Guest post by Mary Roddy, Global Product Marketing Manager, Xerox
As expected, much early feedback on the new Xerox® IridesseTM Production Press focuses on its breakthrough technology for digital embellishments. It’s the first and only xerographic digital press that can print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass, at rated press speed, with spot-on registration, enabling an entirely new palate of iridescent specialty effects.
But interested print providers shouldn’t let that brilliant iridescence blind them to this press’s other capabilities. It’s a workhorse with:
- state-of-the-art automation
- a wide range of productivity-enhancing features and finishing options
- first-rate image quality that raises the bar on what digital presses can achieve
And yes, the press’s initial customers are raving about these capabilities as well.
Built for Heavy Workloads
Supply Concepts, Inc., the second largest independent office equipment dealer in the St. Louis area, performed a six-month test of the Iridesse prior to its May North American launch and was impressed by its overall production capabilities.
“That’s what we are here, a production house,” said Marty Miller, president and owner, Supply Concepts, (pictured above) which has a business model similar to big box stores like Staples and OfficeMax, with a business-to-business oriented production printing department. “We had to be sure it could handle the workload.”
It did. The team ran more than a million impressions of its bread-and-butter applications, such as books, manuals, flyers, postcards and business cards, convincing Miller to acquire the press—and begin tapping the additional revenue opportunities available with its digital embellishments.
Next-Level Image Quality
West London-based Instant Print West One (IPW1) also ran a six-month, pre-launch test of the press, and Sales Director Glen Robins took a shine to Iridesse’s image quality.
“I’ve been in printing for 30 years, and I haven’t seen a digital machine produce the kind of results we’re getting on Iridesse,” he said. “We put every stock we could find through it—colored, black, uncoated, rustic, gloss, 400 gram bamboo—everything. The ink coverage is just fantastic, and the print quality is as close as it’s going to get to litho.”
The advanced IQ is achieved with a new low-gloss, small-particle HD EA toner formulation and High Definition (HD) Resolution, which delivers four times more addressable shades than competitive presses. Robins is so impressed by the image quality that a bigger percentage of IPW1’s print work—currently split 50-50 between digital and offset—will now be fulfilled on digital presses. “Iridesse has tipped the scale,” he said.
Minuteman Press of North Palm Beach, Fla. was among the first U.S. firms to acquire an Iridesse. One of their first jobs was a card with very small metallic gold type, so the operator ran the card twice, giving the type a double-hit to ensure it would stand out.
“I must tell you that the registration of this machine is incredible,” said Dennis Beck, owner, Minuteman Press North Palm Beach, describing the job. “On the return the press hit the type dead-on…accurate. Amazing is the only word to describe the performance. Frankly, if you ran a double on a ManRoland or Heidi you would need 10 to 20 sheets to achieve register on the second pass. This press did it on the first sheet. Unless you see this no one would be believe you.”
Beck is also thrilled with Iridesse’s productivity. “It gets the work off so very fast that we have trouble keeping up with it,” he said. “I have come into the press room and asked if a job was running to find out that it was already cut and boxed for shipping.”
And the press’s gold metallic capability is having an impact as well. A job to print a yacht club menu in gold and blue had been ordered, then cancelled due to budget concerns. When the Iridesse became operational, Beck called the club back. “I explained that the gold would be printed in real metallic and would have foil-like look,” he said. “We ran a sample up to them, and they changed their mind and ordered the job.
“Whole New Sphere of Business”
The opportunity with Iridesse and its digital embellishments is so compelling that both Supply Concepts and IPW1 are doing something they’ve rarely done in the past—running targeted marketing campaigns to promote its capabilities.
In addition, Miller said, “I’ve tasked our designer with focusing 100 percent on developing design concepts with the metallic and clear dry inks. That’s all I want her to think about.”
He’s very confident about the growth Iridesse will generate. “I can guarantee an uptick of $100,000 annually,” Miller said, simply from gold stamping and other embellishment work that the firm currently jobs out to other printers—work that can now stay in house.
IPW1, on the other hand, has long provided metallic foil stamping for certificates, invitations and other applications, but Iridesse provides its first digital metallic printing capability. “Foil will always be there, just as litho will always be there,” Robins said. “But now we can offer metallics to clients who need a less expensive alternative or a faster turnaround or personalization.” And he sees specialty inks—metallic, clear and various mixes with CMYK—as “a whole new sphere of business.”
“With Iridesse,” Robins said, “the next year is going to be a year of great opportunity.
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