Mimaki's SIJ-320UV will have its African launch at the FESPA Africa and Sign Africa Expo, taking place from 22-24 July at Gallagher Convention Centre. The built-in quality and uninterrupted print run checking features combine perfectly with the newly developed LUS-120 high performance UV curing ink, enabling the printer to produce uninterrupted high quality, high speed printing of various signage media, including PVC and other banner materials.
FESPA Africa interviews Mike Horsten, Mimaki's General Manager Marketing EMEA, about this exciting launch.
The SIJ-320UV specifically supports the needs of wide format print service providers in Africa, China, Taiwan, Russia, Korea, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Which needs did you identify, and how does this product address those needs, specifically in Africa?
We believe that the SIJ320 is the ideal product for the markets described above as these markets are slowly moving into the UV printing markets but don’t have the financial capabilities to buy an expensive printer. Also, the general need for a +200sqm/h printer is not needed in these markets. So, the ideal combination is a UV-LED roll-to-roll 3.2m printer for a very reasonable price. The possibilities for this printer are endless, and we will see many of them appearing in South Africa.
What other exciting features does the printer offer?
This printer is the first of its kind to offer the newest UV technology LED lighting that saves energy, something that is not always available in abundance in developing countries. We believe that with UV-LED, they are getting the best technology available for UV printing. We have also made this device easy to work with; it is bundled with RIP software and offers options for dual roll printing. With the 60sqm/h (max is higher) printing on banner in high quality, we will make many printers very happy. The new LUS120 UV inks are also going to be a breakthrough in UV printing. The semi-flexible UV inks with a good UV-resistance were developed for markets with the sun in mind.
Besides the 'surge in wide format application jobs', which other trends has Mimaki identified in the African market, and can we expect to see more printers from Mimaki that address these trends?
Mimaki will always look at new emerging markets. With the developing countries in mind, you will see more products arriving in the future. Africa is an important market for Mimaki and we will develop specific products for this region. Super-wide format is something new to the African continent in UV, but we already introduced the SWJ Solvent 3.2m printer one year ago. Traditional printing was solvent and the need for cleaner prints is coming from brand owners. Now, they can supply these prints with a state of the art UV-LED printer at 3.2m. We also see the volume of print going up. This means that there is more economic power behind customers willing to invest in new technology.
This printer is making its African debut at FESPA Africa. Why do you think FESPA Africa is the ideal platform to officially launch the machine?
FESPA Africa is the largest show in Sub-Saharan Africa, and this is the ideal location to exhibit a new printer. The introduction of this printer also underlines the strong feeling Mimaki has with the continent. With many markets wanting this machine, we still are very committed to the market and the Johannesburg show is an example of this effort.
What do you think of FESPA Africa and why do you think it's important for Mimaki to be present at the expo?
FESPA Africa is the main attraction in the African continent. With Mimaki becoming the stronger player in the market, we need to be present and showcase our developments. This is why representatives from Mimaki Europe will fully support the show with senior staff members from both Japan and Europe. Also, there is a large amount of customers that would like to talk directly with staff members of Mimaki, now this is again possible on the show floor. By listening to what the requirements are for the market, we can develop those products. I believe Mimaki is the only company today that has developed printers for specific markets, like the SWJ and now the SIJ.
Entrance to the expo is free. Pre-register online and attend the expo, and you could win R1000 cash.