25 Oct 2021

Aura Graphics fast tracks First Great Western project with HP Scitex TJ8350 Industrial Press

Hp Aura Graphics

Aura Graphics of Lowestoft, Suffolk, has used its HP Scitex TJ8350 Industrial Press to print graphics displayed on two First Great Western power cars running daily on some of the country’s most popular business routes, as part of a major experiential campaign for the new HP ElitePad 900.

The two train wraps were printed and installed in just three days and formed the centrepiece of the HP ElitePad 900 campaign targeting business travellers. The vibrant graphics will be displayed for the entire six-month campaign and be seen by passengers and bystanders as the branded train cars travel over First Great Western’s rail network from Paddington to South Wales, the West Country, and large parts of southern England.

The HP ElitePad 900 campaign is aimed predominantly at business travellers, which account for the majority of First Great Western’s customer base. In addition to the train graphics, it also incorporated social media activity and direct customer engagement with live demonstrations of the new HP ElitePad on board the wrapped trains.

“The campaign has many different elements but the train wraps create the first, big impression on the target audience so, although it required a quick turnaround, the print quality couldn’t be compromised,” said Mark Rowland, regional business manager Greater Western Europe & UK&I, HP Scitex. “With the two wrapped trains operating an average of three routes a day, that’s 12,000 people per day who will have the opportunity to see the train graphics. This initial impact is key to creating an immediate buzz around the new product, helping the HP ElitePad teams to then start direct communications with passengers during the journey. This campaign perfectly demonstrates how high-quality print can play a crucial role in the success of an integrated campaign.”

Aura Graphics is a European leader in delivering graphics, signage, paint and refurbishment services for transportation, retail, promotional, architectural, events and petroleum markets. The company’s core business is to provide large, high-visibility graphics such as public transport vehicle wraps, fleet graphics, and large scale displays at major public venues including airports and railway stations.

“There are often many challenges when producing graphics for high-profile, blue-chip brands and turnaround times and print quality are always among them,” said Andrew Pritchett, key accounts manager, Aura Graphics. “We have two HP Scitex TJ8350 Industrial Presses. We’ve had the first one for eight years, and the second was installed in 2012. The speed, print quality and reliability of these printers make them ideal to meet these challenges and deliver high-impact graphics within a short deadline. This particular project was printed in just one hour and installed on the trains over three days.”

The graphics are printed on an opaque white self-adhesive vinyl film and laminated with a clear film. For jobs like this, Aura Graphics carefully measures the train units, digitising them and creates templates for the graphics in this case, specific to First Great Western’s Class 43 HST power cars.

“With First Great Western’s distinctive rich blue livery, it was essential that the wrap was completely opaque as the graphics’ design was predominantly white,” explained Pritchett. “The TJ8350 prints from roll-to-sheet, and the wrap was assembled from panels with a total area of about 75m2 for each set. The excellent coverage and colour reproduction achieved with the HP printer, plus the combination of substrates used, ensured that the white background was sufficiently dense and the end result met the expectations of First Great Western and the HP ElitePad team.”

In addition to the requirement for opacity, the ink and media must be able to withstand wind, rain and sunlight as well as adhere to the train at high speeds for the duration of the campaign. Print quality was also of prime consideration as text and images will be viewed from station platforms to distant horizons.

The versatile HP Scitex TJ8350 Industrial Press uses a rotating drum to print at speeds up to 480m2/hr (5166ft2/hr), or 80 165 x370cm (65 x 145in) sheets per hour, making it capable of 24,000m2/month (260,000ft2/month) production. This unique drum technology also applies up to six colours simultaneously, delivering high output quality without compromising speed.

“Over the years, the TJ8350 has proved itself a reliable workhorse, suitable for a large percentage of the jobs we do,” concluded Pritchett. “The HP ElitePad campaign is just the latest of the colourful and eye-catching initiatives we create with this powerful press.”

More information is available at www.youtube.com/hpgraphicarts