Page 49 - Print 21 Magazine March-April 2019
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Wide Format
Adding revenue
A year after taking charge at wide format solutions developer Mutoh Australia well known industry identity Russell Cavenagh says the market opportunity for commercial printers is continuing to grow, offering them what is probably their best route to additional revenue.
rowing club and the like, where they can order and have it delivered in a short time frame.”
There are already a significant number of digital on-demand textile businesses springing up online, offering fabric in minimum runs
of just one square metre, with the opportunity to either upload your own designs or choose from their online artworks. The phenomenal success of Redbubble, the Aussie portal which enables artists to upload designs and then the public to match those designs with various printed products – t-shirts, caps, pillowcases, wall hangings – is clear evidence that the appetite to personalise is strong. Cavenagh says, “Mutoh has both dye sub for printing polyester and direct- to-textile for printing cotton, and both are straightforward processes for printers.”
The development at Mutoh
does not just include hardware,
one of the latest releases is the flexible MP ink, designed to both work with thermoforming, and to show the texture of the substrate. Cavenagh says, “The new MP ink
is substrate independent. It shows the characteristics of the stock,
the weave for instance, whereas straight UV just sits on top. And for thermoforming the flexibility of the ink means it maintains fidelity as it is stretched across shapes.” A major application for MP inks would be in packaging prototyping. Because it means you can proof onto the actual substrate that will be used.
With its impressive credentials, loyal customer base, and breadth of products, Mutoh clearly has much to offer commercial print businesses, and with Cavenagh now driving the business forward it is positioned to meet the market. 21
Russell Cavenagh knows his market, he has been in the display print business for three decades, and following
industry consolidation on the supply side took the opportunity to lead Mutoh, which has been somewhat
of an under-the-radar company
in Australia – always here, a loyal customer base, but with a low profile in a high profile market.
Everyone who knows Cavenagh though knows he is a sales and marketing man, his elevation to run Mutoh’s sales business was designed to change the perception of the company, and to bring its benefits to the attention of both the sign
and display sectors, and commercial printers. He says, “When I arrived the sheer breadth of product range jumped out at me. For print business owners Mutoh has technology that will provide great solutions to all wide format markets, with UV – both display and promotional products – and eco-solvent, direct to textile and dye sublimation.”
Mutoh evidently has serious credentials, it has been manufact- uring since 1952, and is one of the few Japanese print equipment developers that still manufactures in Japan.
The first 12 months for Cavenagh have been a learning curve, and
an eye- opener in the breadth of equipment. He says, “We have the lot, focused around the five categories.”
The set-up at Mutoh is fairly typical, with head office the R+D and engineering operation, subsidiary sales companies, such as Mutoh Australia, which supplies the technology through a nationwide dealer network. Cavenagh is now responsible for developing those relationships. He says, “Capital equipment is a partnership between the customer and the supplier. I
have to make sure the customer is being looked after, which means ensuring the dealers are invested in the technology and the customers. Business is not rocket science, if
the customer is looked after, if the
product does what it says in the tin, then the business relationship will be strong and will grow.”
Mutoh has six eco-solvent printers in its ValueJet range, five UV flatbed, roll-to-roll and hybrid printers – particularly popular as they enable both roll to roll and flatbed printing – six dye sublimation and textile printers, and a trio of vinyl cutters. Cavenagh says, “Mutoh customers appreciate the robust engineering qualities, these are production machines designed to work day in day out in factory conditions.”
“As market tightening and overcapacity issues impacts on commercial print, many of those businesses are looking to new revenue streams, and wide format printing is a clear choice.”
— Russell Cavenagh, Mutoh
LED curing on UV printers has meant a reduction printing costs thanks to their much lower energy requirement than mercury vapour lamps, and has delivered the ability to print on a wider range of substrates, as LED emits no heat.
Much of the commercial print industry is now taking an interest in wide format printing, either installing machines or adding to what they already have. Cavenagh says, “The move to wide format is marketing 101. As market tightening and overcapacity impacts on commercial print many of those businesses are looking to new revenue streams, and wide format printing is a clear choice. Printers have the file management skills, they have the colour management skills, and most importantly of all they have the customers, as many of their existing commercial print customers will have wide format needs as well.”
Mutoh believes digital textile printing presents real opportunity for print businesses, as it offers personalised printing, on-demand and short run. Cavenagh says, “For instance micro apparel for the
Opportunity: Russell Cavenagh
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