When TriStar Printers Ltd exited the downturn amongst a flooded and cut-throat traditional small format litho industry, the Blackburn print company re-aligned its business strategy in a concerted effort to add value for its customer base.
This strategy involved adding 40% to its floor area to house a large format print department with a Canon Océ Arizona flatbed digital printer and alongside it a DYSS X7 digital cutter from AG/CAD.
Commenting upon the change of direction Tristar Director, Mr Abu Ahmed says: "Off the back of the recession, the industry became very price oriented and to thrive as a business, we realised that we had to add value for our customers and also extend our capabilities. We didn't want only to invest in Litho, it was a strategic decision to extend our scope and be a one-stop solution provider. Our aim was to look at new ways to create value for the customer; the DYSS and Océ combination have certainly done that."
Tristar has invested over £300,000 in large format and finishing which has been further strengthened by the recent addition of a new graphic designer, a large format salesperson and a general print salesperson.
The transition from litho to large format digital has seen the company supplement its traditional services of brochures, booklets and yearbooks for schools and colleges with large format work that has included shop signage, shopping centre displays, confectionary boxes, PoS displays and pop-ups as well as wall-art, box-board furniture and much more.
All manufactured on the new DYSS X7-1624C SuperHead digital cutter and printed on the new Océ Arizona 1260GT that were both delivered in October 2016, the company now sees the potential of targeting large format work. As Mr Ahmed continues: "The Arizona has a 2.5 by 1.25m bed and it allows us to print direct to substrate whether its card, wood, Dibond, Foamex and much more. All of these materials can be processed on the DYSS X7 with its powerful SuperHead that has a router spindle for cutting tough materials as well as tool slots for a variety of knife and creasing/scoring tools."
"The ability to print direct to substrate with the Océ and cut absolutely anything on the DYSS is winning huge amounts of new business. It’s particularly pleasing to see our existing small format customers take advantage of the new capabilities. The new large format department is giving these customers a 'one-stop-shop' for all their print and packaging needs. In addition, we are gaining enquiries and winning new business from retailers, sign makers and small companies that are looking for pop-up banners and signage, shopping centre display units and back-drops to name just a few projects."
The versatility and diversity of the Lancashire Company has expanded exponentially since the arrival of the DYSS and Océ. Referring to the impact of the large format division, Mr Ahmed continues: “We’re an established small format business with a history that dates back to 1982. Suddenly, the large format work has grown to account for 30% of our turnover; we’ve even employed skilled fitters that are out on-site installing commercial projects for customers.”
Why the DYSS?
The digital cutter sector is particularly competitive, but Tristar was adamant in its selection of the DYSS X7-1624C SuperHead cutter from AG/CAD. As a company entering the large format sector, Tristar was swayed toward the DYSS on a few key factors. Firstly, the robust and heavy duty build quality compared to alternative machines gave Tristar an immediate perception of quality and longevity. Added to this, AG/CAD provided an extensive warranty period, which gave Tristar confidence in the product whilst at the same time demonstrating the confidence that AG/CAD has in the reliability and performance of its DYSS range. Another key aspect for Tristar was the comprehensive KASEMAKE CAD software that is provided by AG/CAD.
Commenting on this, Mr Ahmed says: “We bought a suite of in3D design software for our design department. Operating within the KASEMAKE CAD suite, it is a powerful 3D environment visualisation and animation tool that allows us to build virtual 3D environments such as supermarket aisles, shelf units or even a complete store. We can then place our products into this 3D space. The software also allows for mocking up and visualisation of exhibition stands, signage and shop-fitting projects. KASEMAKE also has extensive import and export facilities that allow it to seamlessly interact with in3D whilst the comprehensive exchange formats for files such as PDF, AI, CF2, DDES, DWG, DXF, HPGL and EPS deliver complete transparency and conformity.”
“Added to this, KASEMAKE has hundreds of parametric resizable design templates and allows us to quickly design sweet boxes for schools and seasonal packaging. The combination of KASEMAKE and the K-CUT vision system enables us to design backdrops for shopping centres, create box-board furniture and loyalty cards for the retail sector. The synergy between the Arizona RIP and the K-CUT vision system seamlessly delivers the precision for the DYSS to cut out our printed work highly accurately, regardless of material. We are cutting a lot of E-Flute corrugated, folding box board, 3 and 5mm thick Foamex, 5 and 10mm thick acrylics and also Dibond. The DYSS X7 has the software, precision, build quality and powerful cutting head to handle everything we run through it with ease.”