Cactus goes after POS

Cactus Imaging is attacking the point-of-sale market with new equipment in a bid to diversify away from increasingly competitive billboards.

General manager of strategic development Keith Ferrel says billboards are now 75 per cent of Cactus’ business, down from 90 per cent a year ago, as it goes after fabric, point-of-sale, and interior decorating work.

“Billboards have become a commodity and everyone is undercutting each other, so buying new equipment allows us to diversify into higher-margin areas,” he says.

Cactus installed a HP Latex 3000 a year ago and has now installed a five-metre Fujifilm Uvistar Pro 8, increasing productivity and the variety of available substrates.

The Opus subsidiary’s push into point-of-sale comes as another major printer, Blue Star, aggressively enters the market, buying three wide format companies in the past year.

Ferrel says the company can now print directly onto coreflute for taxi-mounted ads, white ink onto self-adhesive vinyl for shop windows, huge fabric banners, and print effectively onto polyethylene for the first time.

He says shop fit-outs, exhibitions, internal signage, and wallpaper are growth markets in which the company is finding success, often by getting other work from existing billboard clients.

[Related: More wide format news]

The Uvistar is mainly running flex and self-adhesive vinyl but is using increasing amounts of polyethylene and fabrics, along with coreflute and other rigid substrates.

Ferrel says the colour gamut is higher than many other machines, and the adhesion and flexibility of the Uvijet inks offers wider scope of jobs.

“Versatility is also a big benefit as we can run it as a five metre wide roll printer, or place up to three 1600mm media rolls side-by-side, or as a flatbed machine printing rigid media up to 25mm thick on boards up to 2.5 x 3.3m,” he says.

It can handle run lengths from 500sqm upwards, with a recently completed 5800sqm job.

Ferrel says it can print billboards faster at high quality, freeing up other machines to do more work for new markets, which had limited diversification before.

The Uvistar can also print billboards on polyethylene, which unlike the usual PVC vinyl is fully recyclable and is helping Cactus become a greener company.

“We used to struggle with printing on polyethylene, experiencing poor ink adhesion. Since the Uvistar came on-stream it has performed well on that media, which is opening up yet another avenue of business for us,” Ferrel says.

Cactus is a major supplier of oOh! Media, Australia biggest outdoor media company.

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