- Big Print, a large format graphics production house, needed to offer a wider range of capabilities to its customers to remain competitive with larger shops.
- The company chose to beta test the new HP Scitex FB500 Printer, which offers significant cost savings and the ability to create high-quality prints on virtually any rigid and flexible media.
- Big Print is experiencing significant cost savings thanks to the printer's versatility and speed.
- The HP Scitex FB500's use of new HP Scitex FB251 White Ink helps the company provide innovative solutions for clients like Target.
- Big Print now relies on the HP Scitex FB500 to offer a range of applications that attract and keep customers.
Small commercial printers have to be extra savvy when it comes to major business decisions. Smart choices are a must if they want to keep up with larger competitors. No one knows that better than Big Print, a large format graphics production house based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
From wall murals and vehicle wraps to tradeshow graphics and fine art reproductions, the small shop is always looking for new ways to deliver big results for print buyers. That's why owner Herb Fick jumped at the chance to beta test the new HP Scitex FB500 Printer.
"For smaller shops like us who want to grow business in a difficult environment, it helps to be able to offer a full range of capabilities to customers," says Fick. "When you need to please people who need high volume at a low cost, the HP Scitex FB500-and the cost savings it offers-is a big plus."
Along with the significant cost savings offered by the new HP Scitex FB500, the printer's ability to create high-quality prints on virtually any rigid and flexible media,(1) and its use of new HP Scitex FB251 White Ink,(2) is expanding the possibilities of what Big Print can offer.
An easy decision
After using solvent- and aqueous-based solutions, Fick believes the decision to add the new HP Scitex FB500, which uses HP UV-curable inks, was an easy one to make-especially because of the savings.
"When you cut the need for extra materials and cut out steps on every product, it's a no-brainer. You're going to save money," explains Fick. With the new HP Scitex FB500, Big Print avoids costly, time consuming steps like lamination.
"UV inks are durable. You can print directly onto the substrate without printing on an adhesive-backed material that you have to mount on a board, and you don't have to coat it," says Fick. "So you're saving labour steps and materials. That means you're going to save money."
Fick also points out that because UV inks cost less per square foot, you can save even more over solvent and aqueous printers.
Cost savings aren't the only thing that attracted Big Print to the new HP Scitex FB500. The printer's ability to print on almost any rigid or flexible material with good ink adhesion was also a big draw. Even thick, heavy or long substrates are now a snap to print on.(3)
"With the HP Scitex FB500, you can print on substrates up to two inches think," says Fick. "You can literally take the front door of a house, take the hardware off and print a high-resolution image on it. It's amazing."
Plus, the printer's ability to load, print and collect media simultaneously, along with its fast print speeds and dry times, lets Big Print meet even the most demanding deadlines.
"To gain and keep customers, you need to be able to turn projects very quickly," says Fick. "With solvent printers you have to account for drying time, but not with the HP Scitex FB500 and HP UV-curable inks. That's a huge advantage."
Wow with white
Along with cost savings and unmatched versatility, the HP Scitex FB500's use of new HP Scitex FB251 White Ink(2) adds to the versatility Big Print can offer its clients. "A lot of very creative things can be done with white ink that can't be done with any other colour," explains Fick.
One of the best examples of this is in the company's work with the Target Corporation. While planning a recent awards presentation, organisers realised they needed a way to shade the windows in the event space while maintaining the ambiance. With the HP Scitex FB500 in its shop, Big Print provided the perfect solution.
"We printed the Target logo using the white ink on a frosted polycarbonate film to create a tone-on-tone effect," says Fick. "The end product subtly branded the room and diffused the light. It was a phenomenal solution. Target was very pleased."
He adds, "The new white ink allows us to print on coloured substrates that we couldn't have used otherwise. Being able to print on a large variety of materials allows us to provide a wider range of solutions to our customers, and that helps us grow our business."
This added versatility, along with the cost savings offered by the printer, is the reason Fick believes the new HP Scitex FB500 will help Big Print continue to hold its own against larger competitors-and why the company plans to purchase the printer once its trial period has ended. Fick explains, "If you want to compete now and in the future, you're going to have to move in to UV flatbed printing, and the HP Scitex FB500 is a great choice."
(1) Flexible media printing with an optional HP Scitex FB500 Roll-to-Roll Update Kit.
(2) Use of white ink requires a separate purchase of the HP Scitex FB500 White Ink Upgrade Kit.
(3) HP Scitex FB500 Extension Tables are required for long materials.