das Ganze ist wirklich revolutionär und ich bin überzeugt, dass es vielen Unternehmen helfen würde, in der digitalen Welt zu wachsen oder erstmals Fuß zu fassen.

Mimaki Announces Participation in “ADAPT” Consortium Launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Mimaki’s 3D printer to be installed in MIT’s laboratory to help its additive manufacturing technology research

Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd. (Mimaki), headquartered in Nagano Prefecture, Tomi City; President, Kazuaki IKEDA, has announced Mimaki’s participation in the “ADAPT (Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies)” consortium launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (hereinafter called MIT) as one of the founding members.

“ADAPT” is a consortium directed by MIT professor John Hart, who leads MIT’s Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity. With the aim of supporting the advanced additive manufacturing industry, ADAPT will promote research and education for next-generation manufacturing technology based on AM (*1) processes, including 3D printing.
*1: Manufacturing methods of forming by adding materials, through AM (additive manufacturing), laminated object manufacturing, 3D printing, etc.

“We’ve been given an opportunity to install our UV flatbed inkjet printer [UJF-7151 plus] and 3D printer [3DUJ-553] at MIT to support AM-related classes and research activities. Working towards ADAPT’s vision of amalgamation and evolution of AM technology and digital production sought by MIT professor John Hart, Mimaki will continue to contribute to ADAPT activities through our inkjet technology and mass customization printing solution. And, we will feed back synergy effects gained through ADAPT activities to future product development. In this sense, it is indeed an honor that Mimaki was selected as one of the founding members of MIT’s ADAPT,” comments Yasuhiro Haba, Executive General Manager of Sales Division, Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd.

The “ADAPT” founding members held a kick-off meeting at the international trade fair for additive manufacturing and industrial production – “formnext” – held in Frankfurt, Germany in November and are scheduled to have their next meeting at MIT in Spring, 2019.

ADAPT founding members:
ArcelorMittal/Autodesk/BigRep GmbH/Dentsply-Sirona/Electro-Optical Systems Inc./Formlabs, Inc./General Motors/Mimaki Engineering/Proto Labs, Inc./Robert Bosch GmbH/Volkswagen AG

Mimaki proudly present at FESPA Eurasia

This morning FESPA Eurasia kicked off and General Manager Arjen Evertsen of our subsidiary in Turkey was invited to cut the ceremonial ribbon at the official opening.

The exhibition is the region’s leading wide format digital printing, screen printing, signage, textile printing and garment decoration exhibition and welcomes visitors from 6 to 9 December 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. Mimaki is once again a proud sponsor at FESPA Eurasia and will have a significant presence at the show with two major stands. Mimaki’s booth C20 in hall 9 is all about innovative textile solutions, whereas booth C25 in hall 10 showcases a wide variety of other innovative Mimaki technologies and products.

Mimaki Highlights

On the textile booth visitors can set eyes on the newly designed Mimaki TR 300-1850C/S Coater and Steamer as well as the brand new TS55-1800 sublimation printer. With unique features such as the Mini Jumbo roll and 10kg ink supply system, this machine is a true (r)evolution in textile printing. On the Mimaki main booth in hall 10, Mimaki experts will demonstrate printing on copper film as well as our unique 5-layer printing possibilities with the Mimaki UCJV series using our most advanced UV-Led technology. Another must see is our new Silver Metallic ink printing on the Mimaki UJF7151plus.

If you want to see it all in action, come and visit us at FESPA Eurasia, stand C20, hall 9 and stand C25 in hall 10!

3D printing brings cosmetics companies to the 21st century

With 3D printing, companies can convert digital prototypes of their products into physical objects at a breath-taking pace. In doing so, they arrive much faster at the right design and shorten their time-to-market. This provides great benefits for prototyping cosmetics packaging. However, previous 3D technology had a major limitation in terms of colour. Now this is a thing of the past with the arrival of Mimaki’s full-colour 3D printer.

Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki EMEA

The cosmetics industry is extremely creative. This is evident in all the beautiful packaging of, for example, perfume bottles, tubes and cream jars. Historically, a model maker was always engaged for prototyping these products. They were shown the digital design and then started working with manual techniques, including glass-blowing, moulding and screen printing, to meticulously recreate the design. This cost a great deal of time and money. Moreover, nine out of ten designs were rejected, which meant that the model maker then had to begin the next design immediately, incurring even more time and cost. Over the past few years, 3D printing has increasingly been used in the cosmetics industry, taking over a large part of the model building work, at least for early production models. The most important limitation that prevented this from a more rapid adoption is that previously, these 3D-printed objects could only be printed in white or colourless. It required a lot of imagination to really assess a 3D prototype, or a drawing of it had to be done by hand. This changed drastically with the emergence of full-colour 3D printers, and in particular, with the Mimaki 3DUJ-553.

