Inkjet & Digital Printing
Screen Tech Graphics Leans on Versafire EP from Heidelberg for Production During COVID-19
Friday 27. August 2021 - Started as a screen printer in 1995, STG expanded to large and small format digital printing in 2017. Two years ago, STG installed the Versafire EP from Heidelberg as a cost-effective alternative to its original digital print engine.
A trade printer located in Austell, Georgia, Screen Tech Graphics (STG) focuses primarily on producing point-of-sale and point-of-purchase signage.
Most recently, while navigating the various staffing issues that COVID-19 has brought upon the print industry, STG has relied on the Versafire EP to maintain its superior quality and affordability for its customers.
Easy to Run. Simple Pricing Model.
When it expanded into small format digital printing in 2017, STG purchased a machine from a different manufacturer and quickly realized that “the technology was just too messy and costly for us to run efficiently,” said Owner John Ioannides. Having never purchased from Heidelberg in the past, Ioannides learned about the Versafire EP from the service tech for another one of the company’s machines. He then started talking to other printers about their experience with Versafire and quickly set-up a demonstration at Heidelberg’s Print Media Center Atlanta in Kennesaw, Georgia. “So many times, you can hear ‘pie in the sky’ information about a machine when being sold on it. Heidelberg was real with us. After seeing that, the way the Versafire runs and the type of materials you can run through it – it was a no-brainer,” said Ioannides.
As a trade printer, STG runs a variety of materials that other printers are not able to produce themselves. With the expanded stock range of the Versafire EP, STG can run stocks as thin as 35 lb. text up to thicker 24 pt. in addition to a variety of synthetics, which is crucial to the signage business. “This machine runs a similar range of materials as our previous machine,” Ioannides said, “but the Versafire is just so much easier and cleaner to run.” With many employees working remotely due to the pandemic and now with companies struggling to find employees to work, STG has trusted the simple-to-use and reliable Versafire EP to produce jobs efficiently and effectively. According to Ioannides, “I can have an employee set up a job from home, and then someone in the office does a quick color and registration check. The machine is so consistent; I don’t need someone there while a job is running. It’s great!”
In addition to ease-of-use, Ioannides says that the pay-per-click cost model for the Versafire is far superior to other digital print engines on the market. With its previous machine, STG had to pay every month just to have it on the floor. “Our business is very cyclical, so there are times throughout the year when we are not running the machine,” said Ioannides. “With Versafire, we’re only paying when we run it.”
With no other Heidelberg machines in its shop, STG is among many “non-traditional” customers that are choosing Heidelberg for digital. While the Versafire itself has proven to be successful for STG, the entire “Heidelberg experience” has exceeded the company’s expectations. In particular, Ioannides has been impressed with the “above and beyond” level of support that his company has received from Heidelberg after the sale. “We’re a small business, so we’re never going to be one of Heidelberg’s biggest customers; and yet, if I have a question or want to try a new application, I make one phone call, and someone is there to help us out.”