True print automation – 24 hour production

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Objective Elwe Special Promotions specialises in POS signage and displays. They create, produce and deliver complete concepts for retail, focusing especially on second-placement displays in stores. Elwe covers the entire process from design to actually fi lling the displays. In today’s round-the-clock economy, where turnaround times are getting shorter and shorter, Elwe is planning to stay ahead of the curve by adopting true print automation to achieve non-stop production.

Continuous growth

Elwe Special Promotions has been a Canon customer for several years. Their fi rst Canon printer, an Arizona 318GL(W) system, was placed in 2015. Since then, their volumes have only grown. Today, they are using the Arizona 6160XTS printer with High Flow Vacuum system. To meet the critical lead time demands from customers, they recently invested in a robotised print solution to increase their productivity.

Unique collaboration

Canon and Rolan Robotics partnered up to provide a complete customised solution for Elwe’s facilities. The R&D engineers from both companies collaborated to design and install an integrated solution. The solution was designed and shown in a 3D virtual environment before it was installed. This minimises costs and ensures the solution can be built fully to customer expectations.

“Thanks to this solution created by Rolan and Canon, the robot and printer are really working together. No people are necessary for planning, safety or quality checks – it’s all in the hands of the printer and the robot.” Jeroen Meijer, CEO of Rolan Robotics BV


At Elwe, they are very pleased with the results. “The main advantages of working with the robot are the quality and productivity improvements” says Ewald Elfrink, owner of Elwe Special Promotions. Specifi cally: • Media placement is much more accurate, which also improves the fi nishing. • Elwe can now switch jobs much more quickly, repeat jobs more easily and even run di erent jobs simultaneously. • There is no need to do planning or quality checks in between jobs. • The robot and printer can work autonomously on evenings, weekends and holidays, enabling continuous production. • This allowed Elwe to save 2 FTE in the fi rst period and now 4,5 FTE with 24/7 production.

Investing in the future

At Elwe, the journey toward continuous production continues. They are now researching steps to further improve their production process. Ewald: “What is blocking us right now from getting our production to the level we want it to be? Once we know, we can solve that. We are thinking of increasing the automation even further, with another 2 or 3 robots. We want to do whatever we can to increase productivity and make our turnaround times as short as possible.”

“We want to move to a continuous production process, 24 hours per day and 7 days a week. Using a robot with our Arizona is a big step in that direction.” Ewald Elfrink, owner of Elwe Special Promotions”


Published 05th Jun 2020

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