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Continuing its progression from a fulfillment company serving local printers to a full-service digital printing provider, Nashvillebased Ingram Express has purchased an EFI™ VUTEk® HS125 Pro inkjet press, a 3.2-meter wide hybrid roll/flatbed printer capable of producing high volumes at speeds up to 125 boards per hour. The new press fits into Ingram Express’s diverse product offering, producing small to large custom jobs, including a large amount of point-of-purchase (POP) signage.
The company serves wholesalers, brokers and other printing companies, along with a few commercial accounts. Ingram Express switched to EFI for digital inkjet technology after using printers from another vendor for several years. Now, with the new VUTEk printer, Ingram Express now has in-house production capabilities to meet just about every digital printing request it receives, not only in signage but also for a growing number of corrugated packaging jobs.
“When we first got into digital, we were outsourcing all of our printing. Now we probably do 80% of it in house,” said CEO Adam Ingram, who, along with his brother and partner, bought a small fulfillment company when he was only 24 years old. After doing fulfillment work for 15 years, the company started offering print services four years ago. “We started with a small printer running 200 square feet an hour and a simple cutter, and within four months we bought another flatbed printer. Over the years we have continued to invest in the most advanced equipment and technology.”
Ingram Express’s new inkjet press delivers higher-volume digital print and has quality-enhancing features such as variable matte or gloss finishes made possible using an innovative LED/UV Pin & Cure imaging technology. The press, which is the fastest model in the EFI VUTEk production press line, also has a variety of automated material handling options to accommodate increased throughput and minimize the downtime between jobs.
Two times the volume per shift “We push the envelope where offset and digital meet,” said Ingram of his company’s digital print capabilities. “We can produce anything from two to 300 short-run custom boxes – printed and die cut – and can deliver almost anything in traditional wide-format signage applications,” Ingram said. “This VUTEk press is faster than anything we’ve ever had in our facility. In one shift alone, we can double the amount of work we produce in the same number of hours.”
Whether it is printing indoor/outdoors posters, banners or architectural signage, the VUTEk press has improved Ingram Express’s ability to print on rigid substrates, from foam core and board to glass, metal and other materials. Customers that have welcomed Ingram Express’s expanded capabilities include a national retailer that is now purchasing rigid-substrate signage for use in its 1,300 stores.
Ingram Express also installed the latest-version of EFI’s Fiery® proServer digital front end to drive its new printer, which allows for superior color management as well as efficient processing, RIPing VUTEk print jobs up to 60% faster than previous proServer versions.
This increased capacity and faster turnaround time translate into opportunities for Ingram Express going forward.
Increased throughput – and a second VUTEk printer – for continued growth “We’ve quadrupled our sales in the past four years. That growth can be challenging, because when you’re really busy, you’re concentrating on getting the work out and your machines are running every day at maximum capacity,” Ingram said. “Now we can do the same amount of work and maintain and service our current clients as well as focus on new business. We also want to grow our name outside of Nashville and compete with larger companies for the bigger jobs.”