SDC Reprographics Expands Wide-Format and Digital Business with Fujifilm

SDC Reprographics was established as a dyeline printer in Sutton, Surrey, in the late 1940s, when its main function was to reproduce architectural plans. Several decades later, in the early 1980s, the company expanded its offering by acquiring a black & white, A4 digital printing device and later diversified to a wide range of colour digital and wide-format work.

Today, a large amount of the company's work comes from local businesses, architectural firms and construction companies, although it also has a number of well-known high street brands on its customer list. And, as it is situated on a main route into London, SDC Reprographics has a lot of walk-in orders for leaflets, brochures and booklets. While still plotting CAD drawings for its architectural and engineering clients, it also offers a range of packages for exhibition graphics.

Julie Carter took over the business in 2005 and has spent a great deal of time and effort over the past five years strategically expanding it. As part of this process, Carter investigated the latest wide-format flatbed printers with roll-to-roll options to replace the company's previous roll-fed machine.

"With our old roll-fed wide format device, although we could print banners, board graphics had to be printed on vinyl and hand mounted, which meant our orders for board graphics took a long time to produce," said Carter. "When the time came for an upgrade, we decided to look for a hybrid model that would allow us to continue printing onto vinyl and banner media, but also directly onto board and other substrates including diabond and acrylics. Fujifilm's Acuity Advance perfectly fitted the bill so we went to Fujifilm's Broadstairs facility to test the device."

After a successful series of tests, SDC Reprographics placed an order for the Acuity Advance HD 2545 digital inkjet printer, and expanded its ground floor production area to house the device.

Carter continued: "The installation took place without a hitch and Fujifilm provided us with all the necessary training. Since then, we have seen time savings of up to 75 percent with a large number of jobs, as we now have the ability to print directly onto banners and board with no drying time. This not only enables us to offer our customers much shorter turnaround times, but also allows us to be more competitive."

The Acuity Advance HD 2545 incorporates greyscale print head technology to produce near-photographic quality print—unrivalled in the market today. It prints at a speed of 22m2/hr in production mode and 15m2/hr in high quality mode with an additional white ink option complementing the CMYK color set.

As part of the ongoing business development strategy, Carter approached Fujifilm with a view to upgrading SDC's color digital device. After considering SDC's production requirements, Fujifilm suggested the DocuColor 7002 digital printer in conjunction with the Duplo Digital System 445 booklet maker.

"We looked at a number of the key players in the digital printing market at Ipex," said Carter. "The DocuColor 7002, however, was unique in that it can duplex 300gsm card—which was one of our requirements. Fujifilm listened carefully to what we wanted to achieve and also suggested an offline finishing solution. The Duplo device slotted in nicely with the DocuColor 7002 and, as Fujifilm had already proved to be a reliable partner with our first investment, the decision to order from them again wasn't a hard one to make."

The DocuColor 7002 is an all-in-one digital color press that can handle a wide range of stock, produce high-quality output and offer advanced, versatile finishing options. It has an output speed of up to 70ppm on all stock, with weights ranging between 60gsm-300gsm.

Duplo's Digital System 445 is an economical booklet making device for digital color print that cuts, creases and makes booklets in one pass. It has 15 different programs that offer 'load and go' unattended operation, including side trimming, producing CD size booklets and square spine finishes.

Carter concluded: "Thanks to Fujifilm, we can offer our customers the highest quality print in very competitive turnaround times which we are still managing to improve on an almost daily basis. And, with the time we are now able to save with our Acuity Advance on a large number of jobs, not only can we take on extra work, but the cost savings are huge. We are delighted to have found a partner that shares our ethos of openness and honesty and trust that this relationship will continue in the future."

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