Martin Hinchliffe

Martin Hinchliffe

The Cube - See the difference

Grafityp UK Ltd, one of the longest serving and most established suppliers of equipment and medias to the Sign and Print industries have further enhanced their offerings for companies sourcing UV printers.

"We all appreciate that the market for UV is without doubt growing fast. At Grafityp we set ourselves a goal to be able to offer our existing and potential new customers the best choice of machines possible that can deliver both quality print and build whilst still offering excellent value. It is with all this in mind that we are now delighted to be able to offer the Cube UV printer series from IP & I" said Sales Director Neil Stevenson. "What the Cube series will inspire in customers is the belief that you can actually get a lot more machine for your hard-earned money" continued Neil.

Cube260-small.JPGThe Cube series of UV printers use the highly regarded Konica print head that allows a maximum resolution of 1440dpi. With 512 nozzles and a drop size of 14 picolitre, it offers excellent quality even when printing small text. It is available in a choice of head configurations including an option for printing white ink.

Two size models are available, a 1.6 metre wide machine and a 2.6 metre wide machine, both utilising the same high quality printing ability, and build quality.

Potential customers can view the Cube in a working environment, giving a real feel for the machines ability to easily handle all types of work, both roll to roll and flatbed.

The Cube 260 can print onto rigid substrates up to an amazing 95mm in thickness at speeds of up to 78 square metres per hour, and with its built in touch screen display and easy interface software it makes easy work of most jobs.

Supplied with a choice of in the box RIP software, it offers potential buyers the opportunity to purchase a high quality 2.6m wide UV printer at a price normally associated with much lesser brands. The Cube high quality 1440dpi UV printer has without doubt turned up the heat in the expectation stakes.

The IP & I Cube series from Grafityp UK "Let Your Eyes Show You The Difference."
For more information contact
Grafityp UK Ltd, tel: 01827 300500

Simplex - Visitors enjoy open day

Sign Update recently attended an open day held by Simplex and its suppliers at Simplex Ltd's premises in Lancing, West Sussex.

The visit made for an interesting day with sign makers, existing and potential customers, being among the visitors.

One new product on show was nylon coating for poles or steelwork on signs, available in gloss finish in a range of colours. The coating is resistant to knocks, light impacts, solvents, and abrasives such as salt, sea and sand. Designed not to chip or crack in service, it is ideal for landscaped areas where strimmers are used around the bottom of poles.

Chris Burton, Managing Director of Simplex, showed visitors another new addition to the company's range - anti-graffiti lacquer. For the open day the lacquer had been applied over a panel with vinyl lettering, but it can also be used on panels prior to vinyl lettering. It is also equally effective on screen printed and digitally printed panels and a wide range of substrates including powder coat or wet sprayed metal panels and structures, foamex, and painted MDF.

The new anti-graffiti lacquer has a clear gloss surface finish, which allows permanent markers, aerosol paints, acrylic paints and dyes to be simply wiped away using the approved cleaning fluid from Simplex.

On-site spraying is also available so furniture in a park or other public place, for example, can be protected the same way. The lacquer has been fully tested and approved by Railtrack for which it is recommended for train rolling stock.

The anti-graffiti lacquer was demonstrated to be easily removable with anti graffiti cleaner which is available from Simplex.

The Pole and Plank system is an important part of Simplex's range and attracted plenty of interest. Pole and Plank is designed to avoid the shortcomings associated with similar products.

The planks locate inside the post channel to provide the panels with extra support. A simple yet clever locating method uses steel pins screwed into the ends of the plank. This gives a greater tolerance in the extrusion and therefore less resistance as the plank slides down the pole freely without the need of a heavy hammer.

The posts are designed to include integral ribs, which allow for the insertion of a standard 60x40mm steel hollow box section and results in a snug fitting internal steel support, effectively becoming part of the pole and providing extra strength on large signs.

