Vehicle graphics company invests in Epson's brand new SC-S80600L
Providing some of the most commonly seen vehicle wraps in the UK, Fleet Livery delivers an end-to-end service from design through to the printing and application of vehicle wraps - from one-offs for private customers, to wrapping fleets of commercial vehicles for brands including the AA, BSM Driving School and Adnam’s Brewery.
Fleet Livery is a vehicle graphics company delivering over 2,500 car wraps and over 2,000 commercial vehicle wraps each year. With a reputation for delivering high quality work consistently across fleets of hundreds of vehicles, colour accuracy, speed and efficiency are critical components of its success. And with projects ranging from wrapping commercial vans all the way through to drift cars for racing teams, Fleet Livery works is trusted by some of the most demanding brands in the world.
Fleet Livery’s print production arsenal is centred around four Epson SC-S80600 wide format printers including the UK’s first SC-S80600L machine, ensuring the business is at the cutting edge of the graphics and vehicle wrapping industries.
Some of the most complex work Fleet Livery produces is for racing team, SB Motorsport. With three different models of drift car, all driven by British Drift champion, Steve Baggsy Biagioni, the designs for these cars have to integrate dozens of different sponsor logos, all with corporate guidelines on colour, positioning and scaling. Among these is Monster Energy, which has some of the most demanding brand guidelines in the world.
“Colour accuracy is much easier on our Epson wide format printers than it was on our previous machines” says Ashley Gloyn, Director of Fleet Livery. “We can print far closer to Pantone colours than ever before, with far greater consistency of ink distribution across the whole substrate. One of the big challenges we continually had before we invested in our first Epson S80600 was that when we printed 20m of a single colour for example, there was often no continuity of colour from first meter to the last meter of the printed product. With the Epson printers, we get consistent colour across all of the print we produce which means the brand colours are also consistent across a whole fleet of vehicles. Another great benefit is that we can print colour swatches, so when a customer requests a specific Pantone colour, we can print 10 variations on it and put it in front of them, saying ‘this is what you’ve asked for, and this is what it looks like on the final substrate’. Often a slight shade change of a colour can make the difference to its vibrancy over a larger surface area.”
Reflecting on Substrates
“One area where this is really key is reflective substrates,” continues Ashley. “Printing an exact Pantone colour on reflective material often results in a totally different colour. Getting the Monster Energy green right was difficult, as the base reflective material made it seem more yellow once the light hit it. Normally to get something closer to a green Pantone, for example, you’d just put down more green, but if you put down too much ink then you lose the reflective quality, and then you might as well not have used that substrate. Finding a way to create that colour in all lights can be really challenging. Fortunately, the Epson machines did it really well and made it very easy to get that balance between colour accuracy and reflectivity due to fantastic ease of use and a great degree of control over the inks.”
First in the UK
Fleet Livery has recently taken delivery of the UK’s first Epson S80600L wide format machine, with a new bulk ink system. “We had always used HP Latex printers, but when I saw a demo of the SC-S80600L, the colours were just so much better. We were so pleased with the first SC-S80600L that within a fortnight we’d bought a second. Our previous HP Latex printers sat unused for about a year and when I eventually sold them, I used the money to buy a third S80600.”
The fourth SC-S80600L that Fleet Livery took on was the ‘L’ with the bulk ink system. With double the ink capacity, Fleet Livery can now leave a printer running overnight, without having to change cartridges every five hours. This has led to far more efficient ways of working, as well as allowing Fleet Livery to turn around ‘rush jobs’ more quickly, as they can print overnight and the print can starting curing then.
“I’ve actually convinced four other sign companies to buy these Epson machines,” continues Ashley. “They were shocked by what we were doing, and asked what kit we were had. We even had a competitor call up and ask what we were using, and if they could come and view the printer. They were amazed by the difference in speed and quality to their machine.”
Saving on Ink
Fleet Livery have Epson ‘Print & Save’ contracts on all of their printers. Prior to investing in the Epson printers, they were spending around £8,000 per month on ink, ands using two printers to produce wraps for around 600 vans each year. The company is now spending the same amount per month, printing on four much faster printers, including the bulk ink SC-S80600L, to print quadruple the volume. “The saving on ink alone has allowed us to take on more printers and increase our production capacity,” comments Ashley. “We’re spending the same amount but printing 4 times as much as the printers are faster, so it’s been a massive factor in our growth. We’ve also saved production downtime as we’ve had no ‘cartridge drop out’. Previously, we had to fill out warrantee forms and return 2-3 cartridges a month, which is surprisingly time consuming. We haven’t had a single bad cartridge from Epson.”
“We even had a competitor call up and ask what we were using, and ask if they could come and view the printer", continued Gloyn. "They were shocked by the difference in speed and quality.”