To achieve the highest quality with increased productivity, Image Options must keep up with the latest technology to meet its client demands for many different kinds of signage, including posters, giant building wraps, banners, vehicle graphics, murals, backlit displays, floor graphics, and production backdrops. "We never dismiss an idea or execution because it's challenging or unusual," said Bennett. "There are new materials, fabrics and production techniques introduced daily."
A major discovery for Image Options has been the Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 ink jet printer. The 64-inch roll-to-roll printer delivers high color gamut, photographic image quality, rock solid reliability with commercial speeds all while using a solvent-based ink technology that does not require venting.
"The GS6000 has become a crucial part of our workflow at Image Options, where speed, accuracy and quality are critical to what we do," said Darryl Phillips, operations manager. "With ever increasing turnaround times, it's paramount that a printer produces the best possible quality so we can produce jobs on schedule and take in more work to increase our bottom line."
Image Options knew they were onto something when clients started commenting about the image quality. "We've had tremendous client feedback about the printer's high quality images and precise, accurate color," said Phillips.
From design to pre-press to final output, Image Options focuses on providing consistent and repeatable end-to-end color. Since precise color matches are an essential part of branding, the company has been especially pleased with the GS6000 printer's UltraChrome GS ink. The printer's Dual-Array MicroPiezo® AMC™ print head also produces fine detail with a maximum resolution of 1440x1440 dpi and variable-sized droplet technology as small as 3.7 picoliters.
"Our largest client requires very specific PMS® matches" said Phillips. "With the GS6000, we can reproduce those PMS colors time and time again with a minimal amount of effort. Using the ColorBurst® RIP that ships with the printer, our operators are able to layout, RIP, tile and panel every job quickly and accurately. Our color department finds the profiles easy to use for precise spot color matching."
"When we bring in a new printer, the typical set up time can be anywhere from 3 to 5 days," said Phillips. "With the GS6000, we were printing profiles within 3 hours and had photo quality output within 24 hours."
Whether printing banners or vehicle wraps, Image Options finds the GS6000 simple to use and maintain. "This printer has proven to be extremely reliable and almost maintenance free" said Phillips. "We rely on the printer to print at any time of the day or night up to 7 days a week, often queued up to run continuously for up to 6 to 8 hours. The GS6000 printer is a workhorse that helps produce our high-volume output,"
The running cost of the GS6000 has also improved Image Options' bottom line. With fewer printing issues the company has reduced media waste. Image Options also saved money because making fewer reprints translates into a reduction in labor costs.
Image Options breathes easier using solvent-based ink technology with less harmful impact on both the environment and worker health. Unlike other solvent technologies, the ink is odorless, so a company does not have to set up special ventilation or air systems. "Today, many of our clients are interested in sustainable programs, so it's an advantage for us to use a more environmentally friendly printer with lower levels of VOC's".
"The GS6000 is a unique machine in that it's able to cross over many different disciplines of large format printing," said president Tim Bennett. "The printer has opened our doors to markets beyond the large-format display business, such as photographic and fine art reproduction."
The GS6000 accommodates a wide range of leading solvent media for a vast array of commercial printing applications, including outdoor banners, vehicle wraps, construction and barricade signs and photographic quality trade show graphics, where high quality images and precise, accurate color is a must.
"We're known for being able to get an image on just about any kind of surface, so when the GS6000 came out with its solvent based inks, we found we were looking at a wider range of products we could sell," said Bennett. "It's clear that Epson technology is becoming an integral part of Image Options."