The latest enterprise from the decade-old Pyramid group is Pyramid Digital. Launched in November of last year, the company moved into new premises in Byfleet with its two UK installation firsts – the Scitex XLjet 3m grand-format inkjet printer and the superior finishing capabilities of the Miller Weldmaster 112 Sign & Billboard finishing system.
For most companies getting to grips with the machines would have been the undeniable first priority. For Pyramid, explains director Justin Murray, the first problem for the new enterprise was the building. Untouched for forty years, the rebuilding and restoration work was far greater than anyone had anticipated.
Indeed on the company’s press open day last year, there were still some hidden no go areas and the definite whiff of fresh paint!
The Pyramid group was established by Murray ten years ago, eventually establishing itself in vehicle and fleet graphics. The move into wide-format digital was a natural evolution for the company. “We felt that digital was and is still an expanding market, and therefore could accommodate yet another player.” says Murray.
“David Watson from Scitex Vision is a great salesman and a really good guy,” says Murray, “and after comparing print quality at the end of the day he convinced us to go with the XLjet. Being the first in the UK was, we believe an advantage, also the fact that it prints virtually on any media and the price was competitive.”
In addition, Pyramid was turned onto Scitex because, says Murray, of its attitude to environmental issues for the future, for example its work with water-based inks. .
Pyramid has a staff of 13 and mostly everyone can interchange jobs, if the need arises. The company works for trade clients outputting in the main onto PVC and between 20-25 percent of work on self-adhesive and 15 percent on fabrics. Pyramid is working very closely with Spandex and has also formed a close association with Avery.
Bread and butter work includes, as you would expect, banners, vehicle wraps, curtains and building wraps. Going big on digital represented not one, but two learning curves that had to be dealt with simultaneously. Not only did Pyramid have to get to grips with the XLjet, but it had to chart a course in an area of the industry it wasn’t very familiar with – which as Murray says, turned out to be harder than anticipated.
What Murray also learned in the beginning that wastage of materials wasn’t in the 5-7 percent zone but in the region of 25-30 percent. In addition, he is keen to point out that more education is required in the migration of solvents. “Ideally,” he says, “you need a good 24 hour drying time when printing on self adhesive vinyl with solvents and to help speed this process up we have fabricated the UK’s first solvent migration cabinet to accelerate the migration.”
To compliment its grand-format print output, Pyramid went straight in for the kill purchasing an open-frame Miller Weldmaster 112 finishing system, enabling it to offer specialist finishing to other grand-format providers. Miller Weldmaster, recognised as the leader in the development in hot air sealing technology, uses a unique combination of heat pressure and speed along with exclusive vacuum holding technology to create durable and inconspicuous seals and seams very quickly.