Established 19 years ago, Kazoo Print is run by founder Simon Talbot and his wife, Leanne. The couple’s two children have joined the business, and this month, a new profit share scheme is to be introduced as a thank you to all employees for their dedicated work over the years.
The EFI Pro 30h is the third EFI UV hybrid printer that the company has purchased from CMYUK.
“Our old VUTEk GS and QS models have been brilliant machines, but we wanted to step up to the next generation of EFI technology for improved colour consistency, speed and a more sustainable print solution. We want to offer our clients something a little different, a little bit more,” says Simon.
More is very much the word of the moment for this business. This year, Kazoo Print has grown by another 30% and with this came a pressing need for increased capacity. Initially, the idea was to purchase a dedicated roll-to-roll Canon Colorado, then add the Pro 30h later. However, the versatility and speed of the EFI platform, coupled with the 130% tax relief offered by the government on new capital equipment, made immediate purchase of the Pro 30h very attractive and manageable.
The Pro 30h is designed for ultra-productivity with rapid set-up times and an in-feed take-up system. It handles dual rolls and continuous board printing, which enables rigid sheets to be printed back-to-back without stopping the carriage. It utilises a magnetic linear drive rather than a pulley system for a quieter carriage with less vibration, to support consistent and highly accurate ink dot placement.
Kazoo Print services a broad spectrum of customers with 70% of its work dedicated to the High Street. One particular nationwide retail customer has a regular requirement for over 7,000 separate lines of artwork for each of its stores.
“Dealing with 7,000 different pieces of artwork can get a bit crazy so we need a really quick changeover for different materials and thicknesses. We haven’t got time to wait for a printer to reboot or reset. The Pro 30h hybrid is excellent for swopping between different materials and substrates,” says Simon.
The Pro 30h also comes with two channels of white ink as standard. EFI’s white ink is recognised for its brightness and opacity and can be imaged like any other colour in greyscale up to 1200dpi.
Kazoo Print is a volume user of white ink and Simon was hugely impressed with the multi-layer printing functionality of the Pro 30h.
“The white on the Pro 30h was a big deal for us. We do a lot of double-sided such as window displays and clings, so the 5-layer printing has enabled us to print double-sided in a single pass. With our older VUTEks, we would run CMYK, White, then put it back through to print Black, White, and CMYK again, or we’d put two pieces down together. We do a lot of double-sided work, so this multi-layer printing has been a real winner. It saves us time, making the process so much neater and straight forward,” says Simon.
The Pro 30h utilises cool cure LEDs rather than UV Mercury lamps reducing energy consumption and expanding the portfolio of usable materials to thinner, lighter, and more sustainable products, which don’t malfunction due to heat. Unlike UV mercury lamps that need to be replaced every year, LEDs have a 5-year lifespan, and therefore are not considered a consumable.
This hybrid printer uses EFI’s new XA inkset which features excellent adhesion, and does not chip during cutting on standard acrylic, corrugated plastics, and other fluted materials. It is also flexible enough for 180-degree heat forming applications.
“Our ink usage costs have reduced as the Pro 30h uses less ink per sq. m than our older printers. Coupled with this, the power consumption is obviously a lot better, so I’m looking forward to seeing my electricity bill in 12 months’ time. The green credentials around this machine are a real selling point,” says Simon.
Kazoo Print has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with CMYUK and its Senior Digital Sales Consultant, Jason McNulty. Says Simon, “If I need anything, my first port of call is always to contact Jason who looks after us very well. I tell him what the gap is, and he recommends the best equipment to fill it.
“CMYUK has excellent customer service, when you talk to them, they never say, ‘just leave it with me’, they just get stuff done. They are very accommodating and will do out of hours demos if you need them. I’m always so busy, so getting out the door during normal office hours is impossible. The CMYUK showroom in Shrewsbury is excellent, and what’s more, they’ve always got a choice for the size of your pocket from used, to new, and on to the big industrial equipment. It’s just very good.”