Fujifilm’s foray into metal decoration has been given a significant seal of approval as one of Europe’s biggest independent metal packaging printers agrees to an inkjet development partnership. Inkjet technology pioneer, Fujifilm, has agreed to an ongoing partnership with the UK’s largest specialist metal packaging printing firm, Tinmasters. The agreement will see Tinmasters install a Fujifilm Acuity B1 UV inkjet printer at its premises in South Wales. The machine will be used for short-run and customized commercial work and Fujifilm will retain access for customer demonstrations and ongoing development work.
O’Neill added, “It was the exceptional print quality and registration from the Acuity B1 that drew us initially to Fujifilm. However, the partnership angle of the agreement is crucial. Inkjet is completely new to us, and what we’re learning very quickly from Fujifilm is that it has the potential to be much more than simply a cost-effective way to print short runs. It also offers huge advantages in achieving color consistency across jobs and in experimenting with creative applications and special effects, such as using ink layering to get textured finishes – something only possible with UV inkjet technology.
“At the same time, Fujifilm is new to metal decoration, so given we’ve been printing on metal since 1909, there’s a lot of expertise we can offer to help them to adapt their inkjet solution to better meet the needs of the industry.”
Kevin Jenner, business manager, Industrial department at Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems said, “I think the transition from analog to digital in metal decoration is a couple of decades behind the graphics industry, where we’ve been developing and refining our inkjet technologies for 20 years. It’s quite a homogenous market, with all of the major players producing very similar applications with a similar kit so it represents a unique opportunity.
“There is in the industry, we believe, a tremendous latent demand for the short-run work, creativity, and customization that inkjet allows, but in many cases neither the can makers nor designers know that those possibilities exist – so they’re not asking for them. When they do start asking – and they will – we’ll be ready, and together we look forward to shaping a future of possibilities even we haven’t dreamt of yet.”