John E Wright invests in an EFI VUTEk H5 printer to assure continued growth and competitive advantage
In 1900, eighteen years after the death of the Charles Darwin, printing company John E Wright & Co was established in Nottingham. Aligning these two events may seem incongruous, but nearly 120 years on, John E Wright has gone from strength to strength, by having a flexible and evolving business model in this ever changing world, adopting cutting edge technologies and continually investing in its staff and new equipment.
The company’s latest investment is the EFI VUTEk H5 printer purchased through CMYUK, the UK’s largest independent supplier of wide-format printers, cutters and materials. It further substantiates the company’s existing equipment, the EFI VUTEk GS3250LX Pro, also purchased through CMYUK,
“The GS3250LX Pro was a game-changer for us, and demonstrated the superiority of the EFI VUTEk brand,” says John E. Wright MD, Tony Barnett. “Our ethos has been to invest in the best, and we have always tried to stay ahead of the competition in terms of technology and equipment. This process has been helped enormously by having a Technical Director with the knowledge, power and influence to guide the Board into making the correct investment decisions. The globally-renowned H5 is the latest example of this and will help us meet the growing demands of our customer base in terms of quality, speed of turnaround and price competitiveness.”
CMYUK has supported and facilitated John E Wright in its future ambitions. Says Barnett: “We have known Robin and Jon for a long time. There is a history of trust going back well before the start of CMYUK. When things go wrong, which they occasionally do, CMYUK has always helped us to find a reasonable resolution to any problem. Quick to correct any shipping errors, helpful with technical issues, and it’s always beneficial to be informed of new products as they arrive to market.”
Introducing the EFI VUTEk H5
The H5 is the result of EFI VUTEk’s reimagined and reengineered high-volume super-wide, hybrid inkjet platform. This next-generation printer is 3.2m wide, has a resolution of 1200dpi, eight colours modes plus white, thereby offering up to a nine-layer print capability in a single pass. It offers super smooth shadows, gradients and transitions, with superb, clear text quality.
Encapsulating powerful LED technology, it supports an extended range of substrates, which includes lower cost and added-value speciality media, all of which can be handled by automated media loading, stacker systems and super duty winders.
According to a Fogra study, the H5 drives down operating costs with up to 82% less energy consumption and fewer consumable parts. For John E Wright, this eco consideration is very important, in line with its increasing environmental observance over the past decade.
“In the past 10 years we have been increasingly aware of environmental issues and were probably one of the first to eliminate solvent printing from our portfolio,” says Barnett. “With the introduction of cool cure UV printing six years ago, we have reduced our carbon footprint dramatically. We have been the proud owners of the ISO9001 (Quality) and ISO14001 (Environment) accreditations for 10 years now. But these qualifications are a journey not a destination, and we are constantly striving to do better – the H5 further helps us in this regard.”
The purchase of the H5 epitomises John E Wright’s total transformation. Pre 1990, the company was somewhat of an art and graphic shop operation. “But,” says Barnett, “with the arrival of myself and Technical Director Alan Edwards as the Millenium approached, we soon realised that anything that could be bought on the Internet would be, so we started the long process of transforming a business that was 90% product and 10% print, into a business that was 90% print and 10% product. It has taken 20 years, over £5 million of investment in new printing equipment, a mountain of training and adding people with new skills.”
John E Wright now has a total of six production sites. In addition to its flagship Queen’s Drive operation in Nottingham West, it has sites in Hull, Derby, Leicester, Oxford and the head office operation in Nottingham East. It has a turnover of £6m and employs 78 staff across the whole group, with Queen’s Drive having 26 of these.
It services a broad range of end markets under the banner of Exhibition & Display Graphics. However, more specifically, it does very well in:
Education: where it services the large format requirements of most of the Universities and many schools throughout its region;
Retail: for PoS and window graphics;
Exhibitions: for a range of clients throughout the UK and Europe;
Corporate Marketing: including brochures, national PoS marketing campaigns and vehicle wraps for national van fleets such as Pipers Crisps;
Heritage: design and install of graphics for museums, theatres and cinemas for the likes of the Ironbridge Museum, the Dinosaur exhibition at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, Royal Da Vinci collection, the Deep in Hull and many of the touring exhibitions at the internationally recognised Nottingham Contemporary & New Art Exchange;
Construction: hoardings and house builder graphics; and
Specialist Events: such as the Nottingham Open Tennis tournament.
The large format hub
Barnett describes the John E Wright Group as “a hub and spokes operation invoking the old 80:20 rule,” meaning that eighty per cent of print requests can be produced by the local branch, while any large jobs or those needing specialist equipment like the new H5 are sent to Queen’s Drive, produced and shipped direct to the client.
For Barnett, the installation of the EFI VUTEk H5 squares the circle when it comes to what he regards as the most important considerations for today’s wide format digital print service providers – quality, turnaround and total marketing solutions. It also continues the company’s ethos of continuous forward momentum.
“The H5 is a big investment but we are sure that the quality and speed of the machine will mean that we will have an advantage over our competitors, which we believe will lead to sales growth in those sectors we already operate in,” says Barnett. “It is likely that we will be able to expand our geographic area of influence and take on more national and, who knows, international marketing campaigns.”
From left to right: Tony Barnett (MD), Alan Edwards (Technical Director) and Chris Booth (Operations Manager).