Bullseye has been creating trophies for 35 years and during that time has seen a rise in customer demand for matching suites of materials including wide format applicaitons.
“We spent lots of time working with people who were running special events - such as awards nights for sports clubs and blue chip corporate clients. We were asked more and more about print, especially banners, and initially we outsourced it,” explained managing director Vince Murphy. “Unfortunately, this proved expensive and unreliable, so we took the leap and invested in a wide format printer so we could do the work ourselves.”
Bullseye has worked closely with CWE Solutions over the last five years, drawing on its expertise, products and service to help grow its printing arm.
Bullseye's investment over the last few years - purchased through CWE Solutions - includes an HP FB700 UV printer (April 2013), a HP Z6100 Aqueous printer (July 2013), a Kongsberg iXL-44 CNC cutter (May 2012), a Seiko ColourPainter Solvent printer (April 2011), and a Mutoh Viper Sublimation printer (December 2009). The latter is due to be replaced by a new Mutoh VJ1638W.
“The support from CWE Solutions has been fantastic, helping us look at the right machines to buy, and being honest about what they can and can’t do,” added Vince. “Their expert installations and ongoing support have also been second to none.”
The company eventually found that they had grown their printing arm so much that finishing was becoming difficult, with everything being hand cut. They discussed their requirements with CWE Solutions, and bought a Kongsberg IXL44 CNC cutter.
The Kongsberg now runs for 8-10 hours a day, and Marketing Director Jack Murphy says they don’t know what they would do without it. “We run everything other than digital paper through it, from flags, banners, sticker vinyl, reboard FSDUs and so on. At the moment we’ve got a job for 300 flags, which previously would have to be hand cut. With jobs like these, the Kongsberg is saving us between 50-100 man hours a week.
“As well as the basics, the cut and crease facilities have opened up a new market for us. We’re now printing boxes on low quantity runs on the HP FB700 and finishing them on the Kongsberg, for both point of sale and sales pitch samples for the pharmaceutical industry.”
“We use the HP primarily on foamex, cardboard, banner vinyl, sticker vinyl and it’s great for reliability and speed. We can even leave 50m rolls of vinyl to print overnight without any worries. But it’s great for other materials too – we’re now printing onto carpet for shop fitting and exhibitions, as well as MDF. “We find it a lot cheaper to run than our old printers, and a competitive price is crucial in the trade market. The colours are fantastic, but the precision is astounding. We print our own medal centres – they can be as small as 50mm with fine text. We’re also now experimenting with promotional gifts like mint dispensers and fridge magnets."
Bullseye finishes everything in-house, and can offer trade finishing for fabrics, banners and foamex. “With the Mutoh we’re working more with fabrics, using the sublimation process to do one off samples of cushions for customers to pitch for work, even on suede. We print them, and use the cutter and in-house seamstresses to finish. In general we’re moving towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly printing, and gearing up for more work with fabric – we go where the customers want us to go.”