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Mimaki drupa sale makes Australia’s Avon Graphics world’s Number 1 JFX500-2131 user

Tuesday, 07 June 2016
By Patrick Howard

Mimaki, Spicers and Avon Graphic; (from left) Theo van Beek, Steve Madin, Mark Sollman, Jason Hay, Brad Creighton, Tate Hone and John Bryson.

 An on-stand sale to Melbourne-based Avon Graphics of a JFX500-2131 and a JV300-160 wide format inkjets brings to 13 the number of Mimaki engines for the trade embellishing company. Tate Hone, director, signed off the sale with Jason Hay, Spicers, Mimaki agent in Australia after negotiations with Brad Creighton, Sales and Marketing Manager on the Mimaki stand in Hall 9.

The acquisition tops off a stellar two-year investment programme and boosts the Australian company into being the world’s largest single user of the JFX500 series Mimaki technology. The sale strengthens the long-established trade finishing company’s two-year venture into wide format printing, which has seen it post 22% growth year on year.

According to Hone, the inkjet quality delivered from the Mimaki machines provides the high quality demanded by Avon Graphics’ commercial printer customers. “Our customers are accustomed to offset quality. They won’t accept anything less. When we began wide format we were impressed by the quality of the Japanese inkjet heads. Then we discovered the Mimaki machines and we’ve been with them ever since,” he said.

The drupa Mimaki sale is also the first TS300P-1800 dye-sublimation transfer machine for Avon Graphics, continuing its expansion by delivering fabric printing too. This year Hone expects the turnover to grow by 85% after opening the ‘for-trade’ service in new premises in Brisbane.

Getting into wide format has proved a steep learning curve for Avon Graphics. Accustomed to delivering foil stamping and embossing on customers’ print it took a while “to get our heads around charging by square metre, not by the sheet,” said Hone.

It also required the integration of a whole new finishing system that involves sewing and cutting machines. “We’re not trying to be everything to everyone, but so far we haven’t knocked back any job that comes our way,” said Hone.

Avon Graphics expansion has seen it move into new or expanded premises in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. So far the wide format service is only from Melbourne and Brisbane. The aim is to offer same or next day service nationally as the company doubles in size. T

The acceptance of Avon Graphics as a wide format supplier by the trade has a lot to do with the trust the company has built up over the years. Printers know they are not dealing with a competitor.

Spicers is an integral part of the company’s success supplying not only the Mimaki engines, but also on-demand substrate delivery. “We known Avon Graphics for a long time and it’s a pleasure to be part of Tate’s new venture,” said Jason Hay.

The sentiment was echoed by Brad Creighton Mimaki national sales and marketing manager. Mimaki doesn’t sell directly in Australia and relies on agents, such as Spicers.

“We’ve only been direct subsidiary in Australia for three years, so it’s great to have Avon Graphics and Spicers working so well together with us,” said Brad Creighton, national sales and marketing manager.

All three visited Japan last year to inspect the Mimaki factory and see how its developing the market for wide-format products. “It’s very important to learn what they are doing that we’re not. We visited one place where they’re doing nothing except printing wedding dresses and high-end fashion. It’s amazing what they can do,” said Hone.

 

 

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