3Motion in the spotlight
3Motion was visited by the Graphic News and the M&C Magazine. The purchase of the Inca Onset S20i was the reason for a publicity coverage in the September issue of both magazines.
Since April 2014, the new Inca Onset S20i flatbed UV-inkjetprinter is working at full speed at 3Motion. The large format printing and visual concepts company, located in Lokeren, which profiles itself as a flexible player with short delivery times, needed a fast and versatile large format printer. After four months of production with the Inca Onset S20i, we are greeted with nothing but happy faces.
3Motion is a young company in every way. Young because the company was founded only four years ago and because the employees are mainly young people. But also young because you notice straight away that this is a close team with a healthy dose of perseverance and that these people are not afraid to work hard. Their formula seems to work as the company grew, in four years time, from a family business run by two to a company with no less than 12 employees.
Flexibility is key
3Motion profiles itself mainly as a “total solution provider”, according to CEO Wouter Mouton. “We work a lot for retail, real estate and building societies but also for retailers such a booth builders, graphic companies and designers. The difference between us and other players in this market is that we offer total solutions. Not only printing but also brainstorming, designing and, becoming more and more important, installing the projects that we finished. We manage all this ourselves which means we can be flexible and act quickly. Nowadays it is very important to think with the client and to be flexible. Many companies claim they do this but the reality is often different.”
Need for extra production capacity
But to remain flexible wasn't as easy as it seemed. With the existing machinery, it became harder to finish the growing number of assignments within the stated delivery times. Femke Helon: “At peak times, we worked around the clock to get everything delivered on time. You can do that for a little while but can't keep going on like that. This is why we urgently needed an extra printer but an additional problem was that this did not fit within our existing infrastructure. Luckily we found a commercial building in Lokeren about half a year ago. Big enough not only for the new machine but also with plenty of space for storage, office, finish and future growth”.
Print heads along the entire print width
Now the right printer had to be found and then all the pieces would fall into place. The Inca Onset S20i was eventually chosen for several reasons according to Gerd Mouton. “First and foremost because we can process both rigid and flexible materials. The strong vacuum of the print bed has 15 vacuum zones which ensure that not only flexible substrates but also more difficult materials such as corrugated cardboard lie perfectly flat. This prevents colour differences during the printing process. A second reason is the used print technology. The Onset has print heads along the entire print width. That means that it is not the print head but the platform that moves. You don't have to be Einstein to understand that the print heads are far less susceptible to vibrations in this set-up and that has a positive effect on the life expectancy, stability and image quality. The entire image is built up in several passes which, for example, prevents banding.
Big discovery of Pantone Colours
And then there is the story of the ink. Wouter Mouton has the following to say: “We chose for a 6 colour configuration with Fujifilm Uvijet inks which allow us to print on a multitude of materials and which ensure vivid colours and a high gloss finish. With the Uvijet inks we can not only print nearly all Pantone colours but we can also print in the ISO-12647 standard. That way, the print jobs of the Inca Onset S20i printer fit in perfectly with the commercial printing of our clients. This is a clear advantage for the graphic companies that we work for. The option to add extra gloss on the entire image or on parts also offers interesting opportunities.
Last but not least is the automation of the Onset, which Gerd Mouton mentions. “In large format production, there are still a lot of manual jobs. We try to automate where possible. This is why we chose for a three-quarter automated machine. In practise this means that you place your substrate ready on the input table. The printer picks it up automatically, prints and transports the material to the output table. At the end of the day, the investment in the automated machine makes a huge difference. More jobs done in less time. That was our starting point and with the people of Fujifilm, we succeeded in our aim.