Perth (Australia) – Running an Esko Kongsberg i-XL 24 cutting table has helped keep Imagesource ahead of the crowd in wide format. The Perth-based company employs around 30 staff in a 1000sqm building, producing a range of digital print work including large format; billboards, flags, banners; display signage and systems; they also have a small format division based in Osborne Park.
Gary Taylor, who along with Shane Little owns Imagesource, says the Esko machine enables the company to offer a full on a range of services. He says, “We do a lot of large format printing: flatbed, UV, Latex, and fabric. The Esko cutting table does all out sheet cutting and roll to roll finishing as well because it has conveyor on it. It handles a range of substrates, from corflute through to heavy duty X-board.”
Imagesource installed the Kongsberg cutter four years ago. He says, “We were probably one of the early adopters in Western Australia. Before we installed the Kongsberg table, we were doing all of the work manually. The cutting table delivers accuracy and performs every time. We can’t get that from hand cutting. All cuts are uniform on everything we print.
Esko offers a number of options and Imagesource has taken advantage of that. He says, “We have the range of Kongsberg accessories for milling, cutting, and notching. It means we can broaden our service offering, for example, we have made display furniture with it. We can perform a whole raft of tasks on it; pretty much anything we can print can go on the cutter. That includes work form our 3.2 meter dye sublimation machine; UV machine, and our Latex printer.”
Since its inception 22 years ago, Imagesource has concentrated on staying ahead of the game in print. He says, “We came from the digital printing side but now, since moving into signage, we complete a lot more of our work in wide format. The building we are in was once the site of an offset print company.”
While most of Imagesource’s customers are based in Western Australia, the company also produces a print for nationwide clients. He says, “We see a strong future for this market in Western Australia and, though we are a long way from the eastern states, we still receive a fair amount of work that comes in from the East to Perth.”
The work can vary. He says, “The Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA) recently organized for the display of Reconciliation Banners in prominent locations across the City of Perth and other local government areas as part of the Street Banner Project - Reconciliation Week 2016.
“Imagesource received a commission to produce the banners and flags, 350 in total, which went on display from May 22 to June 5. Since 2011, DAA has facilitated and organized this project with the support of a growing number of organizations. This year saw 150 organizations involved in sponsoring the banners throughout the cities of Armadale, Bassendean, Cockburn, Gosnells, Perth, South Perth, Subiaco, Swan, Victoria Park and Vincent.”
DAA says this project offers a positive contribution towards Reconciliation and provides the perfect opportunity for organizations to recognize the distinctive place of Aboriginal people within our community. Taylor adds, “All the banners have beautiful indigenous artwork and they look fabulous.”
Imagesource runs the latest version of the Esko software, which it continually upgrades. He says, “The latest upgrade is saving us more time. The software is easy to use.” He sees the Esko Kongsberg XL 24 lasting quite a while. He says, “It has longevity, unlike digital printers, which you have to throw out after a few years. The Esko will be around a long time; it is robust and it just keeps going.
“Esko doesn’t have specific service people in Western Australia but we receive a visit once a year for maintenance and we have never had a significant problem with the machine. It has never been down.
“Because we also offer small format printing and document work, we see an overlap into the large format. We also offer offset printing, and Imagesource does a lot of trade work for print brokers, large offset printers; and other signage companies. The large machines and the Esko enable us to do these jobs.
Imagesource keeps the majority of work in-house, enabling it to keep control of the output and quality of its jobs. He says, “We also do our own installations; we have our own machinery and installers. We oversee the whole process from artwork conception to install, when and if, required.”