ImageData has become the first company in the UK to purchase an Onset X3 HS Dual Flex from Fujifilm. The Yorkshire-based company already owns two Onset X3 presses, also from Fujifilm, and so investing in the Onset X3 HS Dual Flex was considered natural next step.

The company, which boasts 167 staff spread across three sites in the UK as well as an annual turnover of £20m, said that the printer would help to drive the business forward in 2021. Production director Pete Shaw explained, ‘We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Fujifilm stretching back many years, with numerous products from the Onset range taking pride of place at our facilities. The Onset X3 presses have been essential to our business, with the exceptionally high quality print and high speeds they offer. Now with the recent installation of the Onset X3 HS Dual Flex, our production speeds have increased threefold whilst retaining all the quality aspects that the range has always delivered.’

Mr Shaw was also impressed by the range of robotic automation options for the flatbed printer, recently unveiled by Inca and Fujifilm. ‘The automated capability of the Onset X3 HS Dual Flex is a game changer,’ he said. ‘The ‘High 5’ mode uses dual robots, so it can pick up the substrate, put it on the bed for printing, then pick it up and turn it over, and replace on the bed ready to print the reverse side – no human intervention is required, unlike our other machines where operators are required  to flip substrates over.  We’re mainly using this new press  for rigid substrate production for the retail sector, keeping the other Onset X3 presses predominantly on paper-based substrates.

‘The Onset X3 HS Dual Flex isn’t just helping us to produce work faster – it gives us another dimension to the way we run our business. The turnaround times are greatly reduced, not just because of the speed of the machine, but the fact that we no longer need to mask the bed is also a huge time saver in terms of overall turnaround – this feature can facilitate a job to job changeover time of just 30 seconds, which is highly impressive.’

ImageData’s commercial director, Glen Patrick, was equally impressed. ‘Our customers expect the very best in quality and service,’ he commented. ‘They demand  fast turnaround times and high quality print at a competitive price and lead times are reducing  all the time. In such a competitive market, you have to be on top of your game, so we need to ensure that we have the best print equipment available on the market.’

He went on to explain that Fujifilm’s ink expertise also played a significant part in imageData’s decision to invest, ‘Another benefit is the Onset’s ability to print white ink. It works really well on clear, rigid substrates such as acrylic – something we have not been able to print onto before – so the new machine will help us to enter new markets. There’s no doubt in our mind that the Onset X3 HS Dual Flex is  best in class at this time. We’ve enjoyed a prosperous, long-standing relationship with Fujifilm and look forward to reaping the benefit.’