Signs Now has taken on a Canon Océ Arizona 1260 XT in order to expand its direct-to-board capabilities and increase its reach with housing association and construction clients.
The 3×2.5m flatbed was installed in May at the group’s Wolverhampton head office and replaces another Arizona, a 10-year-old 250 GT, which was half its size.
The 1260 XT cost £180,000 and will carry out panel and signage jobs for housing association and construction-related customers with two or three busy days a week, although director Carlo Matarazzo said the aim was to increase its workload over time.
“At this stage, speed was not the crucial deciding factor for us – although the new Arizona is much faster than its predecessor,” he said. “We shopped around with other printers, including machines by HP, Mimaki and Agfa, but we have a good relationship with Canon.
“Mainly, the quality has got to be there – and this new Arizona now prints white, too, which is a huge benefit as it allows us to print onto black boards without wasting a lot of ink.
“This machine is double the size of the last one, which means we can have two boards on the bed at once and reduces the need to pause work, therefore speeding up our process.”
Printing at speeds up to 35sqm/hour, the Océ Arizona 1260 XT flatbed can carry rigid media up to 50.8mm thick. It runs a six-channel piezoelectric inkjet system with one 636-nozzle, variable droplet printhead per channel with variable droplet sizes of 6-42pl.
It was selected by Signs Now after a shopping-around period that culminated in a deal at Sign & Digital UK, which took place at the NEC, Birmingham, in April.
Accredited ISO 9001 and 14001 for its environmental management capabilities, Signs Now employs 35 members of staff across four UK sites. It has a turnover of £3m.
In its 930sqm headquarters, the firm also runs a Mimaki CJV150 solvent printer, as well as finishing capabilities including CNC routing, plotting, fabrication and lamination.