PDS Print of Plymouth has installed a Xenons X-180 hybrid flatbed/roll-fed wide format printer and an Almeida B8-2513 digital cutter, both supplied by SOS, in order to expand its capacity in wide-format work.

The litho-based  company moved into wide-format five years ago with a Roland roll-fed solvent machine, but growing demand, including for printing onto rigid media, which meant time-consuming mounting, led director Gordon Bryan to look for a hybrid machine that could handle both kinds of work.

‘SOS offered us the Xenons machine and the Almeida cutter for less than the price of a standalone hybrid machine from their rivals – it’s literally two machines for less than the price of one,’ said Mr Bryan, adding, ‘ At first, this put me off a little – you wonder how it’s possible – but we were reassured that the Xenons uses the latest Ricoh print heads, which is the key component.  Other users gave us good reports, and the test prints we did looked great.

‘The cost may have been low, but the quality has been high. I can honestly say it has performed perfectly from day one, no matter what we have thrown at it. We’re very concerned with colour accuracy and it’s been calibrated to match the output of our other devices. The other big plus is productivity; because it’s an LED UV machine, drying is instant, and because we opted for a rolling bed on the Almeida cutter, we have automated poster cutting which saves us upwards of four hours a day and frees up our operator.

‘The cutter is very versatile, it comes with a big set of tools as standard – not as optional extras. The speed is great and the accuracy is amazing,’ Mr Bryan added.

The Xenons X180 has a maximum width of 1.88m and will print on ACP, foam, board, flute board, glass, ceramic tiles, wood, and on a wide range of vinyl and flexible media. The Almeida cutter is available in a wide range of sizes, in this case 2.5 x 1.3m.