Regency Design & Print has installed a second Screen Truepress Jet W3200UV HS wide-format flatbed printer at its production facility in South Godstone, Surrey.
Over more than 20 years, Regency has built a thriving business in specialist POS manufacture, with a particular focus on beverage equipment graphics. Turnover this year will touch the £7 million mark. The 50-plus employees include an installation team and a nine-strong design studio.
The second printer shares the same specification as its fellow Truepress, installed two years ago: CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta and two opaque white ink channels. With the new machine’s arrival Regency will decommission the two Inca Spyder flatbeds with which the company started printing digitally in 2009.
The need for extra capacity was the main reason for the new Truepress Jet W3200UV, explains Regency chairman David Harkness. “Digital work is continuing to grow. The Spyders have been great for us, and we have always rated the Inca technology — which the Screen printers share — but the Truepress Jet is much more productive. After the first printer arrived we used the Spyders less, and now the two Truepress units can handle all our digital work.”
He adds that as well as being faster, the Truepress is more flexible, and capable of printing the wide range of graphics used on beverage and vending machines, which range from small decal buttons to large fascia panels. Polycarbonate and PETG substrates are most frequently used, as film (up to 500 microns thick) or as panels (up to 3mm). A Zund cutter capable of handling both has been installed, and Regency also has two platen die-cutters. “Quality is also important,” he adds, “particularly when you consider how close to the print someone using a drinks vending machine gets. The multi-layer capability enables us to print high-impact backlit graphics in a single pass.”
Regency still maintains a significant screenprinting presence alongside the two Truepress Jet printers. “We mix the two processes on some work,” says David Harkness. “There are occasions where we need the really deep background colour that screenprinting gives, so we might print the fine detail on the Truepress then screen the background. But make no mistake — we class the Truepress as a real production machine. When we started printing digitally, we mostly used the digital printer for prototyping or very short runs. We might develop a product on the digital printer, then produce the volumes on the screenprinter. That’s all changed now. There’s still a level of volume where screen is more economical, but it’s getting steadily higher. All in all, I estimate that 40-50% of our work is printed digitally.”
A new venture for Regency — Branded Rooms — exploits the Truepress Jets’ short-run capability. As the name suggests, these are themed interiors, and it’s a market that David Harkness says the company rather stumbled across. “The installation team would go into a client to install some graphics, and find they were part of a total redesign of the room. And some clients were doing redesigns every two months, to inject some excitement into the environment. It’s a market that’s perfectly suited to the high-quality work we get from the Truepress Jet W3200UV HS printers.”
The Screen Truepress Jet W3200UV HS is designed for high-speed (184sqm/hr in flatbed mode), high-quality production of short-run, high-impact sign and display work, including exhibition graphics and retail signage, posters, product decoration, architectural signage, backlit displays, etc.
Its design incorporates a number of features to increase both productivity and quality. The advanced-design printhead modules and Truepress UV inks combine to produce sellable, top-quality graphics at high speed. Linear drives provide exceptionally smooth, controlled and accurate motion of the print carriage, while retractable lay pins provide fast substrate positioning to ensure accurate, repeatable registration, especially on double-sided printing.
The multi-layer function enables perfect inline registration of up to eight independent image layers for sophisticated front/back overprinting of quality backlit and variable day/night graphics. Architectural and interior applications benefit from overprinting extra ink layers to draw attention to selected objects on an image. Multiple layers also create high-impact window graphics that can be viewed from both sides with no show-through.