Suttle-Straus opts for Vutek GS3250 LX

By David Ward, San Diego, Friday 22 February 2013

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Madison, WI-based Suttle-Straus said it has installed a Vutek GS3250 LX flatbed and roll-to-roll LED UV-curing printer, supplied and serviced by Heidelberg, to help drive its burgeoning wide and grand format business.

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Suttle-Straus director of imaging Brett Keene

In an interview with PrintWeek, Suttle-Straus director of imaging Brett Keene said: "Our wide-format imaging has grown exponentially — we have grown about 200+% in the amount of imaging we output, which equates to between a 45% and 50% increase in sales in that area in the last year. Our biggest wide-format product is point-of-purchase or retail products."

Though many of Suttle-Straus's customers are located within 100 miles of Madison, Keene said the company does have some outside the region, including a nation-wide franchiser with more than 1,500 locations. "We're outputting all their store graphics, everything from wall coverings to traditional point of purchase displays," he said.

Suttle-Straus's Vutek GS3250 LX features eight ink channels plus 2 for white, and is more than twice as fast as the company’s next-most-productive grand-format machine. The company added it plans to offer current and prospective customers new applications requiring cold-cure technology, including projects that require printing on thinner, heat-sensitive styrenes, shrinkwrap, bubblewrap, and athletic tape.

"We added the secondary device to add additional capacity that we needed for growth," Keene said, noting the company already had an EFI Vutek press from Pitman, which was acquired  by Agfa in 2010.

"We have a fair amount of Heidelberg equipment, including binders and cutters — but this was more the opportunity to expand a great product that we believe EFI had. And Heidelberg was a trusted vendor/partner that was now a distributor."

Suttle-Straus's roots are as a conventional offset printer and so the company still also has equipment from Komori and Mitsubishi. Keene noted the company's value added businesses, including fulfillment and distribution as well as wide-format, have left it well-positioned for the rest of the year and into 2014.

"We expect this market to continue to grow and we're already seeing that through early 2013," he added. "We've had some conversations that lead us to believe we'll see some tremendous growth going forward."


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