Ottimo Digital invests in a Kongsberg C60 Edge digital cutting table and Mimaki UCJV300-160 printer

December 06, 2022
Ottimo Digital founding directors, Nick Lindwall (L) and Lee Crew Ottimo Digital founding directors, Nick Lindwall (L) and Lee Crew

Ottimo Digital has invested in a Kongsberg C60 digital cutting table and Mimaki UCJV300-160 print and cut printer from CMYUK.

The C60 Edge joins an existing Kongsberg C64 and will help erase a logjam, a happy biproduct of the combined high-volume output from Ottimo’s principle EFI VUTEk equipment and other printer technologies. Meanwhile, the new 1.6m UV LED Mimaki printer will handle the daily volumes of print and cut vinyl production.

Kongsberg propulsion

Ottimo Digital purchased its first Kongsberg cutter five years ago. “It’s probably one of the best pieces of equipment we’ve ever bought. We went from cutting everything by hand to a digital solution. It’s worked hand in hand with the printer investments that we’ve made,” says Nick Lindwall, Director, Ottimo Digital.

This time, the company opted for the C60 model that has a working bed size of 3210 x 1600mm compared to the 3210 x3200mm of the C64. “It’s half the size of our first table because we didn’t have the floor space for anything bigger. We went to see Nick Reed [CMYUK Kongsberg Business Manager] as we had a slight concern about being able to cut the same size fabrics with all the shrink and stretch that you can get with dye sublimation printing, it was unfounded, the smaller table was able to cope with accurate cutting,” he says.

Mimaki print, cut and repeat

The UCJV300-160 is the first Mimaki printer that the company has ever purchased. The business, which predominately services the exhibitions market has a requirement to produce volumes of ‘cut’ or ‘print and cut’ vinyls for this sector. Prior to the arrival of the Mimaki, vinyl was being output on solvent printers and then transferred to the Kongsberg for kiss cutting.

“It was just one more thing to add to that long list of work that we were pushing through the Kongsberg. However, with the Mimaki we can print and cut inline, and because its UV rather than solvent there’s less need for lamination, and of course no need to degas as you do for solvent prints. It just churns away in the background and does everything that it’s supposed to do. These printers are very reliable, and the quality is great. It solved a specific issue and slotted into place very nicely,” says Nick.

EFI VUTEk turbo power

Ottimo’s print production is turbo powered by EFI technology, all supplied by CMYUK. This includes a VUTEk LX3 Pro, a 3.2m UV LED hybrid printer, ideal for POP work; EFI Quantum 5LXr 5m-wide, UV LED dedicated roll printer, suitable for close-up, high-definition internal and external display; and a FabriVU 340i roll-to-roll dye sublimation printer with inline heat fixation.

“These were our big investments that we bought over three consecutive years. We’ve got all bases covered from a 3.2m high speed flatbed to a dye-sub, which we see as the big growth area. We are busy on all fronts, but clients are moving towards textiles for a recyclable and reusable solution. Modular stand systems are also becoming far more popular, which are carriers for fabric graphics with stitched edging,” he says.

Into the future

While the recent two investments have plugged the gaps in its production, the last missing piece for now is a second industrial sewing machine. “This has been another bottleneck. With our single sewing machine, we can finish 35-40 fabrics a day depending on size. A second one will double that, which is great as the FabriVU is more than capable of printing out as much fabric as we would ever need,” he says.

The company has taken on new staff in production and account handling, due to the explosion it has experienced within the exhibitions industry. While this remains its main service offering, the fact that Ottimo Digital produces printed textiles potentially opens up new areas. Says Nick, “We’re interested in the whole fabric side of things, more textiles, and soft furnishings, it’s a matter of having the time to explore the opportunities and get into it properly.”

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