Warren Group Sees Opportunities in Corrugated Board, Signage with an EFI VUTEk
FREMONT, Calif. — November 9, 2016 — Los Angeles-area business The Warren Group (TWG), a full-service company producing packaging, displays and point-of-purchase (POP) signage, has made another investment to stay on display graphics printing’s leading edge, purchasing an EFI VUTEk LX3 Pro hybrid roll/flatbed LED inkjet printer.
In only its seventh year of full digital production, Santa Fe Springs, California-based TWG has evolved into providing graphic and structural design and 3D engineering services to large manufacturers and brokers that specialize in packaging and in-store point-of-purchase (POP) displays. The recently installed 3.2-meter VUTEk printer will allow the company to take advantage of growing opportunities in corrugated packaging and permanent display production.
“The VUTEk is by far the highest quality machine that we have ever purchased and will help us capture more permanent display work,” says TWG President Jim Warren Watts, Jr. “Going forward our goal is to remain at the forefront of the industry in our digital printing and production capabilities and buy the best equipment out there.
“What impressed me about the VUTEk was the system’s speed and versatility,” he added. “It’s not only appropriate for corrugated sheets, but also for almost any substrate you can imagine, from chip board to foam and acrylics. The printer will help us to continue to develop and increase our larger quantity capabilities in corrugated as well as benefit the signage side of the business.”
TWG and EFI LED: A Strong Tradition and a Progressive Future
The installation comes as Watts continues his family’s legacy while celebrating 40 years in the packaging and signage industry. Watts started out working at Frontier Container, originally named Watts Container, founded by his grandfather. The company manufactured industrial corrugated packaging and brown box paper products. Watts found his passion in more sophisticated design and high-end POP displays. As a broker, he started TWG then started making prototypes with a small 24-inch digital printer and a Computer Aided Design table installed in the early 2000s.
After hiring Nick Lindsey — a digital executive who is now a partner in the business – TWG purchased its first large format printer and marked $500,000 in sales in 2009. Today, TWG employs 48 people and, just this year, has grown from a 12,000 to a 20,000 square foot facility to accommodate a new pack out house and fulfillment area.
Growth in digital print is a key factor to the company’s continued expansion as a popular one-stop shop for design, development, printing and distribution – a range of services that will soon see the company surpass $5 million in annual sales.
TWG’s production floor includes roll-to-roll and flatbed printers from different manufacturers, but the addition of the VUTEk — which can print up to 94 boards per hour — brings much-needed speed along with the versatility to produce a wide range of applications.
A 10x Speed Improvement, Plus Better Corrugated Production
“The VUTEk allows us to print 10 times faster than our flatbed printers. A job that might have taken 22 hours can now be done in an hour and 30 minutes,” Watts said. “With this faster turnaround and a changing marketplace, we can satisfy smaller runs from 1 to several hundred in quantity to full production POP runs up to about 1,500 pieces.”
The new VUTEk LX3 Pro also features energy-efficient, “cool cure” LED curing technology, which requires much less heat than UV or latex inkjet printers. This not only generates savings in energy costs, but it also gives TWG much more control printing on corrugated board.
“We are no longer sucking the moisture out of the corrugated paper material. That can create problems such as cracking when you score it,” he said. “We can now go from print to cut much faster, and there’s also much less energy consumed and reduced operating costs.”
The 3.2-meter-wide inkjet production device also offers an extended-gamut ink set capable of delivering imaging quality comparable to eight-color, premium POP graphics using only four colors.
TWG also installed the latest-version of the EFI Fiery proServer digital front end to drive its new printer, gaining high-end color management as well as efficient processing.
The newest-version proServer RIPs VUTEk print jobs up to 60% faster than previous proServer versions, and offers advanced nesting and tiling features as well. “We’re now able to nest different jobs together in one workflow and there’s fewer sheets to run, so we save in materials and experience faster production times,” according to Watts.
The VUTEk printer along with TWG’s state-of-the-art CAD tables and routers and soon die cutters all play a part in the company’s future growth as TWG expands its production of corrugated packaging and displays, in-store signage, as well as wallpaper and wall art the company prints for restaurants throughout the U.S. For more information about TWG’s capabilities log onto www.studiotwg.com or call 1-800-227-4977.
EFI’s complete printer portfolio, which in addition to industry-leading LED and UV inkjet narrow-, wide- and superwide-format technologies includes aqueous textile and ceramic decoration printers, gives customers profitable opportunities for the “Imaging of Things,” delivering greater product customization and appeal in everything from signage and packaging to décor, apparel and industrial manufacturing. To see many of the extensive, imaginative applications possible with EFI print technology, visit www.ImagingofThings.com or www.efi.com.
EFI is a global technology company, based in Silicon Valley, and is leading the worldwide transformation from analog to digital imaging. The company is passionate about fueling customer success with products that increase competitiveness and boost productivity. To do that, it develops breakthrough technologies for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, and personalized documents, with a wide range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and a comprehensive business and production workflow suite that transforms and streamlines the entire production process.