Allen – Signs with Impact, a Scarborough, Maine-based point of purchase (POP) printer, recently installed Fujifilm’s Acuity HS X2 UV flatbed inkjet printer. The new technology expands Allen’s capabilities, improves its ability to print a wider range of output, and positions the company to capitalize on opportunities for growth in the rapidly growing wide-format print market.
One of the largest full-service screen and digital printers in the region, Allen has specialized in POP solutions and custom signage for more than 45 years and has 35 employees. The creative printer primarily serves clients throughout the Northeast ranging from small, local businesses to distributors and retailers with more than 1500 locations.
Allen produces durable indoor and outdoor signage and POP displays custom engineered for maximum visual impact. Uniquely positioned to serve as a turn-key vendor, Allen’s in-house capabilities allow the team to produce outstanding quality and provide quick turnaround. In addition to fabrication and prototyping services, screen printing, and a full range of precision finishing capabilities, Allen produces large format digital graphics on virtually any substrate up to 1.75-inch thick and 8x10 feet in size.
“We previously relied on one of the industry’s first flatbed printers from Fujifilm, and for nine years it was a true workhorse for us running non-stop most days. In replacing that machine, we needed something that could handle near constant production, and produce high quality images at high throughput speeds,” said Joe Lepley, president of Allen – Signs with Impact. “We wanted a large format flatbed with the latest technology, and we wanted to improve our workflow from printing to finishing so we also invested in ColorGATE RIP workflow software and an Esko finishing system for routing and cutting. Fujifilm put together the entire package.”
“The Acuity enables us to better handle a variety of customer requests – short- and long-run jobs, fast printing and quick turnaround, direct printing on a number of rigid substrates, and the ability to print white ink. We focused in on the quality of white printing, true throughput speed and superior quality, and the Acuity HS X2 fits the bill well,” said Lepley.
The Acuity HS X2 has an 8x10-foot table for oversized rigid media. The table structure allows Allen to continuously print 4x8-foot boards by setting up on the first bed while printing on the second bed for maximum throughput. The high-speed, hi-res UV flatbed with white capability and the extra-large flatbed table makes it ideal for high volume graphic display POP and signage.
“The speed of the Acuity has proven to be the biggest difference from our previous equipment. It outputs files and layouts quicker as a standard, but it really shines when the file requires high quality or fine text. Traditionally we would adjust the speed of our printers to achieve an acceptable print, but there is no need for adjustment with the Acuity,” said Lepley. “We are seeing print times reduced by 50 percent on some projects. In addition, the printer is set up to reduce down-time because its able to continuously run using the dual vacuum zones while the ‘One Button’ printing eliminates the need for an operator to return to the computer station during a long run. We are significantly more efficient and productive with the Acuity and our recent investments have put us in a great position to expand and grow our business.”