A trio of Seiko II (SII) ColorPainter W-64S printers installed at ASAP UK

Asap Seiko1

Since breaking into the full colour solvent-based ink printing market with its first Seiko II ColorPainter 64S around ten years ago, ASAP UK has remained loyal to the brand. Earlier this year, the company installed three new Seiko II ColorPainter W-64s at its offices in Southampton, citing speed, quality and reliability as the key features.

ASAP UK has been supplying signs, print and many other branded items to satisfied customers since 1997. In that time the company has established a reputation for being efficient, professional and competitive whilst delivering a friendly, personal and proactive service, taking on complex projects and unfazed by challenges.

ASAP’s reputation is built on its ability to deliver top quality graphics very, very quickly. Jason Terry, the company's managing director, explains, “Customers know they can ring us any time during the day and we will usually get their order to them the same day. Even orders taken after 5pm can often be delivered by first thing the next morning. It is this commitment to meeting short term requirements with top-quality output that has led to excellent long-term customer relationships. In turn, much of our new business results from personal recommendation from our customers.”

ASAP UK works for large and small organisations, nationwide and locally, in both the private and public sectors, also offering services to trade customers. “We produce a huge variety of work on our solvent printers, including vehicle graphics, outdoor displays, contra visions and a lot of work on canvass and blue back media. We have also purchased a couple of aqueous printers for more of the point of sale, pop-up and other indoor signage that we are being asked to produce,” says Jason.

The original decision to purchase the Seiko II ColorPainter 64S printers was made in 2005. Jason comments, “We had recently moved into full colour printing with a machine that really didn’t offer us very much at all. The ColorPainter 64S printers had been around for about a year and according to several independent sources, they were the best option from a price, performance and reliability perspective. We purchased three of these printers and they were fantastic for us, essentially revolutionising our business by allowing us to produce vast amounts of excellent quality graphics very, very quickly.”

When it became time to replace the printers, ASAP went for the HP9000  and four years later on, with the arrival on the market of the new W-Series printers from SII, ASAP looked to change again.

“We did look around at some other solvent printer options,” says Jason, adding, “There are several other options out there, but we didn’t feel any of them offered what we already had with the Seikos. We were used to the way the machines operate, their menu systems, their capabilities and their general operation. We decided that what isn’t broken doesn’t need fixing and we were delighted to take on another three ColorPainter W-64S machines from City and West Solutions.”

He continues, “We did consider one of the larger ColorPainter H-104S printers, but felt that having smaller printers gave us more flexibility to react and respond rapidly to our customers, which is the cornerstone of our business. A lot of our work is printed overnight and having three printers all running gives us more scope than just the one, albeit a faster and wider one.”

When purchasing the new printers, ASAP UK also transferred its RIP software to Caldera. Darryl Swainston, senior print manager at ASAP UK, says, “The biggest strength of Caldera is the speed with which it RIPs the images. Files that were taking 40 minutes or more to RIP before take less than 10 minutes with Caldera. This means we can be much more productive, getting through more work and more jobs.”

Jason adds, “Overall, the new printers have already made a big difference to our operation. They are faster, which means we can get through more work. The quality is even better than before and they are a bit cheaper to run in terms of ink costs. Also, they are just as reliable as our previous Seikos. I am delighted to say that the W-Series continues the fine reputation that SII has built for performance, quality and reliability.”

ASAP has also benefited from excellent support from both Colourgen and City and West End Solutions. “The suppliers have been very responsive and helpful. Any new implementation generates some teething problems, but CWE and Colourgen have provided very knowledgeable people to resolve issues quickly and professionally.”

Jason Terry concludes, “Over the last ten years, we have looked at plenty of alternatives to the SII printers, but we simply haven’t seen anything that is better. The ColorPainters are great workhorses that churn through metres and metres of top quality graphics with excellent colour matching at amazing speeds. The reliability means we can often leave them to print on their own overnight, confident that when we arrive in the morning, we will have three full sets of perfect prints. Much of our business is built on the output of our Seikos and with the new W-Series, this will continue for many more years.”