Milan-based Terenzi Group has used a Ricoh Pro TF6251 UV flatbed printer to help enhance the production of ‘Greenyl’ vinyl recycled records, strengthening its environmental credentials.

The Milan, Italy-based company offers services such as design, prototyping, optimisation, production and assembly. It has three main lines of business and specialises in metal and plastic applications. Noting an increasing demand for vinyl records, it sought to find an alternative material to the environmentally damaging PVC from which they are made.

Partnering with music label and publisher Rude Records, Terenzi developed a new solution in the form of ‘Greenyl’. Made from recycled plastics using sustainable production processes, Greenyl discs are created using an industrial press, before Terenzi prints the name of the artist, song, and album information, plus graphics, directly onto both sides of the record.

While testing was done on a small inkjet printer using standard inks, it became apparent that to scale the operation something more industrial would be needed.

‘In the first year, we plan to produce around 500,000 Greenyl records, and, after that, we estimate volumes will increase even further,’ explained Terenzi chief executive Luca Terenzi. ‘To achieve this, we needed a solution that would deliver high print speeds and productivity to keep lead times as short as possible for clients. And it was essential to create an energy-efficient and eco-friendly workflow in line with our sustainability goals.’

After running tests on several UV flatbed devices, Terenzi settled on the Ricoh Pro TF6251, which was installed in February 2023. Mr Terenzi said one of the primary factors behind the decision was the performance of Ricoh’s UV inks when printed directly onto the face of the Greenyl records. The printer is driven by ColorGate Productionserver software to maximise the machine’s performance.

The Ricoh Pro TF6251 allows Terenzi to print onto 16 Greenyl records simultaneously. Colour was also an important factor: Terenzi offers Greenyl records in multiple colours and so required inks that could produce a range of colours in high quality. The company chose Pro UV Ink GP120 formulations, with the ability to use CMYK colours, plus white and clear inks.

‘The colour capabilities of the Pro TF6251 are impressive, especially the option to use white and clear inks to create multi-layered graphics,’ confirms Mr Terenzi. ‘The precision and quality are excellent, allowing us to print very small text onto both sides of the record that remains completely legible.

‘The instant-cure UV inks enable us to start printing immediately onto the reverse of the record once the first side is finished. And when the second side is completed, we can place the record straight into a sleeve ready for packing and dispatch,’ he added.