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Success of the world’s first super-wide Acuity Ultra installation leads to further collaboration over the development of a new printer
Mark Cardwell, Chairman at Echo House and Hideaki Kawai, Senior Manager, Wide Format Inkjet Systems at Fujifilm Graphic Systems
The success Echo House has had with its new five metre, super-wide format Acuity Ultra since its installation in June 2018, has led the company to agree a new phase of its partnership with Fujifilm which will see a brand new machine installed. The new printer, which is still in development, will form a new addition to the Acuity Ultra range. With precise specifications still to be confirmed, this smaller format model is set to offer the same print carriage configuration and deliver the same level of quality at comparable speeds to the 5 and 3.2 metre models currently available on the market. The new model will be installed at Echo House in January 2019.
Hideaki Kawai, Senior Manager, 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 is operating and to confirm the agreement for the installation of the new development-phase model.
“Fujifilm has a long history with Echo House,” says Mr Kawai. “They have been operating an Acuity Select flatbed since 2014 and they had been a Fujifilm ink customer for some time before that. Now, 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.”
Mark Cardwell, Chairman at Echo House, has high praise for the Acuity Ultra. “Since it was installed, we’ve been pushing the machine to its limits,” he says. “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,” Mr Cardwell continues. “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 concludes: “We have a successful relationship with Fujifilm that goes back more than a decade and it was this partnership that led us to become the first in the world to install the Acuity Ultra. We never stand still, we’re always looking to the future, and in our experience Fujifilm has exactly the same attitude. The opportunity to directly feed into the development process for this new machine is hugely exciting and gives us the chance to provide even more value to our customers.”
Founded in 1994, Echo House, based in south-west London in the UK, offers a full end-to-end service, from design, to production and installation. For this, it is able to call upon a full spectrum of in-house production facilities, from the finest large format print equipment, to stunning multi-media fabrication capabilities.
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