Transparent ink

When Mimaki brought its first 3D printer to the market, it was a hit almost immediately. It finally made it possible to print with up to 10 million different colours, but also with transparent ink. A digital design of, for example, a perfume bottle, complete with printing and packaging, could now be faithfully reproduced with the 3D printer without any human effort. This was literally a revolution for prototyping in the cosmetics industry. Now it is possible to print complete photo-realistic prototypes for all kinds of products, from perfume bottles, tubes and jars to labels and packaging materials. Although they are not functional, but only suitable for marketing purposes, and to determine whether certain packaging is right for a specific product, it is ideal to take both time and cost out of the process, ensuring faster design cycles and a time to market that delivers a significant competitive advantage.
Since that time, more and more people are beginning to understand the wide range of applications for this type of rapid prototyping. For example, requests from the market can also be made to print such specific things as transparent black. In doing so, you can simulate a bottle with dark glass, which is common in perfume bottles and other cosmetics packaging. But in principle, all sorts of colours are possible by using what we call “skeleton mode.” In this mode, the 3D printer combines the transparent ink with a specific colour tone, so you can also simulate pink or green transparent bottles – or any other colour that is desired.

Faster time-to-market

Another major advantage of Mimaki 3D printing technology is that the digital models can be sent directly to the printer without any complicated adjustments. This is ideal, because the designer can manufacture prototypes completely independently without the intervention of a model builder or technical expert. That not only saves time but also eliminates the need for additional software or human expertise.
We can honestly say that full-colour 3D printing with transparency is a real breakthrough in a highly competitive market such as the cosmetics industry. There is no better way to quickly manufacture photo-realistic prototypes. The time-to-market for new products is significantly speeded up because the design phase is much less labour-intensive and produces products that you can physically view and touch. As a result, cosmetics manufacturers can bring new products to the market much more frequently and faster. This is a win-win situation, both for the cosmetics manufacturers and the enthusiastic buyers of their products.

Mimaki brings over 10 million colours to formnext

Mimaki raises the bar in product design prototyping with best in class fine detail and colour

Under the theme ‘Shape the Future in Colour’, Mimaki will showcase its advanced colour additive manufacturing technology at formnext from the 13-16th November in Frankfurt. Running live on booth D26 in hall 3.1, the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer allows bureaux, designers and product developers to reach unparalleled levels of photorealism due to its fine detail and extensive colour capability.

“The colour range and vibrancy combined with the ability to match colours with such accuracy opens up some very exciting application possibilities,” states Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki. “For instance, skin tones – where the slightest variations can easily be detected by the human eye – are reproduced with photorealistic quality as Mimaki meets the accuracy of scanning equipment with absolute precision. Product developers striving for accurate representations of their designs get extraordinarily smooth colour gradations, minimising granularity, and special spot colours can be created for brands with exacting requirements.”

The 3DUJ-553 3D printer prints in over 10 million colours and the results are consistent and repeatable thanks to Mimaki’s unique use of ICC colour profiling. Mimaki has also developed a clear resin so full transparency and semi-transparent colour can be realised. Printing in 19, 32 or 42µm layers, the 3DUJ-553 3D printer delivers super fine detail and smooth surfaces, which are preserved during post-processing as the support material is water-soluble and simply dissolves in water.

Through a collaborative project with Materialise, Mimaki 3D printed models are currently available via i.materialise.com under the name Multicolor+. Miranda Bastijns, Materialise Director Manufacturing Online, comments, “Materialise is currently trialling Mimaki’s full-colour 3D printing technology. The material, Multicolor+, allows us to create smooth surfaces with vibrant colours that enhance the value of a finished object. Multicolor+ offers more vivid and intense colours and enables stronger, sturdier materials with a minimum wall thickness of 1mm. It also allows for printing interlocking parts. As a result, Multicolor+ is ideal for printing decorative parts such as figurines, avatars and architectural models.”

Mimaki 3D printed models have a strength comparable to ABS plastic. Printed in UV-cured photopolymer resins with inkjet printing heads, models can be handled direct from the print build tray, which is a large 500x500x300mm. The 3DUJ-553 3D printer is easy to operate either remotely or through a touch panel. Mimaki 3D Link software also allows colours to be changed on-the-fly.

