Source One Digital, located in Norton Shores, MI, is a full-service large and grand format printer with an outstanding range of capabilities including flatbed, direct-to-fabric, dye sub, latex, solvent, routing, cutting and large format high-resolution color print production. This is what Source One Digital says on their web site: "Any material, any size, any shape. There's nothing we can't do."
Source One Digital recently installed three—that's three—large format digital inkjet printers from FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. The list includes a 5-meter Uvistar 2 super wide format UV roll printer (making Source One Digital the first printer in the United States to do so,) an Inca Onset S40 wide format UV flatbed inkjet printer, and an Acuity Advance UV flatbed printer.
This powerful new lineup of equipment greatly expands the capabilities and capacities of Source One Digital. According to Randy Crow, president of Source One Digital, "If it can be printed on rigid or roll material, we can print it."
Source One Digital was created in 1996 to service the needs of RC Productions, a marketing services agency Crow opened in 1981. Source One Digital has since grown to serve companies of all types and sizes across the United States, including major retailers, sports teams and facilities, display solutions, and wholesale clients including advertising agencies, sign companies and printers.
In 2004, Source One Digital brought in five super wide format printers to handle their growing business. Over the years, they've added a full complement of fabricating and finishing equipment—including routers, cutters and welders—to keep up with their growing client base and increasing customer requirements.
According to Crow, "Even with all of the high production equipment we had, we had filled the capacity tube. Everything in the shop was at capacity. The flatbeds were running around the clock. We were running the legs off of the super wide machines."
The time had come for Source One Digital to take the next step and make the investment in new equipment. Crow tapped Jim Freed, vice president of Digital Services, to begin "looking at everything out there, intensely," said Freed.
At an industry trade show, Freed spent some time with Fujifilm discussing Source One Digital's challenging situation and potential solutions. A follow up visit to Fujifilm's Kansas City, Kansas, demo facility sealed the deal. Both Crow and Freed saw tremendous value and benefit in working with Fujifilm. "Fujifilm had everything we needed, the full range of equipment, ink, software, and a reputation for service and reliability," Crow said.
"We were amazed at the throughput of the Uvistar," Freed said. "We were lucky to get one roll a day out of our older machine. Now we're running four or five full rolls through the Uvistar each day. One Uvistar 2 beat the output of five of the machines it replaced." Freed also pointed to the vast improvement in print quality with the Uvistar 2 thanks to the new PDS (Parallel Drop Size) technology.
The "breathtaking" quality and outstanding production capabilities of the Inca Onset S40 wide format UV flatbed inkjet printer from Fujifilm were key factors in the decision to add one to the Source One Digital lineup. Freed said, "The Inca had the best quality of any of the machines we looked at, and gave us the boost in capacity we needed. Many of the competitive machines were just replacement products for what we already had; it would take two competitive machines to match the Inca. The Inca Onset S40 was a big step up."
How big? "The S40 increased our flatbed capacity by ten times," according to Freed.
The Acuity Advance helped "fill a void" in their line, said Crow. "The white ink capability on the Acuity gave us something we didn't have before in that size, and we're very excited about it. Our goal was to offer our client base higher speed and better quality, and to open up our production capacity, and that's exactly what we've done with the three new Fujifilm printers."
Crow went on to say, "Financially, this is a very big deal for us, but if you're not committed to the work that you do, you're not going to make the investments that will help your business deliver the best for your customers. We believe Fujifilm's equipment will give us quality that our customers can't get anywhere else."
An integral part of that quality is color accuracy and consistency. Source One Digital was one of the first printers in the United States to earn G7 certification, providing them with a great competitive advantage. "Our relationship with Fujifilm improved our G7 capabilities, and may earn us a new opportunity," Freed said. One of Source One Digital's largest customers needed to print on a substrate that no one else could print on. Fujifilm engineers in the company's U.S. ink R&D lab in Kansas City, Kansas tested the substrate and provided Source One Digital with an activator that when applied to the substrate would allow the ink to bond properly. Commenting on the result, Freed said, "You're not just buying a piece of equipment when you buy from Fujifilm, you're forming a partnership."
Fujifilm also worked with Source One Digital to install ColorGATE Production Server software to drive all of the new Fujifilm equipment. Capable of supporting over 750 different printers and cutters, Freed hopes to add ColorGATE's one rip solution soon. "Our goal is to move all of our equipment to ColorGATE in the next few months," Freed said.
"This new equipment and the ability to produce this level of quality and color accuracy will help us compete for higher end jobs, such as branding and corporate identity work. The Inca Onset gives us a strong competitive differentiator. Print buyers see the output from the Inca S40 and have to change their way of thinking, they're seeing quality that they've never seen before. Now they want to talk to us about new jobs," Crow said.
Freed gives an example: "We ran some samples for one of our customers, (one of the largest automakers in the world) and showed them colors they didn't think were possible. Now they want to talk about doing work they never thought that they could do before, that's what the Inca S40 is doing for us!"
Crow went on to say, "We're not the biggest at what we do but we are the most passionate. Our team always puts the clients first with a 'can do' attitude. We take pride in providing outstanding client service and creating customized solutions with the best products in the business. I'm confident that we've made all the right moves by installing a winning combination of reliable service and innovative equipment. We've added the right tools and with one of the most experienced teams in the digital print industry, our customers will be the ultimate winners."