Dublin-based print services provider, CoverUp, has invested in a new EFI VUTEk Q5r printer. The 5m UV LED printer has been purchased from CMYUK to enhance production capabilities thanks to imnproved quality, higher speed and signficantly increased volume throughput.
The 5m LED printer is replacing existing HP technology. CoverUp’s Operations Director, Anthony Byrne says, “It will open up new business for us because we can do everything quicker; that’s what we’re really pushing for is an increase in volume.”
The EFI VUTEk V5r is a 5m UV LED printer that will provide CoverUp with a more versatile printing solution because of the wide range of application capabilities it offers. This includes double-sided printing, textiles, and more.
CoverUp started out in 1976 as a manufacturer and finisher of exterior PVC and canvas coverings for machinery, vehicles, boats and industrial plants. By the mid 80s the company extended into banner finishing but it was not until 2005 that it moved into digital printing.
These days the company offers a wide variety of applications including dye-sublimated textiles for soft signage through to rigid signage, flags, banners, and building wraps. It operates from two sites in the Dublin region – Sandyford and Clondalkin – and employs 16 staff.
“We mostly deal with the trade, small companies all over Ireland including Northern Ireland. They’re happy for us to do their printing and send it out by courier the next day,” says Anthony.
The business has grown to become one of the largest finishers of large banners and building wraps in the whole of Ireland. “Because we started off manufacturing large covers, we had a head start from a finishing point of view and that’s just continued,” he says.
CMYUK & EFI
CoverUp is no stranger to the VUTEk brand of EFI printers. It was the first in the world to purchase the VUTEk FabriVU 340i back in 2018 when it was looking to replace its M-Tex printers. “The FabriVU 340i was the best we could find on the market at the time for direct printing and inline direct fixation. We bought it from CMYUK and then just continued buying materials from them,” says Anthony.
“We didn’t want to go down the paper transfer route because that’s not the market we’re in. We get called up and asked if we can print a banner for next day delivery. Printing the roll and then putting it through a heat press wasn’t the way for us,” he says.
Prior to the purchase of the VUTEk Q5r, CoverUp had established a trusted relationship with CMYUK for its materials supply, so when it came to purchasing a new UV printer, there was never any doubt about where to go.
“CMYUK has been an excellent support for us. Joel Willcock [CMYUK Materials Commercial Director] had visited us a couple of times and so when we were having awful problems with our then materials supplier, we decided to give CMYUK a trial. Brett Platt [Textiles Business Manager] came over and profiled CMYUK’s textiles for the FabriVU, transforming our operation and understanding of dye-sublimation. Likewise, once the Q5r printer was installed, Amira Bouchiba [CMYUK’s Academy Manager] did the same for our new UV capabilities – making us far more efficient by streamlining our workflow processes, all of which have been key to our success in production,” says Anthony.
VUTEk Q5r platform
The dedicated roll-to-roll VUTEk Q5r platform incorporates an automatic inline finishing system for printing, cutting, slitting and collection – all on the same platform. Features include Y slitters – single or double-bladed – for separating multiple jobs on a single, full-width roll and minimise media waste. An automated Roll & Tape function takes printed cut sheets directly from the printer, rolls them into scrolls and tapes their edges with labels containing printed job information. Automatic Backlit supports multi-roll cutting and slitting, enabling independent printing on each side of the material using a different print mode.
With 9 colours and a true resolution of 1200 dpi, the VUTEk Q5r is suitable for high-definition image quality. Utilising cool cure LED, it extends the range of supported substrates including lower cost and added-value materials. Glossy and matt coating modes in either selective or full flood provide print enhancement and a protective coating for up to three years.
Recognising its versatility, CoverUp has been experimenting printing UV images for lightboxes and blackout for display in addition to its traditional digital dye sublimation output.
Says Anthony, “The Q5r has instantly had an impact on production. Its’ really going to help us do what we do now but even better. It’ll bring in additional business and we can maximise its potential for our clients. PVC, canvas, Artex, vinyl and backlit – anything that’s possible to print – that’s what we’ll be doing.”