Find out how the inkjet technology industry keeps moving and growing quickly.
MCS Inc. has been at the forefront of inkjet technology for the mail fulfillment industry since inkjet technology was introduced. The industry keeps moving and growing quickly. MCS is continuing its high growth rate by creating technological innovations that increase its value to its customers and by exploiting the benefits of UV curing technology.
David Loos, President and CEO of MCS started his business 22 years ago when he saw ways to improve the quality and efficiency of the direct mail marketing and fulfillment industry through the adoption of inkjet technology. Loos said, “We started in the business as a reseller of software for the printing portion of the direct-mail process. Our software was designed to insure the accuracy of information on direct mail products, like the name and address, matched with the contents. In smaller quantities, this was usually done by hand, but doing it at high speeds and with high-quality images and 100% accuracy was what the industry needed.”
What MCS knew was that having control of both the software and hardware was critical.
Several years later, MCS was approached by HP to include its print heads on MCS machines. This culminated in the development of the MCS Array imaging system that quickly became a market leader in 2001 and is still used extensively by the industry.
One of the key philosophies of MCS is to keep their solutions simple. They do this through modularity of the various components they provide such as conveyance modules, print head integration, curing modules (UV & IR), and camera systems. MCS has grown to a family of four companies with over 100 employees.
David Loos and his management team looked at the future of the industry in 2008 to determine where they should invest their time and development resources for the next wave of growth. This is when UV technology caught their attention. The MCS team considered water-based inks the most likely candidate for the future. As they worked with the technology, the team determined that water- based technology would not meet their production speeds, quality, and substrate requirements. This led them to their next technology option, UV curing.
“We believed that the technology was just implemented poorly without a full understanding of the basics of the UV technology. As MCS’s development efforts moved forward the team was convinced that the needs of higher print speeds, use of multiple substrates (i.e. glossy), and higher print quality could be met by UV technology.
When discussing the technology with prospective customers, Loos says,” I usually tell customers UV technology is not a perfect solution, but it is the best solution. Most have some knowledge of UV and many know Fusion as the leader, so we feel it’s our job to tell them of benefits that the technology can provide to them. The customer will purchase the equipment only when they are convinced they will receive immediate financial returns and when we have that information and the proof in black and white.”
Inkjet technology took a gigantic leap forward with the introduction of the 4 ¼” print head that MCS introduced to the market as the Eagle UV InkjetTM System. This new inkjet print head increased not only the width of the printed area but also the quality of the image and the variety of substrates available to direct mail materials. The 4.25” print head combined with 600 DPI resolution – results in 2550 nozzles per print head – as compared to previous technologies with 1/10th the nozzle count! With this increase in surface area, the importance of curing and the need to increase efficiency became paramount. Enter Fusion UV Systems.
According to Kevin Joesel, Director of Sales for Fusion UV Systems, “MCS’s need for improved quality, production speeds and simplicity fit perfectly with the solutions we could bring to the table. Our F300 UV curing equipment instantly cured the images on the required substrates and did so at speeds that allowed MCS equipment to produce up to 39,000 pieces an hour. Our equipment fit perfectly with their modular designs and today Fusion lamps are the offering of choice for all MCS systems.”
The other part of the equation is implementation and integration with MCS transport systems as well as inkjets. David said, “Partnering with Fusion has been very easy. We have good communications at all levels of the organization. They listen to our needs and work to meet them, quickly. The lamp systems they offer are self-contained, proven, with global support. Fusion is a company with the resources to support our growth and has a brand awareness in the industry.
Like the other components of the Eagle UV Inkjet System, the Fusion F300 lamp system is easily incorporated into our integrated solution as an initial purchase or as a retrofit. This ability supports the MCS philosophy of simplicity and modularity resulting in easy serviceability, greater up-time, resulting in lower cost of ownership for our customers.“
David added that “We’ve been very pleased with Fusion and with their response to our needs. They have been there when we needed them and have been flexible in how we were able to configure their equipment into our machines so that we could met the needs of our customers.