The machine, which was installed in its Theale, Reading site in June, is now housed along with the other two devices in a specially converted warehouse.

This new equipment forms part of a £250,000-£300,000 investment strategy by the company to move away from solvent printing and output more direct-to-substrate UV work.

The Scitex FB500 uses piezoelectric inkjet printheads, printing up to six colours, with optional white. It offers speeds of 16.4sqm/hr for indoor signage and 29.6sqm/hr for outdoor applications.

Operations director Chris Lake said: “We started looking at these machines when we decided to move into direct-to-substrate printing, and we were looking for one that fitted in with our specific production needs. When saw the demonstrations we were very impressed.”

He added that the company chose the device primarily because of its continuous feed using a moving belt, instead of fixed bed.

“We were looking to expand capacity for our current health and safety signage printing for construction sites. But it has freed us up to do other things. We’ve been printing onto clear acrylic, which we’ve not been able to do before,” said Lake.

He added that with the ability to print direct to substrate the FB500 had increased output and cut running costs. With 80% of the firm’s production on rigid substrates, the new equipment meant sticking vinyl onto board was no longer necessary, he said.

“We’ve been able to be a lot more competitive in pricing because it has taken so much of the labour cost away.”