Page 22 - Print21 Magazine Jan-Feb 21
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                Wide Format
   Diversifying into wide format
D&D Digital is building on its early success in diversifying from its cut-sheet base
with the latest Ricoh Pro TF6250 flatbed UV printer and a new Ricoh Pro L5160 aqueous resin roll-to-roll printer.
When general commercial
printer D&D Digital Printing was looking to diversify and add extra services to its portfolio, wide format printing seemed the right option – it was already providing outsourced posters and banners to its range of corporate and local clients.
Formed in 2005 by three partners – Chris Dedman, Brendan Ilsley, and Sue Carter – the company had gained a reputation for producing quality work, with best-in-class equipment and attention to detail giving it a growing customer base for its cut- sheet print products. Following the review of its options the company invested in a Ricoh Pro L4160 aqueous resin (latex) roll-to-roll printer, in order to service its clients in house with posters, displays and other wide format work.
“We wanted to have control over quality and timing, and we wanted to grow the business into new areas, so investing in our own production power was a clear and easy decision.” – Brian Duncan, D&D Digital
Duncan says, “We wanted to offer more to the market, the UV flatbed gives us the ability to print onto most substrates – wood, metal, glass – as well as boards, coreflutes and standard stocks. The new latex roll- to-roll gives us the major advantage of being able to print white before we lay down CMYK. Putting together the two systems mean we can print virtually any wide format job onto virtually any media, which has gone down really well with our clients.”
Any printer looking at investing in wide format – whether roll-to-
roll or flatbed – has a dizzying
array of options from multiple manufacturers. Duncan says, “Our first roll-to-roll Ricoh performed really well so naturally we were
keen to see what was available
three years down the track. We did, though, do a full market analysis, and we went to see several printers in action. However, the flexibility, quality and productivity of the Ricoh systems stood out, convincing us that they were best suited to our requirements.”
The flatbed Pro TF6250 will print clear and white inks in addition to CMYK onto a range of media up to 2.5m wide. Duncan says, “I went to the Ricoh manufacturing centre in Thailand to have a look at the new aqueous resin printer and the Pro TF6250 in action. I took our own files and saw how well they were printed. We are doing some fairly out-there applications, for instance a wallpaper where we print the base white, then onto a textured surface,
then overlay with CMYK. The new Ricoh Pro TF6250 is enabling us to produce these kinds of jobs.”
The virtually instant drying on the Pro L5160 aqueous resin printer is also appealing to D&D. Duncan says, “By the time the roll gets to rewind
it is completely dry. We also like the fact there are no VOCs or no odours in production or afterwards.”
Having the latest printers in
the time of Covid proved a bonus
for D&D Digital. With much of
the commercial cut-sheet work slowing down, the wide format print produced on the Ricohs kept buzzing along, with display graphics being used to highlight Covid safety by multiple organisations.
Duncan says, “The decision to invest more strongly in wide format printing was the right one for D&D, even in the Covid period, and we anticipate that as that time comes
to an end and we return to a more normal situation the two new printers will stand us and our clients in good stead.”
D&D Digital Printing is now based in Tullamarine near Melbourne Airport, having left its Richmond and Carlton homes.
Duncan says, “We maintain our many clients from the city, and service them just as well from here. The location gives us space, and easy access to everywhere thanks to the motorway network.”
D&D Digital Printing, it seems is, one company that is not just waiting and hoping for sustained growth, it is investing in it. 21
        Brian Duncan, a director of the business, and who succeeded Chris Dedman as a partner, says, “We
had been asked by our clients for wide format, which we took on and outsourced. But we wanted to have control over quality and timing, and we wanted to grow the business into new areas, so investing in our own production power was a clear and easy decision.”
That was three years ago. Evidence of the veracity of that decision came with D&D Digital Printing doubling down on its investment last year, installing the first Ricoh Pro TF 6250 flatbed UV printer in Australia and upgrading its latex printer with a new Pro L5160.
D&D Digital diversifying: With the new Ricoh flatbed are (l-r) Brian Duncan, Sue Carter and Brenden Ilsley
     22   Print21 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

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