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Mighty Imaging

AZ-based Shop Makes the Move to Automation

Part 3 of 4

By Gretchen A. Peck

Last week we discussed the benefits of a print-and-cut integrated device and highlighted 858 Graphics in San Diego, CA. This week, Mighty Imaging of Phoenix, AZ shares their experience with a Zünd G3 digital cutter.

"I opened a mini-lab in 1989, which morphed into a wedding and portrait lab," recalls Peter Fradin, owner, Mighty Imaging. "When I sold it 15 years later, we had 23 employees and ran two shifts Monday through Friday, and one shift on Saturdays. No master plan or any genius is involved here. I just listen to my customers, and added equipment and services as needed."

"The small print channel was becoming a commodity, so I transitioned into the large format business by purchasing an Océ North America LightJet," he adds.

"Initially, our client base was strictly local, but as we religiously worked on our Web site and blog, we began accepting jobs from all over North America. It is to the point where UPS placed a workstation in our shop, so the driver can get in and out quickly," Fradin states.

Mighty Imaging invested in a blend of print technologies in order to manage an array of large format graphics.

"Right now, the equipment line-up is the Océ LightJet for fine art and photographic applications, an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 for giclée output, and a Océ Arizona 350 GT UV flatbed for direct to substrate application," explains Fradin. "While the LightJet is our workhorse, the 350 GT is going to eclipse that rather quickly."

Corporate wall art is a strong market segment for Mighty Imaging. "We produce a fair amount of wallpaper for restaurants and bars, in addition to large prints and fabric graphics for lobbies, conference rooms, board rooms, and call centers. Our attention to detail and ability to manage color allows us to fill the fine art reproduction niche as well," he explains.

With growing volumes and a demanding customer base, it wasn’t enough to simply provide exceptional print. In addition, Mighty Imaging needed to offer sophisticated and stealthy finishing services. Thus, the company recently ordered its first digital cutting solution, a Zünd G3 digital cutter.

"Prior to the G3 I lived in the last century in regards to a cutting solution—panel saw, table saw, and hand cutting. The cost savings in labor and turnaround time should be significant, and of course, having every step in the workflow process under one roof is every print service provider’s goal," admits Fradin.

Fradin expects the G3 to eliminate bottlenecks in finishing by automating cutting and trimming. "Cutting by hand, with its inherent labor costs, potential for human error, and lack of efficiency, should be reduced to nearly zero," he says. "More importantly, unique applications will allow us to set our customers’ display graphics apart from others."

Next week read about an EskoArtwork customer, Unleashed Displays, based in Minneapolis, MN.

Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, Differentiate Yourself.
Click here to read Part 2 of this exclusive online series, No Job Too Big or Small.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

May2009, Digital Output

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