Four pole types are available - round, quad slot, square and D shaped plus a gently curving walltrack. Composite holder allows for a single 3mm sheet of Dibond or aluminium to be slid between round poles for a more price conscious project.

One further advantage of the Pole and Plank system is that it allows for 2mm aluminium or composites, and is approved for use with Dibond from Alcan Composites, offering choice in finish and the durability and quality of Dibond.

Visitors at the open day also saw a mixture of letters fabricated in-house at Simplex, extruded profiles and sign systems.

The HB Modular Sign System, a recent addition to the company's range, is an elegant, robust and flexible solution for all internal signing requirements. It comprises strong, lightweight, extruded interchangeable aluminium profiles and signs are only 6mm thick, with no visible frames or fixings.

The Accord15 modular system from Apco is a complete modular system for virtually any signage need, from simple personnel and identification signs to complex directionals and directories. On show were both the End Clip System and Side Track System, which share a wide range of modular components.

Braille and tactile splash panels from Simplex's System 4 also attracted much interest. System 4 is Simplex's versatile curved directory system whereby a sign can have its appearance completely changed without replacing the whole unit.

Machinery for cutting, rolling, guillotining, routing and engraving was also demonstrated.

Lighting being installed on a back-lit sign.

The front panel constructed using a Dibond panel with edges routed and folded.

Three companies that supply and work closely with Simplex had stands at the open day - Nova Aluminium Systems, Alcan Composites and Sign Gear Systems.

Nova Aluminium Systems:

Nova Aluminium Systems supplies the sign industry with aluminium profiles for the production of sign boxes, frames, directional signage and overhead lighting requirements. Simplex and Nova have shared the design of the Pole and Plank system which has proved to be such a success.

Paul Vickery (Director) was showing Nova's robust single sided flexible faced sign box system (see photo).

Nova's sign box system has easy access, to the tensioning bolts and for maintenance to tubes and gear trays.
Alcan Salesman showing Composite materials

Alcan Composites

Simplex uses Dibond by Alcan Composites extensively, most notably for its Pole and Plank systems but also for trays, fascias and specialist bespoke fabrications. Dibond has significant benefits compared to similar looking products coming from East Asia, especially its excellent durability, whatever the weather, and identical colour finish from different batches.

In addition, many imported products contain lead and cadmium so cannot be recycled, at a time when customers are increasingly requesting ethical products from sign makers. Alcan Composites has set up a recycling facility for Dibond with its distribution partners, Robert Horne Sign & Display and Thyssen Krupp Materials, where off-cuts are collected free of charge and almost 100 per cent recycled.

On display were some recently developed new finishes, such as the Dibond Stucco, which has an uneven raised texture of traditional stucco plaster with a highly reflective surface.

Sign Gear Systems:

In answer to one sign maker's question about how easy it is to replace an LED, Guy Young, Business Development Executive of Sign Gear Systems, gave a quick demonstration.

With enthusiasm, he cut the cable either side of an LED in a chain and replaced it, without having to strip any wires, and re-connected using just 3M Scotchlok crimps and hand crimping tool. He didn't even have to turn off the power as LEDs are low voltage. The LED replacement took only seconds.

Other demonstrations on Sign Gear Systems' stand emphasised that all LEDs are not equal, using his past experience and with the aid of a calculation tool, he showed how to use the right number and type of LED for each application, and the illumination of various signs and built-up letters using LEDs. With LEDs that can give from a gentle glow to over to 3 meters of intense illumination, Sign Gear Systems displayed LEDs for all applications.


Further information on the Simplex range can be found at or by telephoning 01903 750333.

Contact Nova Aluminium Systems at or tel. 01179 556463.

Contact Alcan Composites at or tel. 01977 681 782.

Contact Sign-Gear Systems Limited at or tel. 01527 547521.

