Just five months on from installing an Inca Digital Onset X2 from Fujifilm, Swedish printer Billes Tryckeri AB has seen a 30 per cent increase in wide format production output.
With an offset printing heritage dating back more than 50 years and ten years of more recent digital print production experience, the company employs 125 people and turns over 250 million krona a year (nearly €26 million). Digital printing now makes up around 40 per cent of the company’s output and, in line with trends in the wider industry, this proportion is growing.
“We came to the realisation that some of our digital platforms were simply too slow and too unreliable to keep up with the increasing demands we were facing for short-run, fast turnaround work,” explains Production Manager Anders Wackfelt. “We spent two years looking for the right digital wide format press to boost production speeds for quality short-run work, running tests on multiple machines from a range of manufacturers. Eventually, after we had weighed up all the benefits, investing in the Onset X2 from Fujifilm was a relatively easy decision. The trials we ran, and a visit we made to a high profile Onset X user in the UK, convinced us that this machine would give us the higher productivity we needed, with no compromise on quality. This was really the deciding factor for us. Furthermore, we had more confidence in the reliability of the Onset X than its rivals and we felt it was very good value for money.
“Getting the machine installed was a lengthy process as we had to reconfigure our building to make room for it. Fujifilm’s service and support during this time was excellent and they helped to make a complicated process as simple as possible. The press was eventually installed at our Gothenburg premises in January 2017.”
Five months on from installation, Billes Tryckeri is seeing some impressive results. “Of course the Onset is printing more quickly, more reliably and at a higher level of quality than the older digital press it replaced,” Wackfelt continues. “That much we expected. But what we did not anticipate was just how much wide format signage work we would be able to move across from our offset presses. It’s not something we could have considered doing previously as the print quality produced by the older digital presses was simply not good enough – increasing the print speed led to problems with banding and it was not cost-effective in any case.
“Our customers include some of the biggest brands from Sweden and around the world, so if there had been any reduction in the quality of their work in moving it from the offset presses to the Onset X, they would have been sure to let us know! None of them has noticed a difference, which in itself is a huge vote of confidence in the ability of the Onset to deliver offset levels of quality – and to do that very cost effectively, over short runs.”
The combination of the increase in digital production capacity and the ability to free up space for more long runs on the offset side of the business has led to a substantial increase in productivity across Billes Tryckeri’s wide format division. “Since the Onset X2 was installed in January 2017 we have been able to drop our night shift and go down to two shifts per day, while seeing a 30 per cent (and still rising) increase in productivity,” says Wackfelt. “Overall, it has proven to be an excellent investment decision. Fujifilm’s ongoing support has been fantastic and the machine’s performance has exceeded our expectations.”
Tudor Morgan, Segment Marketing Manager, Sign & Display at Fujifilm Graphic Systems Europe concludes: “The scalable Onset X platform, with its combination of robust Inca Digital architecture and Fujifilm Inkjet Technology, has been delivering real, tangible benefits to print businesses around the world since its launch in 2015. We’re delighted to be able to partner with Billes Tryckeri as they bring the unique benefits of this platform to customers in the Scandinavian market for the first time.”