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Hampshire Flag Company Ltd invests in a Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX

Wide Format Solutions

Hampshire Flag has invested in a Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX UV-LED flatbed printer from CMYUK. The investment coincides with the company’s 40th anniversary and marks a new chapter in its history.

Traditionally a large format fabric printer, producing flags, exhibition and event equipment products, it has also always printed vinyl which it mounted onto substrates such as Foamex and Corex for a small number of clients.

‘Increasingly customers were asking for more of this type of work,’ said sales manager Rod Sessions, ‘and it was becoming more time consuming. We felt the need to go faster but also open ourselves up to more opportunities within the signage market. We are known as a flag and fabric manufacturer but felt we could easily become a signage manufacturer. We just needed the right equipment to help us do this efficiently and quickly.’

Historically signage has accounted for 5 to 10% of the business. ‘We have always looked at the huge market potential of signage and thought we would like a piece of it. It is nothing too different from what we are doing but because of the machinery we have at the moment, our price point for this type of work isn’t competitive enough. There was no point us doing a signage tender because with our existing kit, we would be priced out of the market, hence the motivation to purchase the new flatbed,’ said Rod.

The onward diversification doesn’t stop here. Because of Covid, the company which has an established web presence started to look at opportunities within personalised gifting. ‘We felt that with the pandemic there would be a trend towards personalised and customised gifting so we have positioned ourselves favourably here to meet the additional revenue streams bought about by market demand. Again, the JFX 200- 2513 EX will help us with this and we have got the expertise in-house to do it,’ added Rod.

After researching and considering a number of printer manufacturers, the company identified Mimaki as the main contender. Hampshire Flag visited the CMYUK demonstration facility in Shrewsbury and was greatly impressed with not only the Mimaki portfolio but the whole CMYUK experience.

‘We were really comfortable with the JFX 200 – 2513 EX but beyond that with the CMYUK levels of service and how it would respond to our demands going forward. We felt we would get a great deal of value from CMYUK in the longer term through its support,’ Rod said.

The JFX 200 -2513 EX combines high value printing with high productivity. Features include embossed printing that makes a surface look bumpy due to the ability to lay down multiple ink layers. Offering white and colour, this 8 x 4 foot flatbed automatically detects any missing print nozzles and performs recovery. In addition, the printer uses advanced algorithm to print optimum gradation patterns on each pass, significantly eliminating banding effect on the print.

Whilst flags will remain the core business, the company is preparing for reinvention. Three new members of staff are earmarked to join the company this year and the new Mimaki technology will help usher in the next 40 years.

Left to right: Karl Price, printroom supervisor; Riky Butcher; Mark Allibone, print room manager; Emmeline Petersen; Tony Corben; Neil Lockton, production manager; Sue Strydom; Rod Sessions, sales and marketing manager.


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