Virginia, US-based start-up Excavation Alert Systems (EAS) has installed a Screen Truepress Jet L350UV inkjet press.
The company manufactures Signaltape, a proprietary tape developed to prevent excavation damage to buried utility lines by providing a visible advance alert to excavation equipment operators.
Signaltape is made from a polyethylene film, printed with custom legend (text and graphics), displaying the company responsible for buried utilities, providing contact info and identifying what lies beneath, including water, electric, communications, sewer or high-pressure gas lines.
‘We brought in the Screen L350 in April,’ said EAS’s general manager Josh Parman. ‘It’s been a great addition. The Truepress L350 has changed the game for us, as we have to respond quickly when a last-minute order is placed and you have a project manager screaming for custom legend, which was not possible with our previous process.
‘Countless companies in this market are still printing via lithography, requiring new plates for every customized version of their particular product. There is a long lead-time associated with that, which they have to work into their production schedule. But for us, since purchasing the Screen L350, we have been able to fulfill a number of orders that previously just would not have been possible. So it’s proven itself and proven its value.’
The Truepress Jet L350UV is a versatile inkjet press with a wide range of capabilities and capable of printing on a broad selection of labelstock, including transparent film, polyethylene, polypropylene, paper substrates and metallic foil. It features a maximum printing speed of 164 feet per minute.
‘Our standard run length is 1,000 feet,’ Parman said. ‘We went with Screen’s digital technology because of its speed and agility. It is important for us to remain nimble and lean, which contributes to longevity in the marketplace. The L350 has set the stage for us to do that.’
EAS conducted a comprehensive analysis of digital printers in the market. Three metrics were key to its purchasing decision: speed, print quality and adhesion. ‘The L350 is fast. The print quality is excellent. And the substrate variety permits us to print on polyethylene, which is harder to print on,’ said Parman. ‘And by adding an in-line corona pre-treater to enhance adhesion, the L350 is effectively meeting all of those metrics.
‘The Truepress has opened up a new market segment for us. Excavation Alert Systems can quickly create custom samples for conferences, trade shows, distributors and manufacturing reps, whereas before, this was simply not feasible nor cost effective, due to time-consuming plate management and wash-ups. Now, we simply run 10-feet and provide our customer or potential client an instant sample of our product.
‘As a technology partner, Screen has been fantastic. The press installation was seamless plus we experienced an exceptional week of onsite training with one of their software engineers.’