Colourfully printed spoke protectors for children’s wheelchairs are a matter close to the heart of the company plot.tec from Dortmund, and – since the installation of an HP Latex 700W printer in August 2021 – the company can now produce the popular wheel covers even more efficiently.
Thanks to the white ink functionality of the new HP Latex 700W printer, the production process has been dramatically sped up, whilst retaining the high quality and vibrancy of output that plot.tec is renowned for – at the same time as meeting environmental credentials.
When it came to investing in the new printing equipment and setting the course for the post-pandemic period, Gerd Kroner, co-founder of plot.tec, took a close look at the wide-format printer options available on the market. In particular, he researched white printing solutions, asking himself: How convincing is the result? Does the ink used meet my expectations of sustainability? What new customer applications will result from this?
Following an investigation, he opted for the HP Latex 700W printer. Supported by specialist retail partner Igepa Systems, the HP Latex 700W was installed at plot.tec’s premises in August 2021 and has since taken over many of the print service provider’s day to day printing requirements.
One area where productivity gains have been made since installation is in the creation of printed spoke protectors for wheelchair wheels. These are a necessity to ensure children’s fingers don’t get caught in the spokes, and plot.tec has taken them to another level by adding creative printed graphics.
Prior to the installation of the HP Latex 700W, it was a time-consuming task to reverse-print the graphics onto transparent and white foils, plot them and apply them from behind. However, thanks to the new printer’s white latex ink capability, production has been reduced to one simple printing process.
The HP Latex 700W printer delivers vibrantly coloured output, which is scratch-resistant and – for most applications – does not require an additional protective laminate.
Alongside using the printer for the bespoke wheelchair covers, plot.tec has made further gains. The company has also been using the machine for diverse applications such as acrylic glass signage, interior décor, privacy screens in medical practices and much more.
As Gerd Kroner explains: “On glass décor and etched glass films, prints previously seemed too washed out. Now – with the white ink capability of the HP Latex 700W printer – the contours and motifs are reproduced really brilliantly.
“It doesn’t get any whiter than this. If I hold up an HP Latex graphic printed in white ink next to a white sheet of paper, I can’t see any difference.”
Applications on black foil achieve the same high-contrast effect. “On matte black foils, the glossy overlay of white printing stands out particularly well,” adds Gerd Kroner.
The installation of the printer has been a success, as Gerd Kroner summarises: “We now have less waste, save time and money, and protect the environment, leading to potential savings of between 20 and 25 percent.”