WF Education group invests in a Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX UV LED flatbed from CMYUK

 Charlotte Cooper, Production Manager at WF Education with a Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX from CMYUK
Charlotte Cooper, Production Manager, WF Education

WF Education Group has installed a Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX UV LED flatbed printer from CMYUK. Consisting of several brands, and based in the UK and France,  WF Education Group has served the education and library market sectors for 80 years.  They develop and supply movable, flexible, and modular furniture that can be easily reconfigured within learning environments to fit the needs of the curriculum. 

While the Group has designed some of its product ranges, production was outsourced. However, last year it shifted gear to bring manufacturing in-house, becoming more vertically integrated ensuring improved efficiency, and faster turnaround times. It established a new production workshop at its Shrewsbury premises investing in plant machinery including a CNC router, edge bander, beam saw, box maker, air extraction system, among others.  

The search for a suitable printer led the company to CMYUK, situated very close its premises in Shrewsbury. The purchase of the Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX flatbed means that the business is now able to print graphics direct to board for a superior finish. Prior to this, it was providing outsourced SAV decals with its flatpack furniture panels, which invariably resulted in issues with application (air bubbles) and adhesion (peeling). 

This is the Group’s first foray into in-house digital printing, which will also allow it to produce the growing volume of affiliated applications such as banners, wallcoverings, and backdrops that are increasingly being requested by its global customer base. 

CMYUK service

The senior team at WF Education was very impressed with the CMYUK pre-sales customer service.  “We were looking for a printer that could output onto 18mm MFC boards, but because these have an anti-microbial coating, CMYUK spent a lot of time testing various primers and inks to achieve the perfect solution for us,” says John Daniel (JD) Whyte, Purchasing Director.   

He has been particularly struck by the exceptional post-sales service from CMYUK. “What we really like is the fact that training is ongoing, so when new staff join they can be bought up to speed on the printer.  Also, as CMYUK is so close to us,  if we have any specific challenges, we can just pop in and work with the team to come up with solutions, which was a real selling point,” he adds.  

Mimaki benefits

The Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX is one of the industry’s best selling UV flatbed printers. With a landscape-oriented table, it prints directly to 4 x 8ft rigid sheets or multiple smaller boards up to 2-inches thick.  It can also handle pre-cut, irregular shaped items.

It offers a choice of inks including white and clear, greatly expanding the creative opportunities for surface design, sign and graphics producers. Features like embossed printing create a raised textured surface due to its ability to lay down multiple layers of ink.

High performance output is ensured by Mimaki’s core technology that detects missing print nozzles and then recovers them, while an advanced algorithm prints optimum gradation patterns on each pass, significantly eliminating any banding on the print. 

Mimaki technology is synonymous with ease of operation, and it didn’t take long for staff to feel confident using the printer. “We had a trade show in the first week back after Christmas and we printed our own backdrops and banners for the stand rather than having to outsource the work. It was so good to be able to design the job, then send it downstairs for output. 

“The Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX gives us real flexibility. We're now looking at where we can add printed media on to other products to help expand our range. Having the flatbed in-house has made us very competitive, and we are going to use our printing capability as a value-added service rather than just a profit generator, differentiating  our service and helping us to win larger projects,” says JD.   

New Mimaki powered flatbed range

Later this month the Group is set to reintroduce the Everna range with a fresh look thanks to the Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX for enhanced durable graphics. The range has been streamlined with new colours, and as it is manufactured in-house, the price point is far more competitive. 

Says JD, “We see our new workshop and the addition of in-house digital printing as major catalysts for significant future revenue and profit growth.”

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