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WAE Group has installed the UK's first Longier Hunter FP-3750 LED flatbed printer at its Leeds print room, supplied by Quality Print Services Ltd (QPS).

QPS announced its appointment as a distributor for the brand earlier this year and delivered the Longier Hunter to WAE Group in late May, where it is already showing its stripes as a fast, high-quality and user-friendly machine.

A specialist in signage, WAE Group produces work such as hoardings, health and safety signs and commercial estate boards for the construction sector, medical panels for hospitals, POS and a range of other graphics. Managing Director Paul Austin explains that the business was looking to upgrade its existing printing line-up – an Agfa Anapurna and an Inca Spyder V – and its ink supplier QPS recommended the Longier range.

"We needed extra capacity; we couldn't keep up with demand and were getting stuck with orders," he says.

"After QPS's Chris Bailey recommended Longier we went to see the FR-3750 flatbed with roll-to-roll demonstrator in action and were impressed by the fine print – it's very clear all the way down to a very small point, which is what is needed for POS."

He adds: "The LED curing interested us straightaway as well. The water-cooled LED lamps used to cure the ink are significantly cheaper than conventional mercury vapour lamps and don't have to be replaced nearly as often, while the power consumption is considerably lower than conventional UV too."

Once installed, WAE Group also found the Longier, running Nazdar digital inks from QPS, prints faster than its existing machines and reduced its consumables costs.

"When testing the inks we found no need for a liquid primer on composite materials, which cuts costs further," says Paul Austin. "The print quality is fantastic and the white ink particularly goes down very well – we've reverse printed with white onto 8mm clear acrylic and it looks great. Colours are vibrant with less ink coverage and there's even a program on the machine telling you the cost of the ink you've used.

"It's also very user-friendly and quicker to set up in the morning and shut down at night than our other machines. We're really happy with it."

Chris Bailey, Managing Director of QPS, comments: "The combination of the Longier Hunter and Nazdar inks is an excellent solution for a range of sign applications, thanks to its speed, ease of use and the ink's outstanding adhesion to a wide range of substrates including composite boards and fluted polypropylene.

"Water-cooled LED lamps do not need to be replaced every 500 hours like mercury vapour lamps, there is no ozone generated into the atmosphere and the substrates are not subject to the heat damage often associated with hot mercury vapour lamps, increasing the range of substrates than can be printed. It's an all-round workhorse for a busy sign business and we're delighted to install the first FP-3750 machine in the UK at WAE's Leeds HQ."

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