A new HP Latex 365 large-format printer has helped a Midlands sign business to accelerate production, especially of vehicle wraps.
Signarama Birmingham South, based in Solihull, installed the HP Latex 365 in September 2019 to replace a solvent printer. Unlike solvent, printing with Latex ink requires no lengthy outgassing times - allowing graphics to be printed, laminated and applied much faster - while producing high-quality, durable output.
"In the sign trade, customers are becoming more demanding and placing more last-minute orders. With HP Latex, we can be more reactive," says Jeremy Andrews, who founded the Signarama franchise eleven years ago. "The process is so fast - from printing to laminating then applying - that we can now eliminate potentially costly errors by waiting until a vehicle is delivered, and checking its dimensions, prior to printing and applying the graphics.
"Previously, our solvent printer would have needed gassing off time if there was an error, meaning not only would we lose the cost of the vinyl, but also production hours. But, with the new HP Latex machine, we wait until the vehicle is delivered, alter the graphics dimensions if required - and print and apply them within a day. Overall the print and install process is just great."
Joined by his wife Tracy Andrews six years ago, Jeremy and the Signarama team specialise in a range of large-format printing applications including advertising banners, exterior business signage and bespoke projects such as wall art, as well as vehicle graphics. It serves a number of businesses in the local community, counting Birmingham Airport, Jaguar Land Rover, Travis Perkins and the National Motorcycle Museum among its well-known customers.
Jeremy explains that he took time to research the options before choosing the new HP printer, including attending the Sign and Digital UK and ISA Sign Expo events and speaking to other sign-makers and engineers.
"We asked a lot of questions," he says. "We found that the HP Latex 365 has a reputation for being consistent and delivering high quality output, at an accessible price point. It's a robust machine that does everything we need it to do."
On HP supplier Colyer Repropoint, who installed the system, Jeremy adds: "Colyer Repropoint provided lots of information and worked with us to get the right deal. The installation itself was very smooth and the service from HP was good too."
As well as its speed, quality and usability - Jeremy praises the compact footprint thanks to its front-loading design and its self-cleaning processes - the HP Latex 365's green credentials also add value for Signarama.
"Latex inks being water-based are far more environmentally friendly than other ink technologies in the market, making the prints safe for wall graphics and other interior work," says the business owner. "Our customers are more environmentally conscious, and the HP Latex is a definite plus point for us."
Jeremy Andrews adds that Signarama Birmingham South may expand into bigger premises in 2020, with the benefits offered by HP Latex potentially helping to grow its service offering too.
For more information on Signarama Birmingham South, please visit: www.signarama.co.uk/birmingham-south