Spandex, the pioneering one-stop supplier of complete and innovative solutions to the digital printing and sign making industries worldwide, has announced that Bristolbased screen-printer and sign manufacturer, Signet Signs Ltd, has installed a Gerber Solara ionx UV wide-format digital inkjet printer.
Signet Signs Ltd made the decision to purchase the Gerber Solara ionx after witnessing the benefits afforded by combining a directto- substrate print capability with Cold Fire Cure™ technology and GerberCAT™ cationic UV inks. This allows the company to print onto a wide range of substrates while reducing turnaround time and material costs.
"The Cold Fire Cure™ technology, which cures the ink at room temperature, allows us to successfully print onto a wide variety of heat sensitive materials including PVC fluted board brands, HIPS (high impact plastic) and polypropylene", explains Mike Rawlings, Director and General Manager, Signet Signs. "In addition, the superior print quality, ability to print large blocks of solid vibrant colours without banding, and high scratch resistance, were key factors that influenced our decision.
"Its price tag of under £60,000 was another welcome surprise", he adds. "We looked closely at five different machines on the market, but it was quickly apparent that the Gerber Solara ionx provided everything we needed and at the right price. The next closest machine from a different supplier was a few times more expensive, so it made our decision easy." In addition, as a Spandex customer since 1981, Signet Signs was confident that both pre - and after-sales support would be, according to Mike, "second to none".
"The impact of the Gerber Solara ionx is huge", he continues. "We have reduced the turn around time of production by 50% and materials by 30%, which gives us a great competitive advantage. Since its installation, we have saved thousands of pounds each month in materials."
The Gerber Solara ionx has quickly opened up new business opportunities for Signet Signs, adds Mike. "The bank that financed the purchase of the Solara ionx even placed an order for some signage, which we produced entirely on the printer. We are very satisfied with our machine."
Since purchasing the Gerber Solara ionx last October, Signet Signs has hardly used its screen-printing facilities. "Traditionally, a screen-printing job has about eight steps. With the Gerber Solara ionx, we have reduced it to three", Mike explains. "We cut the board, print and pack. With the new process, the use of materials including application tape, vinyls and foils has disappeared and waste has been reduced."
Signet Signs also found that when screen-printing, extra signs had to be produced in case one of them became damaged. Thanks to low set-up costs and prints that are highly scratch resistant, the company produces exactly the quantity needed.
As Mike explains, the Gerber Solara ionx allows Signet to serve its core market of the construction industry, more efficiently and effectively. "We are about to launch three new speciality products to the construction industry, which would simply be impossible to produce with another machine", he confirms.
Signet now produces all its digital printing in-house and consequently has achieved lower costs and high quality control. The company is also doing more trade work as other sign companies subcontract Signet's.
Signet Signs Ltd is an established, family run business, now offering a whole range of signage solutions to the UK and Ireland. The company aims to increase competitiveness by further improving its efficiency and expanding into new markets with the Gerber Solara ionx.