A new EFI Pro 16h flatbed/roll-to-roll hybrid wide-format printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. is giving MSP Design Group the ability to expand offerings and its customer base with high-quality LED inkjet print. Purchased from a local branch of digital print supplier IntoPrint Technologies, the printer has been the next positive step in Virginia Beach, Va.-based MSP’s continued expansion.
A long-time provider of screen printing and embroidering, apparel and promotional products, MSP adopted a new mission in 2015, when Dan Clarkson and five partners acquired the then 30-year-old company. Clarkson and his partners – all of whom were printing neophytes – determined that diversification would be the company’s number one mission. “We did not want to have all of our eggs in one basket. So, we bought new equipment, hired more salespeople and began printing more commercial products,” Clarkson explained. “We want to do it all for all of our customers and meet all of their needs.”
That focus moved MSP to grow from being primarily a seasonal business to one that has work year-round. Much of that growth has happened by selling more display graphics signage.
The higher volumes MSP saw in display graphics lead to outsourcing for production, which reduced margins and spurred a serious search for a new wide-format production solution. The company had previously purchased equipment from IntoPrint, which is an authorized EFI reseller partner, and Clarkson had come to rely on his IntoPrint sales rep’s expertise.
“We told him what our needs were in a flatbed printer and he brought us several options of potential brands,” Clarkson said. “The existing relationship we had with IntoPrint was key in moving us toward the EFI printer.”
The EFI Pro 16h is designed to give users the lowest total cost of ownership, superior image quality and access to the widest range of substrates and applications. It prints on both flexible and rigid substrates up to 65 inches wide in four colors plus white ink, delivering near-photographic quality at resolutions up to 1200 dots per inch. MSP can print saturated colors and smooth gradations with true four-level, variable-drop grayscale print capability at speeds up to 976 square feet per hour. Plus, the EFI Pro 16h’s “cool cure” LED technology requires less energy than latex or traditional UV printers and enables the use of thinner and specialty substrates that cannot withstand the heat required with latex and UV.
Size was key for MSP because space was an issue; Clarkson did not want a large table machine. He also liked the printer’s productivity, flexibility and its ability to print on a variety of materials. When seeing examples of what the printer can produce in a demo that featured unusual and unique applications, Clarkson could immediately envision how it would help MSP bring in new business.
“I thought it was just wide open the stuff we could do,” he stated. MSP subsequently completed the deal to buy the printer from IntoPrint. As a result, said Clarkson, “There’s a lot of stuff that we can do now that we couldn’t before.”
Sales started to grow shortly after the printer went into production at MSP in late 2019. MSP’s customers now look to the company to produce signage and a broader range of ad specialty items. And, in terms of the quality those customers receive with MSP’s new LED-inkjet digital print offering, “they love it,” Clarkson said.
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