Fujifilm has announced the opening of its brand new digital ink manufacturing facility at its manufacturing plant in Broadstairs, UK. The company’s investment in this state-of-the-art facility, alongside an upgrade to its R&D department, highlights Fujifilm’s long term commitment to the wide-format digital sector and builds on its ethos of providing its customers with industry-leading solutions manufactured to a consistently high standard.
The new digital ink manufacturing facility has been two years in planning and development, and is the result of an investment of over €4 million, with an additional €2.5 million invested to upgrade the R&D department.
The new manufacturing facility has a footprint of 1800 sqm, and is built to accommodate a projected annual increase of 56 percent in the production of UV ink at the site, manufactured in a range of batch sizes of up to 4,000 liters. This projection reflects the demand for Fujifilm wide-format digital inkjet solutions and the success the company has had in helping its customers transition to digital in this growing market segment. The facility has the capacity to manufacture 6000 tons of ink per year, which will be produced in a variety of packs from 250 ml RFID tagged pouches and cartridges up to 10 liter packs for high productivity wide-format printer platforms.
Colin Boughton, operations director at the Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems Broadstairs site comments, “We have planned everything meticulously over the last few years, recognising that to stay at the forefront of digital ink technology with our range of Uvijet inks, we need to work with state-of-the-art equipment and have the ability to increase production and packing volumes. We were delighted to win the “Best Process Plant” award at last year’s “Best Factory Awards” in the UK, evidence of what we have achieved so far. Our vision is to remain at the forefront of this technology and to re-invest every year in order to maintain that position. For instance, we have worked closely with a specialist company to develop next generation dispersion equipment for our inks, and this will allow us to reduce particle sizes to less than 100nm – true nanotechnology!”
He continues, “We are pleased that the transition from one manufacturing area to another was completely seamless, with absolutely no disruption to our production output at all. In fact, some people didn’t even realise we’d started as the transition coincidentally took place during one of our busiest production months for digital ink. Further investments in equipment will take place during 2013, keeping Fujifilm at the cutting edge of UV digital ink manufacturing and packing technology.”
Over 340 employees work at the Fujifilm Broadstairs site and over 80% of these are involved in digital ink R&D and manufacture. It was of utmost importance that the workforce should be included as much as possible in the company’s plans, resulting in over 80 employee ideas being used in the final design of the facility. In addition, a high level of importance has been placed on training for all staff, as Fujifilm is keen to ensure that everyone has a full appreciation of digital technology.
Underpinning this extensive project is Fujifilm’s commitment to the environment. As always, the company works tirelessly to ensure that all products and processes are as environmentally friendly as possible, and it has invested significantly in alternative methods of reducing its environmental footprint at the new manufacturing facility.