Fujifilm’s new hybrid press on trial at Echo House

Fujifilm announces global beta site for Acuity Ultra Hybrid LED

The Acuity Ultra Hybrid LED was Fujifilm’s big reveal at Fespa 2022

Fujifilm has announced that the installation of the world’s first Acuity Ultra Hybrid LED got underway at Echo House in Surbiton, UK, on 27 January 2023. The design and sustainable creative production company has a long history of partnering with Fujifilm – having installed an Acuity Select flatbed press in 2014 and, more recently, the world’s first Acuity Ultra in 2018.

The Acuity Ultra Hybrid LED was Fujifilm’s big reveal at Fespa 2022 – the latest development in its ‘new blueprint for wide format’ concept that introduced an all-new Acuity range redesigned from the ground up for maximum ease of use and ROI.

A 3.3m high-end printer offering good print quality and performance on both rigid and flexible substrates, the Acuity Ultra Hybrid LED prints at speeds of up to 218 m2/hr (RTR), and delivers a print resolution of up to 1200 x 1200 dpi. The company says it is unique in being able to combine ultra-high quality and a competitive return on investment, for both rigid and flexible applications, all in one platform.

The machine features a range of intelligent design features to ensure unrivaled ease of use and overall performance. Fujifilm has also created an entirely new ink range, Uvijet UH, especially for the new machine, with six colors (CMYK, Lm, Lc) available as standard and white ink available as an optional extra. The new ink range has both Greenguard Gold and AgBB certification.

Peter Onyskiw, director of Operations at Echo House, said: “We’ve built a collaborative and trusting relationship with Fujifilm over the many years we have worked with them – that’s what led us to be the first company in the world to install a 5m Acuity Ultra back in 2018. That machine is still going strong – though we did have to move it to a new spot to make room for the new one. We are excited to be first again. We work in a rapidly innovative and highly creative sector, serving some of the largest companies in the world, with brands that set extremely high expectations for us. The Acuity Ultra Hybrid LED combines exceptional quality with greater flexibility through its hybrid capability – giving us even more creative potential to continue to meet, and exceed, our customer’s expectations. The technological efficiencies, flexibility, and reliability further extend our sustainable credentials to boot.”

David Burton, director, Fujifilm Wide Format Inkjet Systems says: “We’ve had a long and successful partnership with Echo House over many years – they are never afraid to be first – so they were a natural fit to be the first to trial the latest press in our all-new Acuity range.

“We’re delighted to be starting a new chapter in our journey with them – and we look forward to working with them as they look to harness the considerable potential of this hybrid press to target new business opportunities.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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