Echo House’s Mark Cardwell with Fujfilm’s Hideaki Kawai.

Having become the site of the world’s first super-wide 5m Fujifilm Acuity Ultra installation in June 2018, south-west London-based signage and POS manufacturer Echo House is to extend its partnership with Fujifilm by taking an as-yet-still-in-development print system from the supplier at the start of 2019.

The new printer will form a new addition to the Acuity Ultra range, although precise specifications are still to be confirmed. It will be a smaller format model, according to Fujifilm, that can offer the same print carriage configuration and deliver the same level of quality at comparable speeds to the 5 and 3.2m models currently available.

Given the nature of this announcement, it seems clear that the Acuity Ultra installed this year is doing well at Echo House. Mark Cardwell, the firm’s chairman, commented: ‘Since it was installed, we’ve been pushing the machine to its limits. Our customers include some of the best-known luxury goods, retail and cosmetics brands in the world. They’re hugely demanding customers who know what they want and won’t settle for anything less. They expect the very best quality, as well as rapid turnaround times and excellent value for money. To retain customers like these, and to give them confidence they are getting the best possible value for their money, we have to make sure that our technical capabilities are as advanced as possible.

‘The Fujifilm Acuity Ultra has proven itself to be the perfect new addition to Echo House. We’re using it to print a huge range of quality general signage and POS work, taking full advantage of the five-metre width to print super-wide substrates, and to print to multiple rolls simultaneously as the occasion demands. The ability to print white ink has been fantastic for ultra-high quality backlit applications.

‘We’ve seen a significant overall boost in productivity and we have no doubt that this investment has put us in a stronger position to retain our high-value client accounts and win new work in a very competitive marketplace.’

Mr Cardwell added that the opportunity to directly feed into the development process for the new machine was ‘hugely exciting’, giving it the chance to provide even more value to its customers.

Hideaki Kawai, senior manager for Wide Format Inkjet Systems at Fujifilm Graphic Systems’ global headquarters in Tokyo, visited Echo House in October 2018 to see first-hand how its Acuity Ultra was operating. He added: ‘As the site of the first Acuity Ultra installation globally, Echo House has become an even more important partner to Fujifilm. Their feedback, as we’ve worked with them to ensure they’re getting the best out of the machine and using it to its full potential, has been invaluable. We’re excited now to be involving them in the development phase of this new project.’