PrismTech Graphics has utilized digital cutting technology to increase efficiency and expand clients’ imaginations.
The year was 1996 and PrismTech Graphics – a screen-printing operation in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada – was looking for a way to set itself apart from other print providers.
“The industry was quickly switching to digital and we needed to be there to keep an edge over our competitors,” says Lane Beaton, PrismTech’s director of operational development.
Founded in 1994, PrismTech (prismtechgraphics.com) focused on P-O-P displays, signage, and fulfilment. It first entered the digital marketplace “with several different types of roll-to-roll printers, ranging from 54- to 126-inches in aqueous and solvent inks, both pigment and dye-based,” says Beaton. “In time, we became an Océ beta site, taking advantage of having their factory in our backyard and access to their technology and supplies.”
Today, the shop occupies a 50,000 square-foot facility and employs more than 30 people. It has grown from a relatively small screen-printing company to a full-service operation with an array of digital print equipment, including: three Océ Arizona flatbeds, HP Scitex LX850, two HP Designjet L25500, and anEpson Stylus Pro 11880. And it has continued to make inroads into the retail P-O-P market as well as the worlds of housing and transit signage and more.
But there was still another critical part of its technology roster that Prismtech wanted to upgrade: its finishing services.
Entering a digital-cut world
Already in PrismTech’s finishing tool chest were a Seal 62 Pro and Image 600 laminator and a Fotoba XL 320 cutter. Then, two years ago, the shop moved to add a digital cutting system – an Esko Kongsberg MultiCut i-XL24 equipped with i-cut technology.
“The expectations at the time were to relieve the production pressure and cost from the die-cutting department,” says Beaton. “With the turn to digital from screen printing bringing in smaller runs, the resultant cost of die fabrication was becoming prohibitive.
“The second reason for adding digital cutting and routing technology was to become a possible new revenue stream by potentially bringing some trade work in from local print shops. However, as it’s happened, the primary reason has turned out to be so successful that we’ve had little time to take in outside work.”