PPS Imaging, GmbH, of Hamburg, Germany, has installed two HP Scitex XP5100 pinters at its main production facility in Berlin to expand its capacity and meet increasing customer demand for super-wide format indoor and outdoor signage applications.
These five-metre wide UV printers offer the ability to print substrates five metres in width, or three 1.6m rolls simultaneously at a cruising speed of up to 105m2/hr. Outdoor signage for distant viewing may be printed at speeds up to 150m2/hr.
“These printers give us the capacity to serve our customers and deliver their products very quickly,” said Michael Krieger, owner and managing director, PPS Imaging, GmbH. “Today, customers want things almost immediately and we can’t afford to wait to invest in equipment that meets those demands.”
Responding to requests for print with less impact on the environment was another challenge that PSS Imaging has addressed.
“We took an early decision to move towards more environmentally friendly printing,” Krieger said. “We replaced solvent machines with UV printers and added two latex printers to respond to customer requests for ‘greener’ print, and to be able to offer more applications for indoor use. We also use energy from eco-friendly sources.”
PPS Imaging’s customers are primarily in Germany, but work is also sent to German companies elsewhere in Europe, notably to France and the Netherlands.
“We’ve had a very good relationship with HP,” Krieger said. “It supplies a wide range of printers with strong manufacturing standards, and we’ve received much good advice and support, as well as supplying inks and substrates. HP has been with us and helped us to grow.”
Reinventing a business
Since its establishment in 1972 as a professional photographic laboratory by renowned photographer Prof. F. C. Gundlach, PPS Imaging’s business has undergone a complete transformation.
By 2000, professional photography was moving rapidly to digital causing rapid contraction in the market. PPS had a network of four laboratories in Hamburg, Berlin, Erkrath [Düsseldorf] and Dresden. Since then, PPS Imaging established a new course for itself, changing the business from traditional photo printing to large and wide format digital print production has been a ten year process.
In the first four years, PPS Imaging conducted a major sales effort and established production facilities in its existing locations. By 2006, the company had a number of major contracts in place and a growing array of HP digital printers. These include HP Designjet Z6100 Printers, HP Scitex FB650 and XP5300 Printers, and two printers using HP Latex Ink technologies.
This install-base gives PPS Imaging both flexibility and versatility to respond to requests for rapid deliveries and graphics suitable indoor and outdoor use.
Work at present is divided roughly 80-20 percent between UV curable ink printing and water-based latex inks printing. On the UV printing side, about 20 percent is flat-bed work. In addition to its graphics production, PPS Imaging also digitally prints textiles.
PPS Imaging now employs 109 people, the largest number at its primary production facility in Berlin. In addition to its four original sites, the company now has two further sales offices, in Stuttgart and Munich.