Publiman, based outside the picturesque town of Cenac in the Dordogne Valley region, is one of the two largest print service providers in the French long term scrolling banner market. The company’s 11 employees are all well trained to guarantee the smooth running of the business. This includes short turnaround times and ensuring it delivers jobs to the highest standards to its range of well-known customers, the likes of which include CBS, Clear Channel and JC Deceaux.
The company produces almost all of its work on a 3.5m Uvistar superwide format roll-to-roll UV device while a dedicated finishing department ensures the product is finished to the right specifications, ready to be delivered to the customer.
Daniel Mandart, founder and managing director of Publiman, explains the reason for focussing on the scrolling banner market: “Since the regulations for outdoor communications in France have changed with restrictions placed on the amount of billboards that can be erected, the market for scrolling banners has grown exponentially. With up to six advertisements that can be added to one scrolling banner at a time, the amount of banners to be printed adds up very quickly.”
In addition to running a successful printing business, the company also manufactures its own media – Polyman Paper – for scrolling billboard applications which is sold to print service providers across Europe. The unique environmentally friendly paper, which is coated by a polymer film with a polyester layer, has been proving so popular with billboard print service providers that Publiman has now created a second arm specifically dedicated to this part of the business.
Fuelling business with UV investment
Publiman had been using a NUR banner printer for a number of years, and with its business quickly expanding, it was keen to invest in a UV device to increase productivity.
Daniel explains how the company came to look into suitable printers: “After experiencing unexpected downtime with our solvent device a few months ago, we realised it was time we looked into investing in a new printer that could be complemented by the NUR. We work closely with Urbanstorm in the UK, and we mentioned that we were looking for a new device – they immediately suggested that we look at Fujifilm’s Uvistar.”
He continues: “We immediately contacted Fujifilm to discuss the Uvistar, but also investigated a number of other suitable devices on the market to ensure we chose the best device to suit our needs. One of the most important tests we carried out was assessing the level of diffusion and the ability to keep vibrant colours against a backlight, which are carried out in-house. The Uvistar matched our level of expectations brilliantly and was by far the best option for us.”
So, in June 2011, Publiman became the first French print service provider to install a Uvistar printer. The 3.5 meter roll-to-roll device has a configuration of 32 print-heads to allow for faster printing, while Fujifilm’s Uvijet QK inks ensure no curing or ink starvation issues, and excellent inter-coat lay down for backlit and solid prints.
“The installation went according to plan and our operators received in depth training and onsite support while getting to grips with the device. Since day one, we have been confident that we have made the right decision to choose the Uvistar and this continues to be the case,” says Daniel. “Our turnaround times are now shorter, which in turn has allowed us to take on more work from new customers referred to us from existing clients.”
Publiman places a great deal of effort into ensuring it minimises its environmental footprint. Investing in the Uvistar not only meant that the company could produce print at a much greater speed, but it also proved to have environmental benefits.
“The Uvistar also offers us environmental benefits – something we are very conscious of – by printing brilliantly onto polyethylene substrates and thereby minimising wastage,” says Daniel. “The short length of media needed to produce a scrolling banner means that the wastage can sometimes be huge, but the way the Uvistar is set up means we can reduce it down to the minimum.”
The company has been so happy with the results it has achieved with the Uvistar that it decided to trial Fujifilm’s solvent inks on its NUR device. “We ran rigorous tests to see how the inks compared against what we were using before, and were delighted to achieve the same high quality but with better consistency. We therefore made the decision to switch to Fujifilm’s inks in September.”
Daniel concludes: “Publiman is proud to be the first French print service provider to invest in the Uvistar printer in France. Not only has the device allowed us to create new business opportunities, but also to stay on top with our service offering. The ongoing support we have received from Fujifilm during this investment process has been fantastic – we have seen the benefits of working with them from day one – and I am confident that this relationship will continue to blossom.”
The Uvistar is available in four different models, producing high quality output at throughput speeds in excess of 300m2/hour. A proven multi-roll system with a highly intuitive user interface, it provides fast and efficient start up with low media wastage, and has the ability to handle rolls of varying widths. In combination with Fujifilm’s new Uvijet QK inks, the printers can produce jobs on a very wide range of flexible media, including polyethylene (PE).