Epic Print, the largest digital printing shop in Cape Town’s coastal village of Muizenberg, has installed a new Xerox Versant 180 Press from Altron BDS, greatly expanding its colour printing and production options and introducing new efficiencies and colour quality controls.
The small sidewalk print shop has grown significantly since it was first opened in 2008 and has been under the management of owner Philip Mason since 2017. It mainly serves small businesses and walk-in customers from the immediate area, along with many of Muizenberg’s established schools and colleges, and a thriving local artist community. Epic Print specialises in producing books, reports, pamphlets, business cards, flyers, folders and other stationery, as well as a steady line of fine art print reproductions.
“We’re one of the few established digital printers in Muizenberg and have fierce competition not only on the Peninsula, but further along the highway to town,” says Philip. “Given we had an end-of-life colour printer when I first took over the business, priority was to replace it and get us up to the level where we can not only compete on an even footing, but also surpass what others were doing and expand our customer base even further.”
Philip identified the Xerox Versant 180 as the ideal choice of platform, not only for its versatility and future upgradability, but also for the support and personal service from the Xerox and Altron BDS teams.
“We had a good look at the market and felt that the Xerox offering in the Versant was the best fit for Epic Print
“We had a good look at the market and felt that the Xerox offering in the Versant was the best fit for Epic Print. In addition to a superb machine, Xerox and Altron BDS offered a level of expert consulting that matched our needs”.
The Xerox Versant 180 combines a 2 400×2 400dpi engine with a 1 200×1 200dpi 10-bit RIP, and an advanced Compact Belt Fuser that provides just the right amount of consistent heat and pressure for any given stock at full print speed. It supports stock weights from 52-350 gsm at up to 80ppm, and can easily manage a wide variety of media including envelopes, 26-inch banners, polyester/synthetic, textured, coloured, custom and mixed-stock prints.
Featuring Xerox’s Simple Image Quality Adjustment (SIQA) for perfect front-to-back registration, the Versant fully automates inline finishing options, including full bleed booklets.
“It’s a really easy machine to learn and does the one thing right that you just can’t get wrong in this business: colour accuracy,” says Epic’s lead print operator Shakira Parker-Steed.
“So smooth has the transition been for us that we get to discuss business development and production techniques instead of speaking to the printer technicians every other week, as was the case previously,” says Shakira. “That means we can focus more on what we do best, servicing our customers, and less about making sure the machine does what it’s meant to.”
Epic Print is currently in talks with Xerox and Altron BDS about the Performance Package options for the Versant, which adds a powerful combination of process controls and Xerox’s Automated Color Quality Suite (ACQS) with an X-Rite Inline Spectrophotometer to deliver fully automated colour management and the highest possible print quality.
“You need to be looking ahead to how you can help your customers better communicate their own products and services through print,” says Altron BDS’s production press specialist Bryn Whithair.
“High-quality, low-cost digital prints are a given in today’s market, so growing companies like Epic Print need to be on the front foot to get ahead and stay ahead in an increasingly crowded market like this one,” he says. “Do that right and your customers won’t go anywhere else because they’ll always know what they’re getting and can get everything they need from one place.”
Philip agrees: “Looking ahead, we don’t anticipate any major new capital outlays, but rather getting out there, getting new customers, increasing the business we already have with existing customers, and becoming more confident in what we can offer,” he says.
“We’re also partnering with other Xerox customers like Hot Ink, who can produce more advanced products specifically for our customers with their Xerox Iridesse and are talking to Altron BDS about integrating Xerox’s web portal into the business to give customers direct self-service access to the Versant. It’s another step towards a complete end-to-end workflow system for our business, which can only add to the value we’ve already received.”
About Altron Bytes Document Solutions
(ABDS) is Africa’s leading document management technology and services company and the largest Xerox distributor in the world. It is the authorised Xerox distributor in 26 sub-Saharan countries offering the complete range of Xerox document equipment, software solutions and services. BDS forms part of JSE-listed Allied Electronics Corporation (Altron).