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Experiences from Beta Site for GS3250LX, imageoptions

Published on January 24, 2012

Cary Sherburne and President of imageoptions Brian Hite discuss the company's involvement as a beta site for EFI's GS3250LX.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Brian Hite, who is the President of Image Options in Southern California.  Welcome.

Brian Hite:  Thank you.

Cary Sherburne: So tell me a little bit about Image Options.

Brian Hite:  Well Image Options started 12 years ago with myself and my partner Tim Bennett and we specialized in the exhibit industry doing exhibit graphics as well as a lot of point purchase specialty type applications, museums, corporate lobbies, etcetera.

Cary Sherburne:  And how many employees do you have?

Brian Hite:  Currently we have about 80 employees.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s good.

Brian Hite:  And we have a 55,000 square-foot building in Foothill Ranch that we’ve just moved into and did extensive remodeling, high-end printer rooms, etcetera.  It’s very nice.

Cary Sherburne:  Have you always been a digital business?

Brian Hite:  Yes and now we’re actually traditional as well.  We have a five pillar inline screen press as part of our new facility.

Cary Sherburne:  So you started digital and moved—and added analog.  That’s interesting.

Brian Hite:  Well analog serves a purpose and we would not intentionally buy analog, but we bought the assets of a company that had gone out of business because we wanted their building and they had that press installed, so it was logical to continue to run it.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great and so how did you get started with EFI?

Brian Hite:  Well we were the beta site for the 3360, which is a solvent printer 10 foot a long time ago, printer number one, so it was a good experience.  It was a good printer and that printer is still running.

Cary Sherburne:  It’s still running and now you’re on beta again for the new GS3250LX.  Talk about that one and how that experience has been.

Brian Hite:  Well we decided to be a beta site for the LX because we were SGP certified and LED technology is exciting to us because of the energy savings.

Cary Sherburne:  Especially in California.

Brian Hite:  Yeah, well the general mechanics of the printer you’re not really saving much energy, but from the LED lamps and the curing that LED offers we’ve found that we’re getting about a 30% energy reduction in that process and we have that metered where we physically attached voltage and amperage and usage meters to both our standard GS and our LED LX printer and it was about a 30%.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s huge.  And the other thing that people talk about often is the ability to use lighter weight substrate, so you can’t really use the heat-based curing process.

Brian Hite:  We really haven’t gotten into using materials that are that sensitive to the heat.  It does have an impact from a cooling standpoint in the building.  The LED lights generate significantly more heat than—not the LED lights, but the standard lights generate substantially more heat than the regular LEDs, so substrates are cooler.  We’re finding better resolution on our prints because we’re not getting pattern distortion from the heat, when you’re running 400 boards, 500 boards the heat load or the heat buildup within the cabinet is enough where you can actually see some differences, but on the LED you don’t.  

Cary Sherburne: That’s great.  It’s exciting.

Brian Hite:  It’s very nice.

Cary Sherburne:  So are there any new applications or new customers that this is bringing in either because the environmental sensitivity or new applications that you can do, anything like that or is it just expanding on your existing customer base pretty much?

Brian Hite:  Well I think it’s expanding our existing customer base.  It’s also allowing our existing customers that are more environmentally sensitive and environmentally conscious to have that as part of their offerings.  When there is a choice for us to print on the LED printer versus the standard printer many of our customers prefer that we use the LED printer as just part of the process.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great.  Well congratulations.

Brian Hite:  Well thank you.  Thank you very much.

Cary Sherburne:  It’s nice talking to you.  Thank you very much. 

Brian Hite:  Nice talking to you too.

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