Cactus Imaging opened up its Sydney factory yesterday giving printers and others in the industry a rare behind-the-scenes look at its printing presses, finishing equipment and entire operation in action.
Cactus Imaging made headlines last year when it became the first Australian printer to buy a Fujifilm Acuity Ultra five metre grand format press to meet extra demand, more ably cater for the needs of parent company oOh!media and expand its fabric printing capability.
After the first attempt to show it to the industry was thwarted by an extreme weather event in Sydney in November, the event, organised in conjunction with Fujifilm and the SGIAA, finally came to fruition yesterday.
Cactus Imaging founder Keith Ferrel and general manager Nigel Spicer hosted the gathering and spoke of their pride in what Cactus Imaging is today.
“We are pretty proud of what we’ve got and what we’ve achieved and we are happy to share it with you,” Ferrel told the gathering.
The centrepiece of the tour was the new Acuity Ultra, which offers the ability to print on three rolls at once with a 3.5 picalitre head and white ink ability offering superior quality with a throughput of 236sqm per hour.
Cactus Imaging has a broad variety of equipment at its site which has allowed it to continue to diversify and automate, the key tenets of business success for Ferrel.
“We buy equipment that suits our clients needs at the time. Nigel and I spend a lot of time sitting on aeroplanes and we discuss where we are going to heading over the next year, 18 months,” Ferrel said.
“In fact we are already two years ahead of where we see this technology going. We attend a lot of trade shows, it is a really important process for us is to see what technology is evolving. We are in very thick with the manufacturers. We often get asked where we think the industry is going and what requirements we need of a piece of printing equipment and finishing equipment.”
Fujifilm Australia chief executive officer Takeshi “Tyler” Yanase attended the event, along with Fujifilm Australia national sales manager graphic systems Ashley Playford.
“When you have a look around you will see lots of manufacturers in the site and they all have their place inside this business, they are all suited to specific applications. We see the Ultra as a high-speed, high quality machine and it’s able to cater for a lot of different applications textile being one, billboard being another, so you can go from very high end, very high speed,” Playford said.
SGIAA president Nigel Davies said events like these give the industry a vital chance to come together and learn from each other.
“Associations are all about people. It’s about rising above this competition and getting together at functions like this, sharing information and creating opportunities with each other. If you look around the room today you will probably the best printers in the industry,” Davis said.
“It takes a lot of pride and confidence to open up a facility like this to people that might be your competitors. When you walk around this plant and hear Keith’s stories then you will understand why they deserve the confidence they have in this place and the pride because it is truly impressive.”
Other initiatives Cactus opened up about was their internally built and 100 per cent customised Cactus Production System (CPS).
The system, built by inhouse technical experts, has been a work in progress since 1996 and provides a real-time access point for all aspects of the business to keep track of work from production, to client services.
“It is our super glue, tracking, measurement and control. We are pretty proud of it, it is a great system. The guys are constantly updating it with what they doing. It links in through our client services department and it is pushed out to our clients in real-time,” Spicer said.
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