Floreeda Fabrications, which makes acrylic displays, has used a Roland VersaUV S—series flatbed to expand its business by offering printed effects.
The company, which is based in Stockport, UK, was founded in 1990 by Alun and Jill Jones and is today run by their son Paul Jones, with help from their daughter Jaqui, who joined the business two years ago. They mostly make point of sale displays and prototypes using acrylic, and appear able to create a wide range of things from acrylic invitations to large retail displays.
Floreeda primarily uses a range of laser cutters and had outsourced its printing. But three years ago the company bought one of Roland’s VersaUV LEF-20 printers, which is a small, desktop-sized UV flatbed designed mainly for industrial applications. This allowed Floreeda to take its print work in-house.
Last year the company bought a larger version, the VersaUV S-Series LEJ-640S, sticking with Roland because of the positive experience using the LEF-20. Paul Jones explained: “We chose the new VersaUV S-Series flatbed because of the print quality, the vacuum-assisted positioning and the high head height – we can print onto materials up to 200mm thick so can produce a big range of work including signage.”
The S-series machines are quite unique. Essentially, Roland has partnered with the Italian company Smart Color to integrate its roll-fed printers with Smart’s heavy-duty flatbed tables. The result is a range of UV printers that can handle virtually any material or object, both flexible or rigid, up to 200mm in height and 100kg/sqm in weight. The LEJ-640S uses LED UV inks with CMYK plus white and a clear ink.
This clear ink means that the printer is able to create textured effects such as embossing and braille directly to the acrylic that Floreeda uses. This proved itself, allowing Floreeda to produce acrylic displays with a three-dimensional concrete-effect texture for a fashion retailer.
As well as the Roland printer, Floreeda also invested in a large M1200 laser cutting machine from Eurolaser. This can cut displays up to 1300x3000mm, and up to 25mm thick. Floreeda uses the two machines together to give it an efficient production set-up. Floreeda also relocated to a new 19,500 sq. ft. premises in the autumn.