The swissQprint Impala has been installed at the company’s Alton production facility – which has recently been extended by over 30,000 square feet – as part of a project to meet rising customer demand and to open doors to new markets.
Prodigi Group is a leading print-on-demand technology provider servicing global markets, and specialises in the creation and fulfilment of custom products. Its mission is to help companies selling a wide range of personalised products online such as fine art prints, canvas prints, framed prints, photo gifts, phone cases, clothing and apparel, stationery and more. This is achieved through a combination of API software (a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other) and a hybrid production model which coordinates in-house manufacturing with outsourcing.
As e-commerce continues to boom – with online sales rising by 45% in 2020 – Prodigi has also seen significant growth in-line with this, receiving a Sunday Times Fastest Growing Companies’ accolade in 2019.
Attractive decentralised and standardised process
According to Karen Ogden, Head of Marketing at Prodigi, personalised print on demand turns any image into any product that can be printed anywhere in the world. “Our print-on-demand model allows our B2C seller community to advertise a ‘virtual’ inventory of products – with no minimum order – utilising either their own store, or online marketplaces such as Etsy and Wayfair. When the end-customer purchases a product, the order is either handled by one of our production centres directly, or by one of our print-on-demand fulfilment partners who will manage the entire supply-chain from print production to drop-shipping and final delivery.”
“It’s an attractive proposition for many because we don’t charge for the use of our software. Therefore, the model has very low start-up costs, since you don’t need to invest any money in printing machines, product stocks or manufacturing labour,” she says. Premium partners include Disney, Natural History Museum, Royal Shakespeare Company, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Red Bubble, and the Royal Botanical Gardens to name a few.
Highlighting its dedication to print perfection, the swissQprint Impala 3 flatbed printer has taken centre-stage in a purpose-built climate-controlled room at the Alton production facility, where it is currently being put through its paces. “We are in the process of creating an entirely new range of products based around the swissQprint technology, which we will be announcing soon,” continues Karen Ogden. “The samples thus far have been stunning, especially those printed using swissQprint’s droptix 3D technology. The ability to print optical 3D effects directly onto regular plastic will certainly enable our user base to explore the creativity of their images and designs.”
Stunning 3D effects
swissQprint’s droptix technology creates a 3D effect and movement on a clear printed panel without the need for lenticular substrates, pitch calculation or optical alignment. The system works by printing lenses on the front of the clear panel and the design is printed on the rear of the panel. This is ideal for high-end interior decor pieces, posters, packaging, lightboxes, POS items, and bespoke signage. The effect requires the utmost precision – which is why swissQprint machines are employed the world over in the production of museum-quality fine art printing.
New capabilities for strategic growth
Prodigi Chief Operating Officer, Steve Levin, is confident that the swissQprint Impala is a proven technology in the commercial supply of ultra-high quality photographic prints to the B2B and B2C marketplace. “While we’re already a global leader in what we do, staying ahead of the competition means continually investing in the newest print technologies,” he says. “We want to continue to create even better products for our customers, and bring new capabilities into the business. We’ll be using our Impala flatbed to expand our large format wall art capability, develop some niche products and pursue commercial contracts as part of our strategic growth plans.”