Graphic World, one of the leading screen and digital printers in Benelux, is based in Gendt, Netherlands – close to the German border. Established as a screen print service provider for the ice-cream market in 1978, it has grown and expanded considerably over the past 13 years to offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor POS signs and displays to its blue-chip customers across Europe, the likes of which include Unilever and C&A.
The internationally renowned family business employs 27 staff that look after its design, pre-press, sales and production departments, and prides itself in offering exceptional service and cementing longstanding relationships with its customers.
The first date
Graphic World developed a relationship with Fujifilm in 1997, when the company became one of the very first PSPs in the world to acquire a flash UV screen printer. At the time, it proved difficult to find a supplier able to provide the ink that could achieve Graphic World’s requirements to go with the device, so the company approached Fujifilm Sericol to see if they could help. Together, they developed the right inks for the job, and the relationship has blossomed from there.
Wilfred Witjes, director at Graphic World, explains: “Fujifilm Sericol was the only company that had the know-how and expertise to develop the right inks for us at the time, and we were impressed with how quickly they responded to our request. So, when we decided to dip our toes into digital in 2006, we tested the Inca Turbo flatbed device from Fujifilm. We quickly placed an order and soon followed with a second installation a few months later, which allowed us to establish a digital offering to complement our screen printing department.”
Continuing a trend of being at the forefront of adopting new technologies, Graphic World became Europe’s first print service provider to install an Inca Onset digital flatbed device when the S70 was launched in 2007.
“When the Onset S70 came into the market, I immediately knew it was a device that marked a new era in digital printing and believed that it could revolutionise our business,” continues Wilfred. “As the only digital printer that could print high quality satin and gloss at up to 750m2/hr, we decided to bite the bullet and replaced two of our screen printers with the new device. Not only did it give us the opportunity to be much more flexible, but also allowed us to shorten a turnaround time of two weeks to two days.”
Subsequently, the company also replaced the two Turbo digital flatbeds with an Inca Onset S20 in 2009 to compliment its bigger brother, and a Uvistar five meter roll-to-roll device at the end of 2010 – all from Fujifilm.
Wilfred describes what this ongoing investment into digital has meant for his business: “Over the past five years, we have moved from being an exclusive screen printing service provider to producing around 40% of all jobs on our digital equipment, and this percentage is growing fast. So fast in fact that we are close to capacity with our current flatbeds!
“As we replaced two of our screen printers with one digital device, we have seen big savings on ink and labour costs. And, as we were able to deploy the expertise elsewhere, it has proved a very beneficial move for our business as a whole.”
Graphic World has a strong environmental ethos, and recycles all eco-friendly materials in the company. It also recovers and recycles all of its customers’ unused print – a fantastic element within its customer service offering and reinforcing Graphic World’s green values.
The Inca Onset was launched into the marketplace four years ago as a high end inkjet printer that would change the way graphic print was produced. This proven technology has fast become the most successful platform in digital wide format printing, and Fujifilm is able to prove that making an investment in the most powerful flatbed family in the world can pay back in record time – something Graphic World can attest to.
The Uvistar provides fast and efficient start up with low media wastage, and has the ability to handle rolls of varying widths up to five metres. In combination with Fujifilm’s inks, the printers can produce jobs on a very wide range of flexible media, including polyethylene (PE), with no curing or ink starvation issues and with excellent intercoat lay down for backlit and solid prints
A bright future
Graphic World has quickly started to reap the rewards of expanding its service offering into digital, and with shorter run lengths becoming the order of the day, is set to continue to do so.
“In an era of fast changing technologies, we will continually look at the options – both screen and digital – that will keep giving us the competitive advantage with our customers,” says Wilfred.
He concludes: “Graphic World’s ethos of honesty, loyalty and trust coincides with what we’ve experienced with Fujifilm, and the mutual respect makes our working relationship a great one to have. Since day one, they have impressed us with their openness and good customer service, and I believe Graphic World will continue down the same path in the foreseeable future.”