Mimaki’s expertise in inkjet, UV and colour management derive from the company’s heritage in 2D printing according to Benckhuysen: “Our history in 2D printing is fundamental because it’s given us proficiency in colour management, ink circulation for maximum uptime of the printer and operability. We also understand the importance of continued investment in R&D; not only that, but it means we have excellent technical support and customer service already in place, even as we look to expand our sales infrastructure.”

Benckhuysen concludes, “It’s said colour speaks all languages, so our incredible range of print samples – encompassing industries from toys, entertainment, tools, medical, consumer products, signage, architectural, art and packaging – will speak for themselves. Following our successful launch last year, we’re delighted to meet with the formnext community again and show them the technology, the colour and all developments we’ve made over the last year.”

Unfold focuses on smart production with wide Mimaki printer

Haarlem-based Unfold works from a large industrial building, located in a large commercial zoning area. A common assumption for most production companies. What’s not so common, is that Unfold houses a huge range of heavy production printers, yet very few people to operate them. Owner of the company, René Spanger, does most of it all by himself. Just recently, he upped his own game and invested in a 3,20-meter-wide Mimaki printer with UV-curing. The UJV55-320 is a big whopper – crucial to be able to deal with the print demand at Unfold.

From the home

Spanger started out as an events’ organiser 15 years ago. As he developed flyers and posters for events, people automatically asked for the next step. Spanger is a design autodidact. All thanks to Google, according to him: “Before you know it, you’re a trader in print material. I got so many print requests that I actually bought my first home plotter. I put it in a 15sqm room in my home. After that, things got out of hand,” he adds jokingly, “and my machine portfolio grew exponentially.”

To more space

By adding printers, Spanger needed more room and went from 150 to 800 to 1250 sqm. More room, not more people though. René Spanger and his emergency crew, that’s it. Order intake, order preparations, prepress, printing, finishing, packing and shipping – most companies have one person per division. Unfold doesn’t, it relies on its automation installation to do the work for them. Spanger no longer designs – he focuses entirely on production.


André Geuke who works for supplier Igepa calls Unfold an a-typical company. “René took huge strides forward when it comes to automation. He put in a lot of time in setting up a functional system that enables five printers to be operated by just the one person.” Nonetheless, Spanger is checking with different people for additional support, when required.

Print service

Geuke: “It’s astonishing, how the company only offers print service (printing, plotting and milling). Unfold works for third parties like graphic and sign companies that outsource the print jobs to this specialised print machine.” Companies with an online sales focus also often turn to Unfold for production. The company does not advertise, and its website is a contact page. Work comes in via resellers providing print-ready PDFs.


The Esko software schedules jobs the smart way and completely books the machines. The four Mimaki printers are running non-stop. “Just look at the incoming orders of plates in different sizes. I put these in the Forex folder and the software sorts the plate-orders to make sure the machine is fully booked. It sends the prints to the printers and the plotting files to the plotters.” Spanger says.
The company has different job sections. Orders arrive at order processing where Spanger accepts the orders and processes them into the company workflow. At the Mimaki printers, he then picks up the orders, puts in the material, launches the order to print and cuts the output. Onto the plotter, where he scans the order and lets the plotter handle it. He then rolls it, tubes it, labels it and sends it off for shipping. The shipping company picks up the shipments from the shelf and takes it along. Igepa makes a daily delivery of substrates to make sure that each day’s order book can be processed entirely.

Long-term relationship

The relationship with Mimaki goes way back. It started with the first plotter Unfold purchased. Fifteen years ago, it was one of the first machines that could print and plot at the same time. “I asked my foil supplier a reference for a printer. It became the Mimaki on the second go. After that, it just kept on feeling right.” Spanger adds. “I am pleased with the Mimaki printers and it remained our go-to brand as our capacity grew. We still have our first machine up and running even.”


The new Mimaki UJV55-320 was supplied by Igepa and extends the print width capacity. The machine replaces a smaller 2,6m printer. Mimaki has been supplying a 3,2m printer just recently, but at Unfold it’s been running for a few months. Much to everyone’s delight from the very start. “The printer arrived just in time to comply with the increasing print demand. In Harlem we are now the frontrunner in this area. But I spot potential to push our growth even further“, René Spanger concludes.