Durham Signmakers

Focus is design, safety and strength

Almost 40 years ago an enquiry from a local vicar identified a gap in the market and Harrisons launched itself into the flag and flagpole market. Traditionally a very conservative industry where flagpoles were hard to come by and manufactured from Canadian pine, Harrisons searched for an alternative and imported Scandinavian technology using fibreglass which overall provided a much lighter, longer lasting maintenance free option.

Harrisons supplies trades customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America

Harrisons supplies trade customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Today, Harrisons manufactures thousands of fibreglass flagpoles a year in two facilities and supplies sign makers and other trade customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America. As the years have gone on the company has increased its range to include architectural grade aluminium and, most recently, stainless steel flagpoles up to 25 metres tall.
Photo of Albert Dock sign As customer requirements have changed Harrisons have expanded into a wider range of products and work closely with the trade on flags as well as custom and bespoke external displays including wall mounted banner brackets, steel banner poles and lamp column banners.

Demand from the trade for short-term promotional flags and poles has encouraged Harrisons to create a range of lower cost short-term products for events, the auto trade and related markets. Blade banners and Teardrop banners have really taken off along with street banners. Despite increased competition and lower quality product being imported from overseas, Harrisons have continued to focus on design, safety and strength in all its products.

Over the years Harrisons has developed a reputation for finding a solution to the most challenging of jobs. Installing a 40m tall steel flagpole on the top of a five storey hotel in Wales, designing and installing a fully rigged flagpole into the harbour bed where at high tide the bottom three metres of the pole are below sea level, are all part of the regular challenging projects the company undertakes successfully.

Every year boundaries are being pushed, clients expect something new, something eye-catching and Harrison loves the challenge of making a concept reality. The success of its business is the ability to meet those challenges by an incredibly experienced and knowledgeable team at Harrisons.

For further information, tel. 01325 355433
or go to


Fairfield - a long term supplier with proven all-round solutions for customer demands

An estate agents window with a 27 inch digital screen suspended on rods as part of the displyay The complete cable display Fairfield cable system with match track lighting. A stand showing Signedge signs

Customers can be extremely demanding and there never seems to be enough time to find a quick and easy solution to the demands. Sourcing new suppliers can be a lengthy and complex operation especially when so many new companies are appearing on almost a daily basis.

Searching for a product on the internet is often a quick solution or visiting a trade exhibition but that is just the start of the process. What is really important is to find a company that you can trust and work with over many years who will always come up with new and innovative ideas.

Fairfield Displays and Lighting has been in business for over 28 years and has built up a wealth of knowledge in the sign and display industry. They have served hundreds of small and large sign companies and truly understand the daily demands of busy sign makers/graphic companies.

To help clients, Fairfield has a team of highly trained consultants, many of whom have been with the company for a number years. Customers often phone up and say, "I have a sign to create, to fit into an office complex - can you help?". The consultant will them take them through each step, advising on the best type of fixing and what material would give the best results at the most competitive price.

In today's very competitive market place, the advice on how to put the ideas together can often result in a unique design that is within budget. Many clients ring up for one particular fitting and only after a discussion, it is found that what they requested was not the ideal solution.

Once a solution is agreed upon, the client may require help in making a presentation to their customer. This is where Fairfield really starts to differentiate itself from many of its competitors. 2D and 3D drawings can be provided together with supporting photos, to make the presentation our clients need for their customers. It is one thing to present a quotation and another to close the sale but at the end of the day what really counts is the amount of business you bring in through the door. Fairfield does not stop there; they will even carry out the installation for you anywhere in the UK, under your umbrella so that your client thinks it is you who have carried out the work.

All installations are covered by a full 12 month guarantee thus giving you peace of mind and saving you time to find more business. The product range is constantly growing to meet the ever changing requirements of the market.

Cable/Rod systems from the people who live and breathe them Fairfield has one of the largest ranges of suspended cable and rod systems in the world, available on a fast turn around even for large quantities. All fittings are made from solid brass and manufactured in a variety of finishes. Satin chrome is the most popular and should not be confused with cheaper aluminium finishes. It really makes a difference to work with a quality material. Brass does not cross thread and it is extremely hard wearing. Many clients are now becoming more creative and working with different thickness of cables and rods, options range from 1.5 & 3 mm cable or 3, 6, and 10 mm rods.

