Fujifilm and Tinmasters to Develop Short-Run, Inkjet Tech
South Wales-based Tinmasters will install a Fujifilm Acuity B1 UV inkjet printer. As part of the agreement, Fujifilm will retain access of the machine for customer demonstrations and development work. Tinmasters chief executive Richard O’Neill said that trends in the sector indicated that run lengths are coming down and that digital technology would be needed to address that demand.
O’Neill added, “It was the exceptional print quality and registration from the Acuity B1 that drew us initially to Fujifilm. However, the partnership angle of the agreement is crucial. Inkjet is completely new to us, and what we’re learning very quickly from Fujifilm is that it has the potential to be much more than simply a cost-effective way to print short runs. It also offers huge advantages in achieving colour consistency across jobs and in experimenting with creative applications and special effects, such as using ink layering to get textured finishes – something only possible with UV inkjet technology. At the same time, Fujifilm is new to metal decoration, so given we’ve been printing on metal since 1909, there’s a lot of expertise we can offer to help them to adapt their inkjet solution to better meet the needs of the industry.”
Kevin Jenner, business manager, industrial at Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems said, “I think the transition from analogue to digital in metal decoration is a couple of decades behind the graphics industry, where we’ve been developing and refining our inkjet technologies for 20 years. It’s quite a homogenous market, with all of the major players producing very similar applications with similar kit so it represents a unique opportunity.
“There is in the industry, we believe, a tremendous latent demand for the short-run work, creativity, and customisation that inkjet allows, but in many cases neither the canmakers nor designers know that those possibilities exist – so they’re not asking for them. When they do start asking – and they will – we’ll be ready, and together we look forward to shaping a future of possibilities even we haven’t dreamt of yet.”