Topcolor untaps huge potential
Benjamin Muller. Topcolor
Seeing the Colorado 1640 printer in action, we were immediately convinced it could increase production efficiencies.
Based in Colmar, in the French province of Alsace, Topcolor Numéric was France’s first customer to install the Colorado 1640 roll-to-roll printer, featuring Canon UVgel technology.
This successful family business started in the early eighties as a photo lab, under the leadership of founder Martial Muller. In the late nineties, Muller made the decision to significantly invest in digital technologies to extend the company’s product offering. As a forward thinking business which saw the opportunities that digital printing presented, it was one of the very first print service providers in the country to shift from analogue processes to wide format digital printing. Now in the hands of the next generation, with Benjamin Muller and Stéphan Treve at the helm, and founder Martial Muller still bringing his experience to the table for strategic business decisions, Topcolor Numéric generates €4.5 million of annual revenue, with an annual growth trajectory of 20% or more.
With a team of 30 specialists, Topcolor Numéric produces marketing communications for retailers and brands. The diverse product portfolio includes indoor and outdoor signage, billboards, point-of-sale (POS) material, self-adhesive wall murals, vehicle marking, packaging material, as well as labels and self-adhesive graphics in all formats and dimensions.
As general manager Benjamin Muller explains, “As owners of two Arizona 2280 GT and Arizona 6170 XTS flatbed printers, we were familiar with the quality of Canon’s wide format digital print technologies and service support. When we were first introduced to the new Canon UVgel technology during Canon Expo 2015, we saw the growth potential that further investment in digital print could bring to our business.” To support the management team’s decision to invest in the new technology, in March 2017, Benjamin Muller attended a Canon customer event in The Netherlands where he joined Colorado 1640 product demonstration.
“Seeing the Colorado 1640 printer in action, we were immediately convinced it could increase production efficiencies. Just six months later in September 2017, the printer was up and running in our facility.”
The team at Topcolor Numéric found the new printer very intuitive and easy to use and now has four trained operators running the printer on several shifts, consolidating a variety of work that was previously produced on other solvent and UV devices.
The company is particularly impressed with the equal balance between print quality, production speed and media versatility offered by the Colorado 1640, and the ability to reproduce a broad colour gamut with high performance for outdoor applications.
“With our previous digital wide format technologies, some of the printers offered print quality, others came with a speed advantage, and others with a broad range of possible substrates to print on. Now with the Colorado, we get all three capabilities rolled into one, with no trade-off on quality, speed or application options. The Colorado offers a noticeable increase in production speed over all our existing units.”
Muller continues, “Other benefits have also come to light while using the new printer. With the new UVgel technology at the heart of the Colorado 1640, prints come out dry. This means we can laminate on the fly, without having to wait for some ink components to evaporate. For the first time ever, we can now take last minute jobs and meet our customers’ tight deadlines confidently. The Colorado allows us to deliver printed material within a 24 hour turnaround time – something we were never able to do before.”
He adds: “The other significant win is that the printer uses four inks, versus six for a number of competitive units. This means substantial ink savings for us, with no compromise on colour gamut or print quality.”
Topcolor Numéric is already thinking ahead as to how it can further extend the advantages that digital print technologies enable. With this new-found confidence from the Colorado 1640, the company is currently working on developing a web-to-print service, where customers will be able to place their print orders directly through the Topcolor Numéric web site.
To differentiate itself from the competition, the company is highlighting its environmental credentials alongside this new service. The UL Greenguard Gold certification that was awarded to the new Canon UVgel inks for the Colorado 1640 in October 2017 supports Topcolor Numéric’s environmental initiative and will help to attain new business opportunities.
“With indoor POS material, ventilation can be an issue and odours can make prints unusable in some shops. This is where conventional UV inks usually fall short, so the environmental performance of the UVgel ink opens up new possibilities for us.”
Benjamin Muller. Topcolor
With the Colorado, we get all three capabilities rolled into one, with no trade-off on quality, speed or application options. The Colorado offers a noticeable increase in production speed over all our existing units.