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GraphExpo_ShowDaily_September_28_2016

Can We Get a ‘Booyah!’ for Digital Print’s Next Dimension? The next big impact has arrived at AlphaGraphics Seattle. “We had been looking at adding dimensional digital printing effects for three years,” reports CEO Chuck Stempler. “We saw the Scodix S75 in action at the drupa and GRAPH EXPO tradeshows, and made a decision to invest in one in late 2014.” For Stempler and his team, the purchase is all about differentiating themselves from competitors and offering value-added services that “are not commonly available.” Scodix (Booth 1037) enhancement technology has brought digital printing to another level, literally. If the late ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott had ever seen (and felt) the Israeli-based OEM’s three-dimensional, raised print effect, his enthusiastic response undoubtedly would’ve been a resounding, “Booyah!” AlphaGraphics Account Manager Tucker Stempler (Away) and Press Operator Tomek Szelachowski check out their new Scodix Press. AlphaGraphics Seattle now is using the Scodix proprietary SENSE technology to produce shiny bling that nearly pops off the printed page for a multi-location jewelry retailer. “The customer absolutely loves the look, texture, and imagery of this enhanced collateral,” says Stempler, the owner of six franchised print sites which, collectively, rank #3 on Quick Printing magazine’s annual list of the Top 100 quick and small commercial print firms (Printing- News.com/12067328). Sales were up 9% in 2014: to $15.4 million. “We view this press as an opportunity to continue to evolve,” he explains. “Scodix gives us the ability to create products that offer a signifi cant advantage to what’s currently available to our customer base,” Stempler continues, likening this latest print investment to those he made 10 years ago in Hewlett-Packard and Xerox digital press technologies. “We brought HP Indigo and iGen capabilities to the middle-market level in the Washington state area,” he recalls. At the time, these devices brought greater functionality and value to AlphaGraphics Seattle customers just as he foresees the Scodix doing now, a decade later. Their mid-April 2015 Scodix installation marked the fi rst such press in the Pacifi c Northwest. More than a passing fad “We don’t see this as a fl ash-in-the-pan opportunity,” Stempler stresses. “At fi rst, we were only running it about two hours a day,” Stempler shared. “In month two, we ramped up to three to four hours per day.” By this September, he and his management team hope that number increases to six to seven hours of Scodix production daily. “At that level, our ROI will be met over the next two to three years. The technical capability is there,” he continues. “The machine is capable of running 24 hours per day.” Acknowledging that there are faster Scodix models, Stempler says, “We’re not concerned about speed. We are new to this space.” Based on those positive responses, “we used recent art from actual jobs and redesigned based on décor.” Needless to say, the new press is creating a lot of buzz. “People are very curious about ‘that variable, To promote their new digital enhancement capabilities, AlphaGraphics developed an introductory marketing campaign, using the “Radiant Texture” tagline to refer to the Scodix effects. This brochure was used at their recent open house for 150 clients and prospects. polymer UV, spot UV, whatever-you-call-it’ printer,” he laughs. “From our customers’ standpoint, the ROI is indisputable in terms of higher response rates,” he concludes. So far, they’ve printed everything from “direct mail and corporate collateral to targeted brochure-type products with variability. That’s what this device gives us: the ability to vary content sheet after sheet.” Variety is the Spice of Life When it comes to substrates, that saying is especially true. We’ve all heard the cliché: variety is the spice of life. And when it comes to substrates, that saying is absolutely true. Printers only benefi t when they have access to a wider range of materials to choose from for all of their projects, which is why the Materials Matter pavilion at GRAPH EXPO this year is such an important component of the show. The pavilion debuted in 2015, but it has only grown in size and the number of vendors participating this year. And with an infl ux of vendors, the concept of the pavilion—to provide attendees with a place to easily compare materials all in one place, and ask questions where it is easy to get a range of opinions—is only getting stronger. Here is a small sample of a few of the substrate types visitors can touch and feel, and learn more about how they would impact their own customers: • Fine text and cover papers • Specialty substrates designed for digital presses • Specialty substrates designed for offset presses • Specialty substrates designed for letterpress projects • Silver board • Soft-touch materials • Polyester substrates • Cloth substrates with digital print-receptive coatings And this is just a small sample of the options that will be on display. The participating vendors will also have swatchbooks on hand, so even though they won’t be able to bring samples of every single substrate they offer, attendees will be able to explore the full catalogs, and have the benefi t of being able to compare offerings across vendors in a single place. No matter what type of application a printer wants to run, or what type of equipment they use, the Materials Matter pavilion will have new options to explore. And the pavilion participants all have booths on the show fl oor as well, so once printers have narrowed down the fi eld to a few promising options, representatives will be on hand to give more detailed, in-depth knowledge about the products. 40 | September 28, 2016 | GRAPH EXPO 16 Offi cial Show Daily | PrintingNews.com


GraphExpo_ShowDaily_September_28_2016
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