The new blueprint for wide format
Wide Format Solutions
Fujifilm has announced a new development in its wide format inkjet strategy – a new range, built from the ground up, around a ‘new blueprint’ for wide format inkjet printers in terms of price/performance and return on investment, versatility and value, and ease of use.
Fujifilm has many years of experience in developing UV inkjet technologies, with the Sericol organisation, which it acquired in 2005, commercialising the very first UV inkjet systems back in 1999. The company’s immensely popular Acuity range of wide format printers, first launched in 2007, has seen huge success with over 1800 global installations, but the wide format market is a very different place now to what it was when the range was first introduced.
‘We realised three years ago that the market had reached a tipping point,’ said David Burton, business director, Fujifilm WFIJ HQ and tor, Fujifilm WFIJ EMEA. ‘A point at which more of the same, with minor improvements, was no longer enough. The market needed something fundamentally new. So out of the Fujifilm research and development centre in the UK, where the concept of wide format UV inkjet first became a reality two decades ago, we set out to create just that – something built out of our heritage and long experience, but at the same time, fundamentally new.
‘We made a strategic decision to rethink our Acuity wide format offering; focusing on new ways to deliver improved value, versatility and ease of use and, in particular, on defining a new benchmark for print return on investment. We set out to do what we had first done back in 1999: to create a new blueprint for wide format.’
Working with an award winning industrial design company in collaboration with Fujifilm Design Centre, the company initiated a three year period of intensive market research and development. Returning to first principles, it started with a blank canvas and a challenge to strip everything back and create a completely new and improved range of machines.
Four design criteria emerged from the research process which helped to inform all design choices, to identify the right manufacturers and suppliers to work with, and the right OEM partners to help to bring it all together. These were: quality, value, performance and ease of use. In addition, every component part selected was chosen with these four criteria in mind, from the printheads to the user interface, lamps, static control and vacuum solutions. In all cases, Fujifilm made choices based on answering questions like ‘does it do what it needs to do?’ or ‘could it be done better?’ Nothing was left unchanged that could be improved.
For more than 14 years since its initial launch, the Acuity range has built a deserved reputation for high quality, versatility and value, and this new range will enhance the brand on all of those fronts, whilst retaining the reliability that has always been the hallmark of Fujifilm’s inkjet systems.
The first two printers made to this new blueprint are the Acuity Ultra R2 and the Acuity Prime. The Acuity Ultra R2 is a completely redesigned and significantly improved version of the Acuity Ultra, which itself set a new standard for super wide print production when it was launched in 2018. The Acuity Prime is an entirely new, mid range flatbed which offers ease of use and excellent return on investment. And, of course, both new printers take advantage of Fujifilm’s UV inkjet ink, manufactured in the UK in the company’s multi award winning factory.