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Hollywood Monster’s epic investment reaps rich rewards

Hollywood Monster’s epic investment reaps rich rewards

Following the recent installation of a VUTEk FabriVU 340i printer, Hollywood Monster, the Birmingham-based wide format print specialist, has now purchased a total of 11 EFI VUTEk printers, together with cutting equipment and consumables from CMYUK, in an investment packaging totalling close to £5 million.

The new VUTEk FabriVU 340i was purchased to enable Hollywood Monster to take full advantage of the increasing demand for digital textile printing, which according to a recent survey by Smithers Pira, forecasts that the growth rate for digital textile printing will reach 17.5 percent per annum over the next six years, during which time the global market will more than double from $1.73 billion in 2018 to $3.billion in 2023.

A 3.4 metre wide, four colour CMYK, dye-sublimation printer, the FabriVU 340i outputs direct to either textiles or transfer paper. A robust workhorse, it can produce finished prints at over 160sq.m per hour, while its inline calendar transforms textile printing and fixing into a single, uninterrupted process, thus eliminating the need for an additional calendar press.

Further, due to the flexible nature of dye sublimation inks, they don’t crack when the resulting prints are folded, significantly benefitting subsequent packaging and despatch.

Simon McKenzie, Managing Director of Hollywood Monster, admitted that the increasing demand for dye-sublimation printing was a key consideration when the decision to acquire the FabriVU was made. He explained: “When we purchase a new printer we don’t just look at the increased capacity it offers, we also look at what other commercial opportunities it can provide. After all, these are big investments and not decisions we take lightly. In order to fully capitalise on the printer’s capabilities we have already switched some of our marketing focus into retail and outdoor events, where we know the dye sub market is growing year on year.”

Mat Jephcott, Operations Director at Hollywood Monster, observed:There’s undoubtedly a growing demand for soft signage and fabric prints and the FabriVU 340i is specifically designed for this type of output. One of the things that we particularly liked was the quality that can be achieved when it is used in combination with the PONGS range of textiles, which is very impressive.

“Previously we would roll every print around a core and wrap it extensively to provide protection, but the dye sublimation printing process enables us to simply fold and bag prints, thus greatly reducing our time and labour costs. It also means that we can significantly reduce delivery charges too, as the resulting packages are much smaller and lighter, and if you think about national retail campaigns, where we send graphics to hundreds of individual stores around the country, then this provides huge savings for both us and our clients.”

At present, the FabriVU 340i works alongside Hollywood Monster’s four other EFI VUTEk printers, the VUTEk GS5000R, VUTEk 5R, 2 x VUTEk HS125 PRO plus two digital cutting tables, an equipment configuration that is already proving to be a killer combination.

Simon McKenzie revealed: “A lot of our clients purchase dye-sublimation work and then give us their UV production too, which is great for us as it enables us to become a virtual -stop-shop and deliver a complete event or retail campaign. This is a major USP as, generally speaking, customers prefer not to split campaigns, due to the possible inconsistencies in colours and timescales, plus extra delivery costs and so on.”

Hollywood Monster is constantly looking at ways of becoming more efficient and the fact that it now has a designated textile printer fmeans far fewer roll changes and a smoother workflow as it operates alongside three sewing machines which are in use 24 hours a day.

This productivity has a knock-on effect with the other roll-to-roll printers too, as they are now exclusively used with other substrates, facilitating more efficient nesting and waste reduction, as well as improving turnaround times.

In an attempt to further boost its efficiency, McKenzie added that the company’s investment in the FabriVu had been matched with its investment in staff.

He continued: “We have appointed some fantastic people with proven commercial ability who will use this new machine to expand our offering to our portfolio of clients.”

This strategy is, it seems, already bearing fruit, as Hollywood Monster has already enjoyed record sales during June and has a healthy pipeline of orders to see it through rest of the summer and beyond.

Mackenzie concluded: “We expect our turnover to expand by 15 percent this financial year and a further 15-20 percent next year, which is really encouraging and in line with our aim to reach a £13 million turnover next year. In order to achieve this, we will continue to explore new technical advances and invest in the latest technology – in fat, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we find ourselves buying a second FabriVU within the next 12 months!”

For further information on Hollywood Monster, visit:

 For further information on CMYUK visit:

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