Recently, Optimum Graphiques invested in an EFI™ VUTEk® h3 printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. to boost its productivity and the premium quality it delivers to customers.
For 27 years, the Laval, Quebec-based display graphics business has succeeded in carving out a role in Canadian wide format printing thanks to the company’s vision, its constant evolution, its technologically advanced equipment, and its desire to build lasting relationships with customers and employees alike.
‘We have been using VUTEk pretty much since day one,’ said Geneviève Prévost, president of Optimum Graphiques. ‘My partner Richard Spellman – one of the company’s founders and someone who is heavily involved in ensuring the continued modernisation of our equipment – started our relationship with VUTEk, and we have remained loyal. The technology of the printers has kept up with the times over the years to keep us perfectly in tune with our markets. They also offer total reliability.’
Hailing from a family that owned a commercial printing company, Prévost developed a passion for wide format printing and the creativity possible in display graphics digital printing. She joined Optimum Graphiques as a partner in 2016, and then became president of the 25-employee business while forming a team in her own image: hard-working, creative, astute, efficient and proud of its accomplishments.
The printer fits well in advancing the staff’s focus and dedication to wide format management and production, location layout planning, and POP campaign logistics. ‘We offer a turnkey service from graphic design to installation, and our mission is to ensure the quality of the final proof for our customers while maximising their return on investment,’ Prévost said.
‘Attention to detail, creativity, research into solutions, and ingenious processes are what make us stand out in the market. This positioning requires two things: a flexible team able to offer advice and to invent intelligent solutions that will always match a customer’s budget, and equipment that is flexible, versatile, and extremely reliable.’
When Optimum Graphiques saw that it needed to reinvest to continue its development, Prévost drew up a list of criteria. ‘Given our customers’ requirements, print quality was first and foremost,’ she said. ‘Our ambitions include high productivity, so this meant buying an industrial printer. The hybrid option appealed to us as well, as our work is already extremely varied in terms of both size and media, and our thoughts are turning toward new markets. A high quality, opaque white ink was a bonus because we often use white on transparent materials for backlit applications.’
Spellman’s research into this list of needs revealed that the VUTEk h3 printer was the one to check all the boxes. The 3.2m (126-inch) wide flatbed/roll-to-roll hybrid UV LED inkjet printer is configured with eight colours in a CMYK x 2 configuration, plus two channels of white. It features EFI UltraDrop™ Technology and native 7-picolitre greyscale printheads that deliver high apparent resolution and high-definition print quality; outstanding smoothness in shadows, gradients, and transitions; and superb text quality down to three-point sizes. Its advanced UV LED curing technology delivers important ecological advantages as well, significantly reducing the amount of energy consumed compared with traditional UV or latex printers.
‘We appreciate the versatility of the VUTEk h3 and how quick it is when changing material,’ Prévost said of her company’s newest printer. ‘In our work, where small runs can multiply and meeting deadlines is crucial, it enables us to deliver around the clock if need be. As for print quality, the feedback from customers is extremely positive.’
The majority of work at Optimum Graphiques involves global management of POP marketing campaigns for franchises, store chains, hotels, restaurants and other types of businesses. The company delivers expert consulting, graphic design, and production for its clients’ POP materials, from management of online orders, printing, and customised kitting to executing the shipments of customised kits across customers’ many locations.
‘We provide a turnkey service that generates savings for customers, but also ensures our customers benefit from having a single-source supplier that can provide a quick and effective go-to-market,’ according to Prévost. ‘But these types of major projects involving small, customised runs produced in record time with impeccable quality require a printer you can rely on. The VUTEk h3 meets these needs perfectly. Plus, we can use it to expand into the premium packaging market so we can provide a more complete offering to retail stores.’
Optimum Graphiques’ strengths include the planning and design services needed to optimise and decorate commercial and office spaces. With the new printer, according to Prévost, the staff at Optimum Graphiques has the confidence of knowing they can execute design plans accurately across many different media that may be used in a single customer location.
‘Decoration is a field that has exacting requirements in terms of the quality of the final rendering,’ she explained. ‘We excel with both flexible and rigid media. It is important to ensure color quality and consistency for whatever material is used, and the results from the VUTEk h3 surpass even our high expectations.’
The VUTEk h3 prints at speeds up to 74 boards per hour, but Optimum Graphiques appreciates the fact that it is field upgradable to EFI’s VUTEk h5 printer model, which has a top speed of 109 boards per hour. ‘Having a scalable printer’ – with the ability to eventually increase throughput by 47% if needed – ‘seemed to us to be a safe bet for the future,’ according to Prévost.
‘Optimum Graphiques has a well-earned reputation for its quality and its ability to efficiently handle even complex projects with precision and accuracy. That raises the level of expectation when adding a new printer,’ said Ken Hanulec, vice president of Worldwide Marketing, EFI. ‘Their VUTEk h3 printer is the premium graphics printing solution designed to take this type of business to the next level with efficient, reliable output that not only delivers excellent results today, but also opens the door to even greater productivity for continued growth.’