Updating its wide format fleet with an Acuity Advance Select HS (high speed) 5006 has helped Whangarei screen printing specialist Hotprintz grow its business.

In 2014, the company had already increased its capacity with an Acuity Advance Select 4006 flatbed printer. Bill Armitt, owner of Hot Printz, says that Hot Printz needed even more press power and spoke to supplier Fuji Xerox New Zealand.

He says, “Rather than upgrade the existing Acuity, Fuji Xerox proposed that we could replace it with the Acuity Advance Select HS (high speed) 5006. On top of that, we added a roll-to-roll wide format Mutoh ValueJet 1624 eco solvent inkjet printer with a matching cutter.”

For printing on rigid, flexible and even roll media, the six colour Acuity Select has a patented system allowing it to cure its own UV ink, so operators can use its output straight away. The optional roll media kit allows an operator to prepare rigid material on the flat bed while the roll media option prints. The Acuity Advance Select HS has nearly doubled the print speed capacity available to Hot Printz, meaning it can respond to customers’ needs for same day turnaround and overnight delivery.

He says, “In 2012, there were occasions where I had to do 24 hour shifts to get orders out for large clients who needed 40 hour jobs turned around in 30. By putting in machines that have more capacity, we’ve been able to reduce the amount of overtime needed to meet deadlines. Of course now, especially with the high speed version, I can go looking for more clients who require the high-volume, fast turnaround work we have the capability and capacity to deliver.”

The Mutoh wide format printer features Mutoh’s interweaving piezo print technology. This allows for increased print speeds and, according to Mutoh, it virtually eliminates banding. The company says it creates prints with rich, vibrant colours and spectacular print quality.

The free-standing Mutoh ValueCut 1800 multi-purpose cutting plotter line provides Hot Printz with the ability to print and cut at the same time, so one operation does not interrupt the other.

In 1992, when he started screen-printing tee shirts in his basement, Bill Armitt never imagined that his company would become so successful. These days, the company employs 14 staff and enjoys its status as the largest screen printing specialist in Northland, and one of the country’s most successful screen printers. Screen-printing clothing still accounts for around 60 per cent of the company’s business, with the remainder comprising flat sheet digital, alongside point-of-sale and corflute signage.

Armitt retains a commitment to his customers as the company grows. He says, “There are always companies out there that will do things more cheaply, or have faster presses. Where we stand out is in our service, and our willingness to commit to meeting fast turnaround times. That’s our forte.”

The benefits of leasing equipment became apparent to Bill Armitt, when he considered the outlay required for capital expenditure.

Instead of investing in equipment, which can date rapidly, Hot Printz leases its equipment from Fuji Xerox. This means no capital investment; no frustration in relying on aging machines; and a predictable monthly operating expense. The flexibility of the lease agreement also means the company can update the equipment to reflect changing business needs.

Armitt says, “Digital print is a fast moving industry. You buy or invest in equipment this year, and within two years it’s out of date. The lease option means we can get the business benefits of some very modern, up-to-date equipment that we can easily upgrade without the initial outlay that purchasing would require.”

The company used to produce its flat sheet work on roll-to-roll printers, then mounted it on corflute or heavy card in a separate process using a large format roller applicator. The leasing arrangement gives it the flexibility to make changes to its processes as the market demands. He says, “We have nationwide clients that we service, and this machine has enabled us to reduce our turnaround time. Now we can print it and pack it in the same day if we have to.”

He appreciates the role Fuji Xerox plays in helping him grow his business. He concludes, “They’ve very accommodating and it’s been good, so I am happy with the way it’s all working out.”

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