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.”

Why the Mimaki TS55-1800 is (r)evolutionary

The textile printing market is rather traditional. For example, only 4 percent currently use digital printers. The reasons for this are diverse, from sticking to familiar production methods to the fear of high investments. Mimaki wants to change that with the TS55-1800, a high-end digital textile printer for use with heat transfer sublimation paper. It is a solution designed specifically for the entry and mid-level market with an unprecedented price-quality ratio.

by Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki EMEA

I have been working in the printing business for decades and have a technical background. That is why I love all the new technical gadgets, but I still must admit that I’m also quite fond of traditional analogue printing techniques as well. Just as an old steam locomotive makes you aware of the history and the technological progress of trains, digital print technologies also make my heart beat faster. But ultimately, we must progress, including in the printing business; and the future of printing is undoubtedly digital. The good news is that Mimaki has now succeeded in bringing industrial digital textile printing solutions within reach of small and medium-sized businesses. That is truly a revolution, thanks to an evolutionary process of continuous innovation by Mimaki.

High ink density and speed

The textile and apparel industries are extremely dynamic and require high production volumes. These high volumes are feasible when using traditional printing techniques, but the quality can lag. Digital printing has been an excellent way to improve quality for years. However, to achieve a marketable print quality at a high production speed normally requires a high level of investment, which means that only major players in the industry can afford it. Mimaki recognized the gap in the market and decided to develop a new dye sublimation printer, designed specifically for the entry and mid-level market. The TS55-1800 is a very affordable printer that, unlike all comparable products in this segment, meets high quality and ink density demands at the faster print speeds that the market requires. It prints at a resolution of 480×600 dpi while maintaining vibrant colours using one-pass printing at 140 m² per hour. In addition, for the TS55-1800, Mimaki has also incorporated its unique MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System) technology in two-pass printing mode to eliminate banding.

Mini Jumbo Roll

To offer companies as much flexibility as possible, Mimaki also decided to offer the option of using this exciting new printer with the new Mini Jumbo Roll unit. This facilitates printing continuously with 2,500 linear meters of transfer paper. Smaller printing companies can use this machine to scale up to higher production volumes, but that is not all. By replacing their 150- to 200-meter plotter rolls with Mini Jumbo Rolls, they can also save more than 20 percent on paper costs and increase production capacity since no small rollers need to be replaced. Mimaki makes it even easier for companies to make the transition to digital printing by, for the first time, supplying print media with the TS55-1800 as a package deal in the form of Mimaki Vision Jet-X transfer paper, provided by Neenah Coldenhove.
And finally, the printer has a 10-l ink system that drastically lowers ink prices per m2!

With two additional unique features, Nozzle Check Unit (NCU) and Nozzle Recovery System (NRS), already available from two-pass print mode, Mimaki ensures that production can take place without any trouble and without requiring any human intervention over longer periods of time. The Nozzle Check Unit automatically checks nozzles and cleans them if required and the NRS substitutes defective nozzles giving uninterrupted operation.

I recommend the TS55-1800, a revolutionary printer, for anyone who is interested in engaging in this lucrative market and those looking for ways to streamline existing production. Textile professionals can drastically reduce operating costs with this printer, increase production volume significantly, and at least double their annual profit. And it is an affordable entry point for those just entering the market. That is really revolutionary, and I believe it will help many companies grow in digital textile printing or take their first steps into the digital world.

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.

La Mimaki aporta más de 10 millones de colores a formnext

Mimaki sube el listón en el diseño de prototipos de productos con los mejores detalles y colores de su categoría.

Bajo el lema “Shape the Future in Colour” (Dando forma al futuro en color), Mimaki presentará su avanzada tecnología de fabricación de aditivos de color en formnext del 13 al 16 de noviembre que se celebrará en Fráncfort. Presentes en el estand D26 en el pabellón 3.1, la impresora 3D Mimaki 3DUJ-553 permite a las oficinas, diseñadores y desarrolladores de productos alcanzar niveles de fotorealismo sin precedentes gracias a sus detalles precisos y a su amplia capacidad de color.

“La gama de colores y la vitalidad combinada con la capacidad de combinar colores con tal precisión abre algunas posibilidades de aplicación muy interesantes», comenta Bert Benckhuysen, director de producto senior de Mimaki. “Por ejemplo, los tonos piel –en los que las variaciones más pequeñas pueden detectarse fácilmente por el ojo humano– se reproducen con calidad fotorrealista ya que Mimaki responde a la precisión de los equipos de escaneado con absoluta precisión. Los desarrolladores de productos que se esfuerzan por obtener representaciones precisas de sus diseños obtienen gradaciones de color extraordinariamente suaves, minimizando la granularidad, y pueden crear colores planos especiales para las marcas que exigen requisitos exactos”.

La impresora 3D 3DUJ-553 imprime en más de 10 millones de colores y los resultados son uniformes y repetibles gracias al uso exclusivo de la creación de perfiles de colores ICC de Mimaki. Mimaki también ha desarrollado una resina transparente para poder obtener transparencia total y colores semitransparentes. Imprimiendo en capas de 19, 32 o 42 µm, la impresora 3D 3DUJ-553 ofrece detalles de alta precisión y superficies lisas, que se mantienen durante el postprocesamiento ya que el material de soporte es soluble en agua y, simplemente, se disuelve en el agua.

