The Xeikon represents a significant upgrade for the organization which had previously relied on Xerox printers and cut-sheet labels for its output.
The Executive Chairman of the Redditch-based business, Alistair Tillen, takes up the story: “School Stickers is the leading brand in school rewards in the UK selling both printed rewards and software. We have a strong technical pedigree and developed software to link physical printed rewards to an online experience which really adds a unique angle to our education proposition. We launched our B2B brand, Sticker Gizmo, about 18 months ago as we were keen to expand into new markets. We used our technical skills to develop our own online design tool and pricing engine and have been really pleased with how this part of the business has grown.
“However, quite quickly it became apparent we needed to expand our printing capabilities so that we could compete on larger orders. We embarked on a period of research where we looked at several different options including outsourcing. In the end, we decided it was important to own the whole customer experience and be solely responsible for quality and delivery times.
“We were keen to invest in a machine that would help us expand and keep pace with our aggressive growth plans. A Xeikon machine was always near the top of our list but when we found out about the factory refurbished REX machines, we knew we had found the right solution for us.”
Duncan Sargeant, Xeikon UK sales manager commented on the REX program: “Used for demo or sold to the commercial market by Xeikon, these presses have been supported by Xeikon engineers, who know the ins and outs of the press regarding its age, usage, and service history. Every press considered for the REX program goes through a detailed technical “condition scoring” examination. Our factory engineers then replace and optimize every critical component required for an extended life for the press with perfect print quality. Every Xeikon REX digital press has been updated to the latest revision of both hardware and software, making it ready for years of production. Then, only after going through extensive testing, is the product is boxed and shipped to the customer.”
Xeikon 3030 REX can print on substrate widths of up to 330mm and can print at up to 9.6 meters per minute (31.5 feet) at a true 1,200dpi. That equates up to 190 square meters per hour. The system images using environmentally friendly dry toner, which is water-resistant and has a high light-fastness for outdoor work. The system prints on standard substrates with no need for pre-coating. Sticker Gizmo is keen to offer recycled substrates to its customers and offers these at a lower price to regular materials on its web site, even though they cost the company more to purchase from the supplier.
The machine was installed at the Redditch site in August and is already beginning to change the business for the better said Alistair Tillen: “We are already seeing the benefits of the Xeikon machine with improved productivity helping us cut delivery times to our customers. We are also delighted with the print quality and have started to benefit from lower substrate prices as we move away from pre-cut sheets.
“The company believes the combination of its software pedigree and the improved print execution that the Xeikon provides is an excellent platform for growth.
“We have a number of new developments in progress including an update to our online design tool to make it easier for users to create their own library of label designs, along with our digital label service which uses the same technology we developed for the schools’ market to link labels with an online experience.”
With regard to future growth, Alistair is already appreciating the possibility of the speed upgrade and width upgrade options offered by Xeikon. For now, he is delighted that the current Covid period has seen business growth, with label demand steadily increasing.