Producing large format graphics?
Forget the pop up system, add a touch of style to your graphic and suspend it from the ceiling or wall mount it with a cable/rod system. The range of fixing methods is endless from silicone acrylic, which looks like glass panels to a range of banner rails.

The Fairfield range can literally enhance the appearance of large and small graphics produced by printers. Today's signs and graphics market is far more dynamic than just static graphics. Fairfield has developed illuminated ultra bright light boxes that are eco friendly with a lamp life of up to 10,000 hours. Just print on a back lit material and you can open up totally new markets with the help of the Fairfield light box range.

Go one step further - add movement - turn your designs into digital signs. Go Digital save your work into a jpeg or mpeg2 format and just drop it onto one of the unique Fairfield floating screens. To help signmakers get started in the digital market, Fairfield run regular seminars.

To find out more information go to and register for forthcoming events.

ArtCAM software

Sign Update magazine: Sign News

ArtCAM software helps signmakers turn sculptural signage into successful style

With the advancements in Computer-aided Design and Manufacturing (CADCAM) technology and the reduction in price of CNC routers, sign-making companies can now branch out from laser printed signage and enjoy creating quick and affordable sculptural signage to give them that competitive edge.

Whether creating signage for directional, informative, commercial or brand implementation purposes Delcam's range of ArtCAM software ( can create modular, custom-made, bulk or traditional signage with ease.

Currently used worldwide by award winners of the Signs of the Time, UK sign Industry, and programmes such as the Best Commercial Sign and the Best Retail Sign, ArtCAM customers are enjoying the 2D and 3D design and machining features available with ArtCAM.

To meet the diverse budgetary and design needs of each individual company, Delcam offers a range of products with a clear upgrade path for up and coming companies.

ArtCAM Express, the entry level product provides an ideal introduction to computer-based manufacturing with basic 2D drawing, and 2D and 3D machining functions.

ArtCAM's mid-range product, ArtCAM Insignia includes vector-based design, extensive 2D machining as well as basic 3D machining functionality. It can give that hand crafted look to signs, create inlays or machine a variety of textures.

ArtCAM Pro the advanced package includes all the features available within Insignia but with greater design and machining capabilities. For more complex projects, such as the featured Seagrapes sign by Classic Signs, components can be designed and saved separately and then assembled into a 3D model of the complete piece.

With all products in the ArtCAM range, simulations can be run to show how the product will look prior to machining, a fantastic tool when seeking client approval.

For further information on the ArtCAM range call Delcam on 0121 683 1030
or visit

Other Product News in the latest edition of Sign Update...

- Mutoh starts shipping SC-PRO 1650 cutting plotter to eager customers.

- Stik magnetic wallpaper wins leach colour prestigious award.

- ArtCAM software helps signmakers turn sculptural signage into successful style.

- Hexis awarded prize for best wide format outdoor media for solvent inkjet printers.

- New technology offers widest colour gamut for indoor and outdoor applications.

- Solid foundations for sign installations.

- Megaink launches new bio ink products.

- Roland SolJet Pro series profiles for KPMF digital print films.

- Durst launches new Rho 700 UV flatbed printers.

- New Avery Quick Mount inkjet film - just the job for short-life graphics.

- New Mutoh wide-format UV printer previewed at Fespa Digital Europe.

About Sign Update

Established in 1990 by a signmaker, Sign Update is now widely acknowledged to be the sign industry's leading magazine.

Published bi-monthly, we cover various aspects of sign related news, based on new products, services, company profiles and design tutorials etc.

Family run: like all family run businesses we take just that little more care and time dealing with our client's requests and needs. With over eighty years in the sign industry, this gives us a good insight into the trends and developments in the industry.


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