Mimaki zeigt auf der Fakuma sein Internet-der-Dinge für den UV-Druck

Integrierte Workflow-Lösungen für den UV-LED-Druck auf Kunststoff sind die Modelle der Zukunft und das Herz von Mimakis IoT-Strategie

Kreative Lösungen zum Drucken auf Kunststoff zeigt Mimaki, ein führender Hersteller von Groß- und Kleinformat-Inkjetdruckern und Schneideplottern, auch in diesem Jahr auf der Fakuma, der internationalen Fachmesse für die Kunststoffverarbeitung. An seinem Stand in Halle A1 – 1410 bilden vom 16. bis 20. Oktober 2018 in Friedrichshafen integrierte Workflow-Lösungen für den UV-LED-Druck den Ausstellungsschwerpunkt.
Zu ihnen zählen der UJF-7151plus als kompaktes hochmodernes UV-LED-Direktdrucksystem, der UJF-3042 MkII für den hochproduktiven UV-LED-Druck im Kleinformat, der kompakte Flachbett-Schneideplotter CFL-605RT als perfekte multifunktionale Lösung für die Produktion von Mustern und Kleinserien sowie innovative Features des RIP-Programms RasterLink 6 als Systemlösung.

Höhepunkt der Vorort-Maschinendemonstrationen bildet eine automatisierte Workflow-Lösung, die Mimaki in Zusammenarbeit mit der Firma Robominds GmbH für den UJF-7151plus erarbeitet hat: Mit Hilfe eines Roboterarms wird die Druckanlage automatisch per Interface-Lösung be- und entladen. Auf diese Weise lassen sich die Rüstzeiten an der Maschine minimieren und der Wirkungsgrad der Mimaki- Systeme weiter steigern.

„Mimaki ist ein Trendsetter und immer nah am Kunden. In diesem Sinn beschreiten wir mit unserer IoT-Strategie (Internet of Things – Internet der Dinge) den Weg in Richtung integrierte Workflow-Lösungen als Zukunftsmodell – nicht nur – für die Kunststoffbranche“, sagt Uwe Niklas, General Manager Marketing & Sales der Mimaki Deutschland GmbH. „Aufbauend auf der langjährigen vertrauensvollen Zusammenarbeit mit unseren Kunden und Partnern zeigen wir innovative Anwendungsmöglichkeiten, die den Leistungsumfang mit unseren Systemen dokumentieren, damit der Kunde ein möglichst breites Spektrum mit einem System abdecken kann.“

Digital Printing Connection – Vernetzte Drucklösungen

Mit der IoT-Strategie möchte Mimaki seinen Kunden helfen, die Drucksysteme des Unternehmens zur bedienerlosen On-Demand-Produktion und Massenpersonalisierung durch die Vernetzung mit Robotern, Transportbändern, Prüftechniken, Sensoren und weiteren Peripheriegeräten in die Produktionslinien einzubinden. Die ersten beiden Lösungen, die im Rahmen dieser neuen Entwicklung eingeführt werden, sind MDL-Befehle und der Mimaki Job Controller.

MDL-Befehle werden genutzt, um die Drucker von Mimaki über die Produktionssysteme des Kunden und durch Peripheriegeräte zu steuern. Sie übernehmen die Kontrolle über den Drucker, indem sie unter anderem die Druckproduktion starten und die Position sowie die Höhe des Substrattisches einstellen. Auch informieren sie über die verbleibende Tintenmenge und melden Druckerfehler. Kunden, die MDL-Befehle nutzen, haben die Möglichkeit, mit dem Software Development Kit von Mimaki, das von der Mimaki Global Website heruntergeladen werden kann, ein optimales System aufzubauen.

Der Mimaki Job Controller ist eine Software, die mit dem Drucker kommuniziert, um optimale Druckdaten und Druckbedingungen zu übertragen. Er ist ebenfalls in der Lage, die Produktion automatisch zu starten, und stellt in der Produktionslinie die Verbindung zwischen Drucker und Roboter her, um die Druckaufträge über ein Transportband zuzuführen. Darüber hinaus erfasst er die Druckprodukte nach der Ausgabe.

„Die Digital Printing Connection ermöglicht den Betrieb mit reduziertem Personalaufwand. Die Anforderungen unserer Kunden ist es, die Prozesse zu vereinfachen und zu rationalisieren, da Drucker, die zumeist als Einzelsysteme eingesetzt sind, nun mit den Peripheriegeräten vernetzt werden. Dieses Konzept fördert die On-Demand-Produktion und die Massenpersonalisierung“, fasst Uwe Niklas zusammen.“