Creative Bee installs a Mimaki JV100-160 roll-to-roll printer from CMYUK

March 06, 2023
Anne Grice, Director and daughter of company founder, Ian Douglass Anne Grice, Director and daughter of company founder, Ian Douglass

Creative Bee, the digital wide format sister company of litho printing business, Creative Colour n Copy has installed a new Mimaki JV100-160 dedicated roll printer from CMYUK. This is an upgrade to the business’ existing Mimaki equipment – a JV33 eco-solvent and Mimaki CJV33 solvent printer/cutter – both of which have been in reliable service for the best part of two decades.

We were running our two Mimaki's on a double-day shift,” says Anne Grice, Director and daughter of Ian Douglass, who founded the business in 1979. “We were running them all day, all night, they were that reliable. We did that for many years, but they were getting old and tired, we needed the upgrade.”

The Stafford-based business approached CMYUK because of the sales and marketing communications it regularly receives from the company. However, there was never any question that the business would deviate from the Mimaki brand, as Anne explains. “I’m the sort of person that once I know a machine and like it, I’m wary of trying something different. I like to stick with what I know. I just thought great, we’re getting a new Mimaki and assumed it was basically the same as we already had. However, once the engineer took me through all the new features and upgrades, I realised it was a different beast, and I thought to myself ‘Wow, why didn’t we look at this earlier?’”

The most obvious difference was speed. With the older machines, a roll of vinyl would take the business 8 hours to print. However, a double printhead, means that the Mimaki JV100-160 is a great deal faster outputting the same at under five hours.

“It prints in a fraction of the time but there's no difference in quality, its exactly the same but just so much quicker because it's got the double head. Also, if you've got a problem with one, you can just go back to printing with a single head, which is a massive sales feature.

“We’ve just completed a job that involved printing 12 rolls of vinyl that we then cut into labels for a customer. If we had been doing that on our old printers, this job would have taken several days and nights, not to mention the electricity consumed. The new printer has impacted us immediately saving so much time and money. If we have signage jobs that we can’t print direct to board due to size limitations of a maximum of 8ft x 4ft, we can now output to vinyl and mount the print and produce 5ft x 10ft signs, which is a huge bonus for us. There are lots of little things that we couldn’t do before but now we can, it makes our lives so much easier,” says Anne.

The wider width of the JV100-160 (it handles media widths of 1620mm rather than the 1370mm of the older Mimakis) has afforded the business additional benefits. “The extra width we now have is an extra bonus. The vinyl wraps we do for example, we can now print larger sections so there’s less to piece together,” she says.

The new Mimaki upgrade running alongside the litho business means that this company offers a wide and varied range of services to its customers and trade clients.

Says Anne, “We can pretty much cater for everyone from providing business cards, through to brochures, booklets, folders, signage, banners, vehicle livery, window graphics, pull up stands and canvas prints.

“CMYUK have been really helpful in providing us with their pre-sales expertise and guidance, as well as the knowledge of their training team and engineers. During the first few days of installation, the engineers were either on site or on the phone making sure that we were happy with the new Mimaki and everything was working correctly for us. We recently visited their showroom in Shrewsbury and we were really impressed with the set up and the range of machines that they had on show. The whole team that we have met or spoken to over the phone have been all fantastic.”

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