Optimum Signs swaps three for one in Colorado install

Monday, November 7, 2022

Optimum Signs replaced three of its printers with a Canon Colorado 1650 in April 2022.

Matthew Austin, MD at Optimum: "It's phenomenal."
Matthew Austin, MD at Optimum: "It's phenomenal."

Preston-based Optimum Signs has made a significant gain in productivity after installing the Colorado, replacing three of its stable of six older Mimaki printers: two solvent printers, and one UV.

Optimum has retained the other three Mimakis for small-volume work.

“It’s phenomenal,” said managing director of Optimum, Matthew Austin.

“I spoke with production manager James Garity who generally runs most of our print work, and his words were: ‘I don’t know how the hell we coped without it.’ Seriously, it’s just the best thing in the world.”

Austin had realised that the company had been missing something from its production capacity when he was considering taking up the tender for a new national media client - to compete, he decided to buy the Colorado from supplier CMYUK if Optimum won the contract.

“I said I’d buy the Colorado if we won the job, but we didn’t,” said Austin. 

“But we were still suffering with the same production issues. I soon came to realise that we couldn’t afford not to have one”

Once the Colorado was installed, it hit the ground running outputting over 800 sq.m in the first four weeks alone, something that could not have been achieved with the old production line-up.

A recent job, where Optimum produced 50 2x1.2m banners, saw the printer output two rolls of material at 68 sqm/hr.

“Both rolls were printed in less than three hours,” Austin said.

“The guy that dropped off the media was shocked when we called to say the job was ready for collection. It’s a quick turnaround bt still with impeccable colour and print quality. It’s a great machine.”

The installation of a Kongsberg digital cutting table in 2019 allowed Optimum to position itself as an outdoor hospitality signage specialist alongside its role as a traditional bent glass neon signage manufacturer.

“It’s a beautiful product line that’s becoming more niche but also opens up lots of doors for us,” said Austin.

Optimum’s print business, however, will soon expand to make up half of all the company’s trade, he added. The company will soon launch a new division aimed exclusively at events and hospitality.

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