Druk & Print
Roland's UV printer opens up the sign market for Druk & Print
"We see a clear market trend towards signage", states Martijn Thijsse from Druk & Print in Sliedrecht (Netherlands). "The volume of traditional digital printing, of flyers for example, has dropped, and margins are under pressure. At the same time, demand for signage is exploding". This was the reason for Druk & Print to reduce its "normal" print capacity, and acquire a machine suitable to sustain its growth ambitions in the sign market, i.e. the VersaUV LEJ-640 from Roland DG.
"This is where we're making our money now", noted Martijn Thijsse as he pointed at Roland's VersaUV LEJ-640, the jewel of the production area. This hybrid UV printer can handle the broadest variety of sign products: from full colour printed company billboards, POS material for retailers, personalised images for the local golf club, book covers for educational institutions, to all possible marketing materials for well-known shipbuilder IHC. It can produce individual pieces and deal with high volume orders with equal ease.
Hybrid printer for both plates and rolls
The VersaUV LEJ-640 prints on all sizes: from small plates to 162.5 cm wide banners. The hybrid nature of this LED UV printer represents a major advantage. "You can switch quickly from roll to plate and vice versa, and that with unlimited material length", says Thijsse. "As the print head of the machine is adjustable in height, we can print on plate material to a thickness of 1 cm".
Furthermore, the machine accepts and smoothly processes kinds of materials including foam board, display cardboard, Forex and frequently used Dibond plates - material consisting of two aluminium plates with a cured intermediate layer of polyethylene, which gives the material the rigidity required, e.g., for wall decoration. "Despite all size and material variations, the quality produced remains consistently good", says Thijsse.
Transparent and white UV ink
"Actually, you must have such an UV printer to take on real sign work" notes Thijsse. "By printing with UV inks, printed plates remain colourfast also outdoors, no matter the weather conditions. You would not like your customers coming back after two years to complain about fading colours".
What is more, the addition of transparent and white ink besides CMYK produces beautiful effects. Thijsse provides a few examples to make his point. "Placing a white basecoat under the regular print gives the picture a special finish. Thus, the whole image or a minor detail thereof is perfectly conveyed. This is also possible with the UV-spot varnish".
Cross-pollination between sign and traditional printing
Druk & Print's work for the sign market has broadened considerably with the arrival of Roland's VersaUV LEJ-640. Now, all sign products can be produced internally. In Thijsse’s words: "At this point, we can produce 99% of all orders in-house. No customers must switch to another graphic company for their signage anymore. Thus, we can provide our customers with end-to-end service".
With the introduction of the UV printer, Druk & Print has experienced a notable workload increase. "That is also a matter of good sales", Thijsse explains. "If a customer needs business cards, for example, you can inquire about further requirements and offer them additional products. In a nutshell, we must stress our interest and attention to customers to reap the benefits of so-called cross-pollination".
Furthermore, Druk & Print launched a new website, www.printopdewand.nl, for consumers to order prints of photographs, posters and other images on plate materials.
Nearly everything is urgent
"We serve approximately 1,300 customers and process orders within eight hours as a rule. Therefore, almost everything is urgent. While customers don’t know our production processes, they trust we will deliver within deadlines and with outstanding quality. And we work into the evening to that end if necessary. That's our niche and our competitive differentiator", says Thijsse. While he bears responsibility for sales, he regularly monitors production. "As a small team, everyone must play a part, and take a part in everything".
Quality and service
As a relatively small, flexible company that does the utmost for its customers, Druk & Print expects its suppliers to deliver outstanding quality and service. Ten years ago, the company established a solid partnership with Roland DG. That was when Druk & Print introduced the VersaCAMM SP-300V printer/cutter from Roland, a machine which has enjoyed great success and adoption. "We have been dealing with stickers, displays, posters and letterings for years. That machine just keeps on working without a glitch. This is essentially why we chose Roland again", says René de Munck, Director of Druk & Print. The SOLJET XJ-740 was the third Roland machine Druk & Print bought and has been using for seven years now. On a daily basis, this printer still rolls outs banners, posters and canvasses - the frames of which are also customised in-house.
Thijsse regards the services of Roland dealers Sign Top and Sihl Direct as excellent. "Our machines hardly experience any downtime. And if something goes wrong, help is provided almost immediately. In fact, all issues are addressed within 24 hours".
Roland's machines are worth gold to us
Roland machines are the perfect match for Druk & Print's fast and efficient production. And that certainly applies to Roland VersaUV LEJ-640. Its built-in LED lights allow printing on heat-sensitive materials and direct drying. Thijsse: "Once the plate is ready, you can process it right away. This accelerates our production schedule significantly. And when we have a large order for a rol-to-roll printing, we start the machine in the evening and the job is completed overnight. That is how we make good, easy money. This machine is invaluable to us".