Transitioning from one type of ink to another can cause distress in any size print shop. As long as adequate planning unfolds, a print service provider should be successfully up and running and in no time. The decisions that lead to changing or adding a new print device fall anywhere from an environmentally friendly standpoint to a compatibility issue with say a finishing component.
Based in Calgary, Canada, 54blue is a full-service marketing and design company. It specializes in window front design and custom in-store branding. 54blue recently added a VersaCAMM VS-640 64-inch printer from Roland DGA Corporation. Jamie Calon, creative director/founder, 54blue, explains that the support, simplicity, and accuracy of the printer drove him to the purchase. The shop originally ran a Roland SOLJET PRO III XC-540, but it only allowed them to print up to 54 inches. Adding the 64-inch device eliminated outsourcing window projects that fell over that 54 inch mark, which happens quite frequently.
Currently, Roland’s ECO-SOL MAX ink runs in the printer. “I print everything at the highest quality and use the most expensive materials. I have never had an issue with a single drop of ink,” he admits. All 12 designers employed at 54blue are trained to run the VS-640. Calon explains that it helps when the designer has inside knowledge regarding the challenges of outputting. When someone approaches him regarding a problem with their file construction, he responds, “take another look at your design and file preparation, I guarantee it isn’t the printer.”
Cold temperatures in Canada present challenging vinyl installations on glass. 54blue’s clients require all of their retail storefronts to be changed out easily and efficiently. The shop creates white-backed clear static cling graphics using the VS-640 and ECO-SOL MAX inks. The individual locations apply the graphics with the help of an install kit and instructions. This ease-of-use created innovative opportunities for 54blue. “We took the budget we regularly would have used to pay an installer and make the graphics more complex and dynamic. The brands we work for love the concept, it’s simple and easy,” shares Calon.
Duggal Visual Solutions
2011 marks 50 years of business for Duggal Visual Solutions. Based in New York, NY, it is one of the largest digital graphics houses in the U.S. and world renowned for its quality. The company is focused on sustainability and many of its high-profile customers, such as top retailers, museums, and artists appreciate it.
In 2005 Duggal Visual began transitioning from solvent to UV. According to Michael Duggal, CEO, Duggal Visual, one of the biggest drivers was solvent’s negative effect on the environment. He also notes a lack of innovation in the space, as most manufacturers were no longer creating new and improved industrial solvent machines. It was evident that it was time to move on. With this change they introduced both Hewlett-Packard (HP) and EFI VUTEk UV printers into the shop. Since many of Duggal Visual’s client’s request quick turnarounds and large runs, the company looked for high-end devices that could manage industrial production volumes. More recently, Duggal Visual added an HP Scitex XP2700 roll-to-roll device.
When latex inks came on the scene—an introduction from an HP sales person peaked interest—Duggal wanted in on the action. The company became a beta site for the HP Designjet L25500. With a successful test run behind them, Duggal Visual added an HP Scitex LX800 to its portfolio in September 2010.
The 3.2-meter or 126-inch printer complements the shop’s existing UV products, a point Duggal stresses. “Latex does not replace UV.” The latex printer offers high-quality, 1,200 dpi, smooth images. The shop utilizes the device for small runs—anywhere from one-off to 50 depending on the client and the application, which range from adhesive vinyl murals to fine art canvases.
Interestingly, another factor that spurred Duggal Visual to purchase the LX800 was the inks’ compatibility with cold lamination. The staff wasn’t happy with how UV inks responded to cold lamination, and found that latex forms better.
As demand the company’s business increases, Duggal says they will consider adding another latex printer to the shop.