A Wider Variety of Work in MemphisOctober 2012 By Julie Greenbaum
Since installing a new 61˝ HP Designjet L26500 wide-format printer in July, Tiger Graphic Services, at the University of Memphis, has more than doubled its growth. While the 11-employee in-plant is still using its nine-year-old HP 5500PSUV printer, Manager Penni Istre says that the new device was necessary to produce the shop’s oversized and corrugated signage work, which makes up about 35 percent of its business.
“We previously had to outsource jobs that required oversized and corrugated signage,” reports Istre. “We could use vinyl on our older press, but could not use adhesive vinyl for corrugated signs, window film or fabrics.”
Some of the features of the new printer that Istre likes are its ability to handle a wider variety of papers and its latex ink and dryer. The Onyx software that comes with the printer also includes an accounting feature that has made Istre and her staff’s jobs a lot easier.
“The machine relays to the shop how much per square foot it will take to print a particular item,” she says. “It also lets you plug in your pricing and then automatically calculates how much it will cost to print the piece.”
Since the device prints wider, Tiger Graphic Services can now send five or six items at once, and group them together—one landscape, one portrait—to fit on one page, using the least amount of paper.
Some of the other items that the in-plant can now handle on the new machine include: double-sided posters, canvas, adhesive backed vinyl, glossy, lightweight, heavyweight, photo paper, adhesive clear plastic and window cling. One of the most interesting projects that the shop has printed on the new device was a 6x8-foot full-bleed banner.
“As the banner was coming out, we didn’t want it to land on the floor,” Istre recalls. “It had a rollup on the bottom, so we were able to tape it, and it then rolled onto the roller. So when it came out, it was already dry.”
Another project the in-plant is currently working on is a campus-wide promotion where it will print contact cards on magnets (the material is pre-magnetized) to send out to the campus community. To laminate prints, the in-plant uses a 42˝ Catina 4100 roll laminator, along with a cold mount that it uses to mount on the foam core, and a framing system from ProEdge Systems.