Vehicle Livery Services has just installed its second Epson SureColor SC-S80600 printer, testament to the results it has achieved with the first that came in 18 months ago. This latest printer, supplied by Papergraphics, replaces an HP latex machine.
“In our opinion the Epson SureColor SC-S80600 printer is the most advanced machine in its class to date,” says Greg Saunderson, managing director of VLS. “The printer is very user friendly, easy to clean, prints instantly with no head issues such as banding or head misfiring. The inks are so dynamic it can almost print on any material we test. The ink cure/drying rate is super quick for a solvent ink which has many advantages.”
VLS was set up 11 years ago to provide police and emergency service livery. Today it designs, produces and applies ‘battenburg’ livery kits to over a quarter of the UK’s police force, including crash repair panels. Other sectors are Chapter 8 Livery (referring to the UK Department for Transport/Highways Agency Chapter 8 of traffic signs manual), plant machinery, patient transport and fleet.
The 14 strong staff use the Epson printers for all the work from printed text to full vehicle branding.
“The 1,440dpi print quality is superb and consistent. We can match almost any Pantone (it covers 98.2% of Pantone colours) or RAL colour (the European colour matching standard which defines colours for paint, coatings and plastics) and the legibility of small text or fine detail in prints is excellent. It is really important for us to have confidence in the consistent output of this machine. VLS endeavours to maintain quality in all aspects of the business and having a reliable printer helps us to achieve this standard,” says Mr Saunderson.
For its applications VLS doesn’t use the white or silver inks much but the red, orange and light grey in addition to the standard CMYK LC-LM ink sets, allows it to print very vibrant reds and oranges on specific reflective materials that gives the company a stand-out advantage over competitors.
“The Epson is really easy to navigate in terms of usability and maintenance,” says Mr Saunderson. “The print operators maintain the two printers religiously, with set reminder dates on Google calendar. They say the machines are very easy to clean and maintain with no issues reported since the start. The print head technology used in the Epson is unbelievable, we very rarely have any issues with the heads dropping out or banding of prints and the GS3 inks can be ordered online and are delivered next day.”
Although the first SureColor SC-S80600 was supplied with the standard Onyx RIP this time it has upgraded to the Onyx Thrive RIP for additional processing speed and production workflow improvements.
The company describes Papergraphics as “brilliant” and respects the advice given on purchasing equipment and software and repairs but on training it is outstanding, ensuring it is used correctly and to its full potential.
VLS is always looking to the future and evolving its services. Today a truly professional car wrap might take two or three days. VLS will shortly launch a new branding system which is that will reduce the time by a third yet still maintain the durability and quality that its customers expect.