With over 20 years of history providing exhibition and event stands, Modex has added new products and capacity to its custom stand offering with further investment in Mimaki printing hardware. A new UJV55-320 3.2m LED UV roll-to-roll grand format printer joins its hard working JFX200-2513 8’ x 4’ LED UV flatbed printer and an array of finishing kit at its Oxfordshire headquarters. Ordered at Sign & Digital UK from Mimaki authorised partner, CMYUK, the UJV55 gives Modex the ability to print fabric graphics in house, leading to a surge in demand for the new-style stands.
The company’s director, Rob Brooks cites the ability to offer increased choice as key in his decision to invest in the new Mimaki. “We already produce 50 to 60 stands a month using our Mimaki JFX to print directly to foamboard and we’re now able to guide our clients on a design-by-design basis to the best solution for their exhibition requirements.”
Brooks anticipates adoption of the fabric graphics to gain parity with the numbers the company is producing of its modular panelled systems, complementing rather than replacing this part of the business. “By combining both print techniques, we’re able to offer clients an increased range of shapes and structures with which to make their exhibition stands,” he suggests. “The UJV55-320 allows us to produce seamless graphics that fit into a tensioned frame system that’s light, easy to transport and quick to build.”
“We’re delighted to see the expansion at Modex and how their investment in the new Mimaki UJV55 is enabling them to continue to deliver exciting, high quality exhibition solutions for their customers,” says Sue Hayward, Senior Digital Sales Consultant at CMYUK. “The move into fabrics comes at a time where end customers are looking for innovative and creative solutions and Modex are certainly delivering that with their new system.” A significant advantage that comes with using the fabric graphics are their green credentials; “By weight, at least 95% of the stand is recyclable, reusable or repurposable,” claims Brooks. The company has also demonstrated a further advantage – ease of transport – with a recent exhibition held in Portugal where the design file for the printed graphics arrived two days after the trucks had left Modex’s UK offices. “We printed the fabric panels, loaded them into a small suitcase and one of the team simply took them as hand luggage on their flight to Lisbon,” he recounts.
Installed alongside an AE sewing machine to finish the Pongs fabrics supplied by CMYUK, Modex opted to retrain members of its existing graphics team to handle the finishing of the printed material. “With the printer and the sewing machine being so simple to use, training was very quick, so we were up and running in no time,” recalls Brooks. In fact, it was the inherent challenges of working with fabric when compared to rigid board that took the most investigation. “Through trial and error, we determined the exact stretch of the material. To ensure our usual high quality of finish, we have had to precisely calculate the effect of pulling it into a tensioned system,” he states. “However, we’ve really simplified this for our clients, by supplying an easy to use template that includes cut and bleed marks which guarantees they’re generating the designs accurately, right from the start.”
Such has been the take up by both new customers and its existing client base, Brooks is already looking to the future. “It would be no exaggeration to say that this part of business has grown so fast, that we’re already looking at a second Mimaki UJV55-320 to add to our fleet.”