Mediante un proyecto de colaboración con Materialise, los modelos impresos con la Mimaki 3D están actualmente disponibles a través de i.materialise.com con el nombre Multicolor+. Miranda Bastijns, Directora de Fabricación Online de Materialise, comenta, “Materialise está probando actualmente la tecnología de impresión 3D a todo color de Mimaki. El material, Multicolor+, nos permite crear superficies lisas con colores vibrantes que realzan el valor del objeto acabado. Multicolor+ ofrece colores más vivos e intensos y permite el uso de materiales más fuertes y resistentes con un espesor mínimo de 1 mm. También permite la impresión de piezas de interbloqueo. Como resultado, Multicolor+ es ideal para imprimir piezas decorativas como figuras, avatares y modelos arquitectónicos”.

Los modelos impresos en 3D de Mimaki tienen una resistencia comparable a la del plástico ABS. Los modelos impresos en resinas fotopolímeras curadas por rayos UV con cabezales de impresión de inyección de tinta, se pueden manipular directamente desde la bandeja de impresión, que presenta un gran tamaño de 500x500x300 mm. La impresora 3D 3DUJ-553 es fácil de operar, ya sea de forma remota o a través de un panel táctil. El software Mimaki 3D Link también permite cambiar los colores sobre la marcha.

La competencia de Mimaki en inyección de tinta, gestión del color y UV deriva de la herencia de la compañía de la impresión en 2D según Benckhuysen: “Nuestra historia en la impresión 2D es fundamental porque nos aporta competencia en la gestión del color, la circulación de la tinta para la máxima productividad de la impresora y mayor operatividad. También somos conscientes de la importancia de seguir invirtiendo en I+D; no solo eso, sino que significa que ya contamos con un excelente soporte técnico y servicio al cliente, incluso ahora que buscamos expandir nuestra infraestructura de ventas”.

Benckhuysen concluye: “Se dice que el color habla todos los idiomas, por lo que nuestra increíble gama de muestras de impresión, que abarca diversas industrias, entre ellas la de juguetes, entretenimiento, herramientas, medicina, productos de consumo, señalización, arquitectura, arte y embalaje, hablará por sí sola. Tras nuestro excelente lanzamiento el año pasado, nos complace poder reunirnos de nuevo con la comunidad formnext y mostrarles la tecnología, los colores y todos los avances que hemos materializado durante el último año”.

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 to showcase its Internet of Things for UV print at Fakuma

Integrated workflow solutions for UV-LED printing on plastic are at the heart of Mimaki’s IoT strategy and its model for the future

Mimaki will be showcasing creative solutions for printing on plastic at this year’s Fakuma, the international trade show for plastics processing. Mimaki will be exhibiting in Hall A1, Stand 1410. Its focus at the show, which takes place from 16 to 20 October in Friedrichshafen, Germany, will be on integrated workflow solutions for UV-LED printing. These include the compact, state-of-the art UV-LED direct printing system UJF-7151plus; the UJF-3042 MkII for high-performance small-format UV-LED printing; the compact flatbed cutting machine CFL-605RT, the ideal multifunctional solution for the production of samples and short runs; and the innovative features of systems solution RasterLink 6.

The highlight of the on-site demonstrations will be an automated workflow solution for the UJF-7151plus, developed jointly by Mimaki and German company Robominds GmbH. Using a robotic arm, the printer is loaded and unloaded automatically via an interface solution. This reduces machine make-ready times and will further increase efficiency levels of Mimaki’s systems.

“As a trendsetting and customer-oriented company, Mimaki is pursuing an IoT strategy that creates a model for the future of integrated workflow solutions for the plastics industry, among others,” explains Uwe Niklas, General Manager Marketing & Sales at Mimaki Deutschland GmbH. “By leveraging the long-standing and trusting partnerships with our customers and partners, we are showing innovative application opportunities that demonstrate the scope of our systems, in order to enable customers to cover a broad spectrum of applications with a single system.“

Digital Printing Connection – Networked printing solutions

With its IoT strategy, Mimaki aims to help its customers connect their printing systems to achieve unmanned on-demand production and mass personalisation by integrating robots, conveyor belts, testing technologies, sensors and other peripherals with production lines. The first two solutions to emerge from this new development are MDL commands and the Mimaki Job Controller.

MDL commands are used to control Mimaki printers via the customer’s production systems and peripherals. They take over control of the printer by launching production and adjusting position and height of the substrate table. In addition, they provide information about remaining ink levels and report print errors. Customers who use MDL commands are able to build a perfect system for their needs with Mimaki’s software development kit, which can be downloaded from the Mimaki Global website.

Mimaki Job Controller is a software solution that communicates with the printer in order to transmit accurate printing data and printing conditions. It can also start production automatically, creating a link along the production line between the printer and the robot in order to feed in print jobs via a conveyor belt and collect the finished printed output.

“Digital Printing Connection enables production with fewer personnel. Our customers need to simplify and streamline their processes, since printers, which were typically deployed on a standalone basis, are now connected to their peripherals. This concept promotes on-demand production and mass personalisation,” concludes Niklas.