Eleven years ago, the company formerly known as Signs Plus Visuals renamed itself MakeVizion and invested in an EFI VUTEk super-wide format UV inkjet printer from Imaging Electronics, Inc. The investment paid off: Business skyrocketed, putting the Washington, DC metro-area company on a growth path that would lead it to continued expansion by delivering premium display graphics. Now, on the cusp of new growth opportunities, business owner John McManus and his team at BrandVizion are embarking on new capabilities and versatility to expand with his latest investment, a EFI VUTEk h5 Super large format UV LED hybrid flatbed / roll-to-roll printer.
Kiley Gonzalez, president of the Chantilly, Virginia-based company, has high hopes for a printer that once again places BrandVizion in a technological leadership position among its local competitors. In the past, the company was one of the first and few in the region to operate high-end hybrid and flatbed inkjet printers. But, as other neighboring businesses inevitably upgraded their technology, Gonzalez and his team at BrandVizion researched newer cutting edge solutions and were excited about the VUTEk h5 printer.
Size and speed were major factors in the decision to upgrade to the h5 model earlier this year. “Newspaper operators love the new printer“said Gonzalez.”If they had to complain about anything it would be that the h5 might be too fast. “In the past,” she explained, “a single operator would print the jobs, and then when the prints were complete, that same employee would take the job and take care of the required cutting or finishing tasks.
Now jobs print so quickly that a second employee takes over to begin cutting and finishing jobs while each job is running. The throughput for display graphics at BrandVizion increased dramatically, so much so that BrandVizion was more than happy with the extra and efficient use of manpower required to get a lot more work done per shift.
Trade takes off
The machine also uses ink in a more sophisticated way, resulting in higher yield and less waste, which has made BrandVizion much more competitive with its wholesale prices.
“There are many retailers and sign brokers in our area who advertise the production of signs and graphics and turn to companies like ours for production.“, explained Gonzalez.”We can get much more aggressive and end up having to set a new price scale for these wholesale customers.. “
Due to the savings on ink costs, the company is now taking back business it once refused. “Now,“said McManus,”we are in this perfect place where we can make money, offer a competitive price and meet tight deadlines. “
The 126-inch wide printer delivers superior imaging in resolutions up to 1200 dots per inch. The VUTEk h5 enables eight-color printing or, using its full-gamut four-color inks in a CMYKx2 configuration, delivers high-quality output at speeds of up to 109 cards per hour. The printer’s 7pL UltraDrop technology grayscale printheads deliver true multi-drop addressability, high-definition printing, and crisp text quality with exceptional smoothness in shadows, gradients and transitions.
“Cold cure”UV LED imaging on the VUTEk h5 reduces the amount of energy required for curing or drying compared to conventional UV or latex printers. Additionally, BrandVizion can operate their new printer using thin or tough substrates that cannot withstand the heat required with UV or mercury arc latex printers.
BrandVizion customers benefit from the printer’s ability to provide more efficient and effective display graphics. Gonzalez cites the example of a BrandVizion client who thought they would have to resort to a hand-painted mural for a project, believing that the leafy and woody look of their logo would be too difficult to reproduce on a digital printer. BrandVizion, however, was able to faithfully recreate their client’s design at a fraction of the time and cost by using multilayer printing on the new VUTEk h5 printer.
“Layered printing is really where we want to hit as there is a large market for interior wallpaper prints and decorative films.“said Gonzalez.”Before we had the new printer, we could print degraded films, but we really had a hard time figuring out how to set up the file, prepare it in a certain way, and have it on certain settings.. “
“On the VUTEk h5 we were able to print custom gradient prints for multiple customers which is a huge high end product”McManus said. “It is a very luxurious finished product which has helped us to retain our customers. Decorative films and wallpapers are really what we plan to target with new technology. “
VUTEk quality drives continuous growth
The new printer is the next step in the success of the company, which has taken advantage of the superior quality possible with EFI VUTEk printers over the years. BrandVizion’s primary customers are construction and property management companies that rely on the company for murals, floor graphics, and building coatings. The company’s ability to produce high-impact color on dark printing substrates – something the company has consistently achieved by printing four-color graphics on the highly opaque white ink available for EFI VUTEk printers – discerningly gives BrandVizion an advantage, “more artistic“Customers,” according to Gonzalez.
“We have had customers bring in entire wall panels to print for installation in a building on site during construction., she recalls. “A local restaurant called the Lincoln Restaurant actually brought us their bathroom doors, which were metal and rusty-looking, to imprint Abraham’s face on one and Mary Todd’s on the other.. “
The company’s production manager and print operator, Myles Proseus and David Eberenz, have also leveraged this new technology to meet growing customer demands for same-day or next-day delivery by leveraging on its EFI VUTEk solutions. “As the level of expectation from our customers increases, we are able to keep up with our investments in equipment.“said Gonzalez.
As with almost all businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the printing industry hard, although social distancing messages have provided a new source of revenue.
The VUTEk h5 also helped boost the morale of the BrandVizion team. “When you get new gear, it creates a lot of buzz. Every time our production guys get training on new equipment it builds confidence and gives us something to say to customers. It gives everyone in the shop a moral boost, especially after last year which was tough“said Gonzalez.
The acquisition of the printer allowed BrandVizion to, as Gonzalez put it, “operate lean, reduce costs and keep moving forward. “
“In a competitive market, printing companies need robust solutions to deliver greater value to their customersSaid Todd Zimmerman, vice president and general manager of Display Graphics EFI. “The high productivity, superior quality and remarkable versatility of the VUTEk h5 hybrid printer give a significant boost to the work BrandVizion does to strengthen its reputation as a leading signage and graphics supplier.. “
The previous press release was provided by a company not affiliated with Printing of fingerprints. The views expressed do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of Printing of fingerprints.