John E Wright has once again demonstrated its appreciation of Canon technology with the purchase of three new Colorado M5W printers from CMYUK.


Alan Edwards, Technical Director of John E Wright, with his new Colorado M5W.


The new Colorado printers have been installed at the company’s flagship facility in Nottingham, and its branches at Norwich and Oxford. The new printers join the company’s existing two Colorado 1650s purchased from CMYUK in 2022, which are now situated in the company’s Hull and Derby print centres.


The investment in Colorado technology has reshaped the company’s production landscape, saving time and money.


“We’re moving so much work from the HP Latex now to the Colorado because the speed and the quality is there. We used to do lots of aqueous work on HP DesignJets such as posters and maps for example, but while the quality is comparable, the speed is between 30 – 40 times faster on a Colorado, and it’s so much cheaper,” says Alan Edwards, Technical Director, John E Wright.


“We’re also seeing a real trend for even faster lead times with same day service frequently being requested so we’ve got to be able to meet this demand, and the Colorado helps us do so,” he adds.


The Colorado M-series


The Colorado M-series was launched in March 2023 and is the fourth generation of Canon’s UVgel, 1.6m wide, roll-to-roll production printers. It’s unique in that it offers a modular, configurable, and in-field upgrade platform so customers can add additional features to their base model as and when required, all of which can all be done in the field. The M3 model with output speeds of 111 sq. m per hour can be upgraded to an M5 model that offers 159 sq. m per hour. Additional upgrades that can be made to the platform include a white ink option, the availability of larger 1L ink bottles or smaller 0.7L ones, FLXfinish+ for gloss or matte at the flick of a switch, or both printed in a single pass, double-sided printing, and a magnetic media kit.


That said, John E Wright has skipped any upgrade path and chosen the M-series flagship model – the M5W – exposing its branches up to the widest spectrum of premium graphic applications.


“We’ve had such brilliant success with our first two Colorado 1650s, we just love them. When we found out that the Colorado M-series with white was coming, we thought yes, we’ll have some of that,” says Alan.


White with no worry


Canon UVgel White ink has been universally hailed as a triumph. It treats white like any other colour and doesn’t require set-up or dedicated printer treatment. It can do this because of the unique suspension chemistry that UVgel inks have. They resist clotting and sedimentation, so they don’t clump around inkjet nozzles, and are performance underpinned by Canon’s printer circulation system. UVgel white can be applied in any configuration – printed first, second, 3 or 5 layer ­– and prints fast.


UVgel ink is also very efficient and when compared to other chemistries uses up to 30-40% less ink to achieve the same density. The UVgel white ink follows the same trajectory. By using 50-70% less ink, it can achieve the same density targets as other chemistries, ensuring a significant reduction in production running costs.


“The fact that you can also print 5-layers of ink is a real game-changer. We’ve had to upgrade our ONYX RIPS to ONYX Thrive and this running in conjunction with Canon’s make-ready software PRISMAguide XL provides much better control of sophisticated multilayer ink files. The white ink is superb and application results are fast, easy, and absolutely fantastic,” says Alan.


Operator user-friendliness


The Colorado family was designed for ease of use, and for unattended printing. The M-series utilises a new generation of printhead technology that have twice as many nozzles as before. These are continuously monitored through Piezo Acoustic Integrated Nozzle technology, and when failure is detected, the printer will automatically take compensatory action to ensure the continued integrity of the print. New sensors have also been introduced to safeguard the handling of specialist media that includes pre coloured, coloured, structure, reflective, metallic, transparent, and magnetic materials.


“The Colorado M5 that were dropped into Norwich and Oxford hit the ground running. Some of the guys over there can’t believe how quickly they’re producing some applications, it’s crazy. It’s not entirely green button technology but it’s very close. The multi-layering is a little more complicated, so you need a greater level of understanding, but these printers are easy to use and programmed to self-police. The maintenance on them is also very straight forward. “If anything goes wrong, we know that the Canon engineers are some of the best in the industry. We had a glitch on the one of our 1650s. We called Canon at 4.00pm in the afternoon and an engineer was at our premises at 9.00am the next day,” says Alan.


As well as operator friendliness, Canon prides itself on manufacturing equipment that puts the health and safety of users first. It has added a new Aerosol Filter upgrade to the M-series that captures all UV aerosol particles, directing and storing them in a sealed enclosure. The speed of colour profiling has also been advanced, and now it takes 50% less time to perform a new media calibration.


CMYUK and sustainability


John E Wright was founded in Nottingham in 1900, and today owns six print centres in the UK. Throughout its 123-year history, it has continually invested in state-of-the-art technology. During its long-trusted partnership with CMYUK, it has looked to the latter to help guide it toward greater efficiencies, profitability, and sustainability.


Certifications in ISO9001 (Quality) & ISO14001 (Environment) have underpinned John E Wright’s strategy for over a decade, and further efforts in energy saving, recycled products, electric vehicles, and waste reduction are just part of the company’s Sustainability Plan that is audited by Nottingham Trent University annually.


The initial Colorado installations were purchased with the printer’s sustainability credentials in mind, and this latest round of investment reflects its commitment to ever greener working practices.


The modular profile of the M-series allows the printer capabilities to grow with the customer, so when new features are required, these are added to the platform rather than being replaced. UVgel inks offer significant savings over other ink technologies, while room temperature LED curing not only lessens energy usage but lends itself to the utilisation of PVC-free materials and papers. The robust build of the printer, software and automation also ensures minimal waste.


“While all our 3.2m wide work is produced centrally at our flagship print facility in Nottingham, by installing the Canon Colorados across our network, local branches are able to raise their game and become more self-sufficient. This means we’ve less vans moving across the country, helping to further reduce our carbon footprint,” says Alan, adding, “The Canon Colorado 1650 is an excellent printer, and the M5W adds that little bit of extra salt.”


Find out more about the Canon Colorado printer series here.


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Published 01st Feb 2024

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