Surrey, UK large-format digital printer Pyramid Visuals has invested in an Inca Spyder V large-format UV inkjet printer in order to keep ahead of its customers' demands for increasingly fast turnarounds and expand its presence in the point of sale and point of purchase (POS/POP) market.
With speeds of up to 130sqm per hour and the ability to print directly on to any substrate, the company has seen substantial time and cost savings.
"Digital is definitely the way to go in the display market," said Scott Meader, production director. "Every machine we have is digital and the speed, quality, resolution and flexibility that the Inca Spyder V offers made it the ideal choice for the type of work we do."
The Inca Spyder V, supplied by Fujifilm Sericol, has an innovative print head array which gives high quality at high speeds and offers greater throughput than ever before. With a print area of 3.2×1.6m and the ability to print onto substrates up to 30mm thick, the printer is ideal for the production of display graphics.
Pyramid Visuals was founded in 1993 as a sign and signwriting supplier and were very successful in that niche, producing a variety of work including cut vinyls and vehicle livery. Six years ago the company invested heavily in the digital arena and so, when it came to investing in the digital POP market, the company had already acquired a good reputation in the banner sector, including building wraps, and had no doubt that concentrating on the flatbed market would provide better returns and expanding opportunities.
One of those markets is POS/POP, to which the Spyder V is ideally suited. "The client can come to us with a product," said Meader. "The designer can put the dimensions into the CAD programme and a packaging solution is created, we then add the artwork, print it on the Spyder V and finish it on our Zund cutter. The client can have a full high-resolution mock up about two hours from receipt of the concept."
When Meader was researching which machine to buy he visited demonstration suites with a pre-prepared test file. He had it run at the different speeds in the machines' ranges and chose the resolution result he required. "I then got them to run it again and I timed how long it took," he said. "If the machine didn't reach the speed I needed, I discounted it and went on to the next. The Inca Spyder V produced the resolution I wanted at the speed I required."
Pyramid is feeding its Spyder V with short run POS jobs. Operating two shifts a day, seven days a week, the machine is already running at capacity. "The beauty of digital is that although a run may be 150 sheets, those 150 don't have to be the same design," said Meader. "For example, a free standing display unit may be intended for a product that is priced differently in London, Scotland, Newcastle and Ireland. The client can have the same design but can change the price and not incur extra set up costs. It means we can be really competitive in that market."
The Spyder V's ability to print directly onto rigid substrates eliminates any time-consuming mounting. The large hoardings that property companies use to advertise their developments were previously produced on self-adhesive vinyl and mounted on to Foamex sheets. Printing directly on to the final substrate means Pyramid can produce a consignment of boards in a fraction of the time, decreasing those all-important turnarounds. When a builder opens a marketing suite, they will need a variety of banners, flags, building wraps and hoardings and Pyramid can produce them all under one roof.
As Pyramid beta-tested the machine for eight weeks, it came with the options of orange and white, which have proved invaluable. The orange brings out the brightness of the colours and increases the gamut. The white has been used for self-clings which are viewed from both sides.
"For some time now our bigger clients have been demanding more of a package rather than just ordering products," said Meader. "We added high resolution HP9000 and HP5500 large-format printers for both indoor and outdoor graphics to our roll-to-roll machines. Now we have the Spyder V as well, we can work with our clients and turn their ideas into reality."