Blue Print director Geoff Milliken says that his company had been interested in the Mimaki agency for some time because it was such an internationally respected brand known for high the quality products it produced , but was under-achieving in the New Zealand market place.
The official announcement to the market of Blue Print’s acquisition of Sun Graphics and the Mimaki agency came on February 1st, a significant date in terms that it will allow both companies to start the new financial year up and running.
“We certainly believe we will add value for Mimaki customers. We have national coverage, with branches in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with a large team of people on the ground to ensure that sales are strong and that customers are looked after. We have excellent knowledge in the field of wide format digital printing and understand extremely well the Epson-based technology that is at the heart of the Mimaki equipment.
Milliken says that the positives continue as Mimaki offer a much wider range of equipment than the previous brand which was represented, but this broader product range was only part of its appeal. The main attribute that drew Blueprint would have to be the quality and reliability of the product , Mimaki produce a truly superb machine Milliken said.
“Mimaki has a very close relationship with Epson, which gives them earlier access to the latest Epson technology, ahead of similar styled competitors. A graphic illustration of this came with the launch of the latest product in the Mimaki lineup, the JV5 a new generation of wide format solvent inkjet device. Both the JV5-130s and JV5-160s feature all new print head technology, developed by Epson, in conjunction with Mimaki.
The new print head carries four times as many nozzles as the current Mimaki JV3 series printers. In combination to this new print head breakthrough is the staggered print head configuration which produces a very wide print swathe. The ultra-high print speed of 40 sq/m per hour does not however compromise the quality as the speed is achieved at 540 x1080 dpi mode, suitable for short distance signage and photorealistic applications. The speed can be further increased in jobs requiring lower quality, higher viewing distances.
Released in Japan on March 1 this year, the JV5 series machine will make its New Zealand debut at Printech exhibition in June this year. Blue Print will be bringing the first machine into the country and putting it on display on their stand at Printech.
The JV5 series gives ultra high production speeds from its four-head design, and it is absolutely top of the line,” Milliken says. “The head technology in the machine will form the basis for future models.”
“The combination of Blue Print and Mimaki will present a lot of printers in New Zealand with a viable alternative in wide format printing that they haven’t really had before, Milliken says. We will give the market a high quality product at some very competitive price points. This is a serious alternative, with a further range of niche industrial applications for customers to choose from as well.
In addition to the Mimaki agency, Blue Print also represents Inca Digital in New Zealand and recently installed the country’s first Inca machine at Original Screen winners of last years Supreme Award at the national Pride In Print Awards.
The giant Inca Columbia Turbo is a large format flatbed digital printer that can print sheets up to 3.2m x 2.2m at speeds of up to 160sqm per hour. Original Screen obviously recognized these speed and quality attributes that only Inca can offer in the market today and hence the purchase.
With no set-up, film or screens, the Inca Columbia Turbo is a true digital printer, producing print runs in the low to mid range area quickly and profitably. Inca is a UK-based producer of digital printing equipment, which are what Milliken describes as the Rolls Royce of wide Format Digital Printers.
Inca will also be represented on the Blue Print stand at Printech, not with the Columbia Turbo, but with the equally generously-proportioned Spyder model which can produce 3.2m x 1.6m prints with the same print quality but with a reduced speed and smaller factory footprint. This second Inca is destined for Mesh Digital in Wellington, directly after the Printech exhibition.
Blue Print Imaging has sustained impressive growth through its eleven years of existence and with the addition of the Mimaki agency and a strong showing at Printech this year are all signs that the trend is not about to slow down any time soon.