Leeds based iMAGECO increases sustainability and reduces overheads following the installation of the UKs first new HP Latex 800W.
iMAGECO is one of the UK’s leading wide-format print and signage companies. Its Leeds based state-of-the-art facility, equipped with industry leading technology, has delivered an unparalleled quality service and an extensive sustainable portfolio since its conception in 2001. Today, iMAGECO offers in-house design, print and finishing services for the retail, signage, décor and exhibition sectors.
It has been a tough year for many businesses – like so many in the industry, the pandemic saw a reduction in iMAGECO’s core customer segments: events and retail. Ever agile, the company adapted and overcame the uncertain landscape by supporting the COVID response effort on both a charitable and commercial basis, leading iMAGECO to win ‘The COVID-19 Extra Mile Award’ at the British Sign Awards 2020.
Throughout the COVID crisis and as a result of its recognition, iMAGECO ensured a steady demand for exterior signage as many businesses took the lockdown timeout to rebrand and refresh.
As winners of the British Sign Awards Green Company of the Year 2020, iMAGECO prides itself on being green to its core, with an extensive sustainability programme that incorporates a vast range of eco-friendly materials, conscious carbon reduction production methods and carbon offsetting. Its head office is listed as one of the most sustainable buildings in Leeds, and thanks to voltage optimisers and solar panels, the company has reduced its carbon output by 43,000kg.
Recent HP research revealed that 85% of PSP customers now demand sustainable products and practices, as more companies strive to improve their sustainability credentials across all elements of business. iMAGECO were already leading the way in sustainable wide-format printing by using eco-friendly materials and less carbon-intensive production methods, however, ambitious as ever, iMAGECO wanted to go beyond offering one of the most extensive sustainable product ranges in the business to incorporating sustainability into all aspects of its operations. The previous technology it relied upon to produce photographic backlit prints and a range of other applications was environmentally two decades behind the times and no longer fulfilled iMAGECO’s sustainability ambitions. The company had been looking to replace their older printer for almost three years yet could not find an inkjet machine that could rival its image quality.
As soon as iMAGECO Managing Director, Nathan Swinson-Bullough, heard that HP was developing new Latex technology, he was hopeful this could be the answer to their problems. “I requested some test prints for the new HP Latex 800W, and we were blown away with the quality”, he commented, “It really does take quality to the next level, you can’t see a dot, it looks photographic.”
The level of quality and versatility of the HP Latex portfolio was the driving force behind iMAGECO to be the first company in the UK to invest in the new HP Latex 800W. Not only could the new machine enhance iMAGECO’s print offerings, more importantly it was set to increase the company’s sustainability credentials while maintaining its position as a market leader.
The HP Latex 800W’s ability to produce unrivalled quality backlit film for iMAGECO’s gaming and retail clients is invaluable, but the investment opened-up a raft of other applications and business opportunities; the fine text with white ink printing option allowed for smaller label work and expanded the company’s interior wallpapers, lightbox fabric and window graphics work. The company can also now focus on expanding its interior design offering as a result of the Latex 800Ws capacity for custom wallcoverings. These include designs by iMAGECO’s Senior Creative Designer, Becca Kelly, whose work includes everything from bespoke wallpapers to exhibition stands and OLED panels and with the help of HP, has been able to continually develop the company’s creative service offering.
Reflecting on the investment, Swinson-Bullough says that the upgrade has seen the businesses overheads drop, while capacity and efficiency has increased. This is enabled by the HP Latex 800W offering 50% higher productivity levels compared to previous HP models due to the incorporation of updated printheads, with more nozzles and producing speeds of up to 36m2/hr. What’s more, the HP Latex 800W addresses a broad spectrum of considerations; from ink chemistry to indoor air quality, the printer has enabled iMAGECO to produce quality prints whilst reducing its carbon footprint.
The machines also use Greenguard Gold certified water-based inks rather than traditional alternatives meaning that iMAGECO can offer wall coverings that are free from toxic chemicals and aromas. Additionally, the machines utilise HP Eco Carton - a cartridge made with cardboard material, reducing the amount of plastic used by 80%.
Since installing the HP Latex 800W, iMAGECO has won several large contracts due to its sustainable offerings, giving its customers the confidence in ensuring the reduction of their own environmental impact. Commenting on the company’s latest investment, Dave Prezzano, Managing Director, UK&I, HP Inc., said, “It’s brilliant to see how HP’s Latex technology has enabled iMAGECO to lead the charge in sustainable wide-format printing. It is evident by iMAGECO’s results that sustainability is a driver for business and we’re proud that the HP Latex 800W has been an instrumental factor, whilst also continuing to deliver top quality outputs.”
Despite the pandemic setbacks that many companies across the industry have experienced, iMAGECO is optimistic for the year ahead with the HP Latex 800W printer’s ability to produce a wide range of work, iMAGECO is now looking to further expand its business.
Swinson-Bullough, commented “The list of what we can produce on the HP Latex800W is almost endless: wall coverings including paste and wall and adhesive backed, polypropylene vinyl, lightbox fabrics made from recycled bottles, backlit film and clear polyester with white ink; we love to push ourselves and will get as creative as possible with the new machine. We pride ourselves on many things at iMAGECO: our creativity, our level of service and our sustainable edge. The HP Latex 800W ticks all those boxes, it looks great and will be a huge asset for us, fitting perfectly with our plans to be as innovative, versatile and sustainable as possible.”
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