Both supplied by SOS, the machines have been in place at the Bridport, Dorset-based business since the beginning of September.
Owner Terry Gall said the double investment has brought a new level of productivity to the full range of the company’s output – especially for its key market in health and safety signage, produced on a range of materials including plastic, vinyl, Foamex, Corex, PVC, and acrylics.
“Prior to installing these machines, we would usually screen print, which meant taking the time to set up multiple screens, and then printing as many as 50 to make it cost effective. With the Gibson machine we can instantly print bespoke one-offs if required,” Gall said.
“Our other method was roll printing on our Roland wide-format machine, which meant leaving prints for 24 hours, laminating and then mounting, which was a time consuming two-man job. The Gibson prints direct to substrate and dries instantly. Plus, there’s no mess and no waste.”
He added the business had not previously heard of Gibson but was “very impressed” at the demo site it visited.
“Compared to the alternatives it’s cheaper to buy, but what’s surprised us is how cheap it is to run. The inks cost less than screen printing or solvent inks, and we’ve calculated the power consumption is way less than expected at about £6 a day.”
Around half of Lasting Impressions’ work comes from web orders, which give a real-time indication of what is popular, while a design-a-sign feature helps identify new trends.
Gall said one of the features on the Gibson printer had given him an idea with major potential.
“We can layer the white ink which gives a raised surface and is ideal for producing braille signs.”
On the Almeida cutter, he added: “We used to buy materials cut to size, but now we can print multiple signs in one pass and the cutter does the rest. It’s also really versatile, we can change the blades, cut all kinds of shapes, sheets of stickers, and more.”
Lasting Impressions specialises in signs for workplace safety, fire safety, construction sites, information, and general safety, as well as producing first aid signs, and workplace guidance and health and safety law posters.