Hallmark’s Gary Hall says ‘he wouldn’t put any other ink’ than Nazdar’s in Longier machines
Cambridgeshire-based Hallmark Equipment Service Ltd has been servicing and supplying printers and all the associated consumables for more than 30 years. The company prides itself on the exceptional service levels it offers its end-user customers.
With the advent of direct to plate technology, much of the company’s work in the repro/pre-press sector was becoming obsolete so Gary Hall, Managing Director of Hallmark, started looking to expand his business into new areas.
This led to a project working with DuPont on the Cromaprint wide format UV combination printer. Sadly, the project was halted after just two years but the experience opened up new areas of business and led to the company purchasing its own Cromaprint Flatbed UV printer direct from the manufacturer. Hallmark then started developing its own bespoke upgrades for the customers’ existing machines.
This was the foundation of Hallmark’s relationship with Nazdar, as Nazdar inks were a key part of the upgrade solution that Hallmark was able to offer Cromaprint customers. Whilst there are still a number of these machines in operation today across Europe (and all of these remain supported by Hallmark), technology has moved on.
In 2012, the company started researching new wide format machines to expand into new business areas. Hallmark came across the range of UV LED Longier Hunter flatbed and roll-to-roll printers and went to the European distributor headquarters in Germany to see the printers in action.
The Longier range – comprising 5 different models - features the very latest long-life, cool-cure, LED UV technology for leading energy efficiency, speeds of up to 70sqm/hr, white ink as standard plus varnish and spot colours, and many special features such as an oversized board printing option.
Following the demonstration, the company purchased a Longier demo printer to work on in its Cambridgeshire premises. Gary Hall explains: “I was impressed with the Longier machine, but knew I could improve its performance with the right inks and RIP. Having previously worked with both Nazdar and SAI on the Cromaprint machines, I knew they were the right partners to work with.”
Hallmark works with Nazdar under an OEM agreement and has branded the ink Hunter 2014 UV LED. Each Longier printer in the UK comes supplied with Nazdar top-quality inks for outstanding print consistency, adhesion, colour saturation and price.
Support is at the heart of everything Hallmark does and the company has very exacting standards when working with partners. Gary says: “Support is key to our business; the ability to resolve issues quickly is crucial and Nazdar have proven time and again that they will support us in any way they can. They have been fantastic!”
He continues: “To coincide with the arrival of the demo FR3750 printer, we were sent an ink set to put on the printer and a Nazdar technician and chemist came down to offer advice and expertise to get the best from the ink/printer combination. We tested subsequent ink sets before deciding which one to go live with. It really is comforting to know that I can pick up the phone and speak to people in both the UK and the USA who are always more than happy to help.”
Demonstrating superb build quality, the Longier range is a result of UK design refinement by Hallmark, Nazdar and partners and is supported by a team of experienced, UK-based technical staff.
Gary continues: “We went live with the Longier Hunter solution in October last year and the first machine in the UK - an FR3750 - was installed in December at Eazyprint in Eastleigh. Recently the first FP3750 flatbed model was installed by reseller Quality Print Services Ltd (QPS) at WAE Group with great success.”
Hallmark is currently planning two more installs of Longier Hunter printers: another FR3750 at Elementary Signs in Guildford, UK; and the first Longier printer in Ireland - an FR4650 – is shortly due to be installed at Graphics & Display Systems (GDS) in Tallaght.
As the UV LED printer market develops, Hallmark will continue to work with Nazdar on bringing out new ranges of ink to the UK market. As Gary concludes: “Quite simply – I would never put another vendor’s ink in Longier machines.”