How five companies are making their mark.
By Jake Widman
And getting that order is easier because of the quality of the prototype, according to Mike Wardle, vice president of sales for the Southwest. "The reason it’s successful," he says, "is that it is a real live product-it looks and feels like the real product will."
Long drive off the tee
You can hear the pride in the voice of John Roberds, co-owner and president of Odyssey Digital Printing (www.odysseyprint.com), when he describes his Tulsa, OK firm: "Odyssey uses the latest in digital-printing technology to deliver cutting-edge digital-printing options to both large and small businesses." Odyssey’s six digital presses can produce prints as small as business cards to as large as billboards.
"We started in 1996 with a Xeikon press," Roberds recalls. "There were just three of us. We wanted to find anybody who’d pay us to print. We thought we’d go after corporations, ad agencies, business like that."
The company gradually morphed into a point-of-purchase display printer, and that still makes up about 85% of their revenue. "Along the way, we added some large-format machines and other equipment," Roberds continues. "We now have 15 machines spanning 11 technologies and employ 57 people. We have three Xeikons-including a DCP/50-SP, a 5000, and an Agfa Chromapress 50i-as well as two Heidelberg Quickmaster DIs, a couple of high-speed black-and-white copiers, and seven large-format printers: an EFI Vutek UltraVu 3360 and Vutek PressVu 200/600, an Oce Arizona 180, a Gandinnovations Jeti 3150, a Seiko ColorPainter 64s, and an HP Designjet 5500 and HP/Scitex TJ8300."
The packaging business came about through customer requests. "Around 2000 or 2001, we began getting inquiries from local companies that did VHS tape packaging and had some short-run needs. And Xeikon was introducing its DCP/50-SP machine, specifically engineered for packaging"-for example, it has a strong enough motor to pull carton stock through the press.
"We developed a business plan," Roberds recalls, "and decided to get the machine and go after short-run packaging. We committed to buying our Xeikon SP in 2001 at the Print ’01 show."