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Hot Ink continues upmarket investment with Xerox

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Cape Town’s well-known high-street digital print and design specialist Hot Ink has continued its investment in upmarket equipment with the purchase of a new Xerox Versant 80 press from Cape Office Machines and Bytes Document Solutions.
The new machine has integrated seamlessly with Hot Ink’s range of high-end digital printing equipment. This includes a Xerox Colour 1000 press and a number of smaller machines used to deliver the best possible product for a large and growing number of upmarket clients, including other Cape-based printers.
Hot Ink owner and co-founder Lisa Saville says the Versant 80 was specifically selected for its incredible solid colour print quality, which even surpasses the quality of the industry-standard X1000.
“Based on the results we’ve achieved in the short time we’ve spent with the machine, I would argue the solid colour technology in the Versant 80 sets a new industry standard for a production press,” says Saville.
“There are no visible roller marks, no mottling, it’s just all there,” she says. “At one hundred per cent coverage from leading edge to trailing edge, the best I’ve seen from any digital press on the market today.
“Some customers might accept a shortfall in colour intensity, but what our customers will absolutely not accept is any issues with print quality, and with the Versant 80 there are none.”
Continuous investment in the best technology available is what keeps Hot Ink on the forefront of Cape Town’s booming high-end print market according to Lisa’s business partner and Hot Ink co-founder, Nic Johnson.
“We’ll never shy away from looking at the latest technology because that’s what keeps us current and what gives us the tools to deliver the sort of quality our customers have come to expect from us,” says Johnson.
“Fortunately we have in (IT manager and part owner) Andrew Mance, a 15-year print veteran with the skills and experience to not only service the new machines himself – meaning we hardly have to make maintenance calls – but also identify and integrate the new technology into our well-oiled collective printing machinery,” he says.
“It also means we never skip a beat when a fresh machine arrives on our doorstep, and in a very short time (Production manager and part owner) Jurgens Joubert and his team are able to use the new technology to give our customers newer and better options for their print and design projects.”
The Xerox Versant 80 packs a potent 80 PPM engine that delivers outstanding digital print quality at Ultra HD resolution (up to 1200 x 1200 x 10-bit RIP rendering and 2400 x 2400 dpi). Rated for volumes north of 80,000 prints per month, the Versant 80 also supports multiple media types and weights (from 52 gsm up to 350 gsm), making it one of the most flexible machines in its class.
An optional inline spectrophotometer and Automated Color Quality Suite (ACQS) ensure color accuracy and consistency, while Xerox’s patented compact belt fuser technology applies the uniform heat and pressure needed to bond Emulsion Aggregation (EA) dry ink to a wide range of surfaces without slowing production speed, while optimising image quality on solids, tints and halftones.
“It’s a testament to Hot Ink’s industry standing that service and social responsibility rate higher on customers’ wish lists than the technology used for production,” says Cape Office Machines Account Manager, Bryn Whithair.
“As a Xerox partner we work closely with Nic, Lisa, Andrew and Jurgens to expose them to the latest printing technology, but only within the context of the services the company is looking to deliver, and the values incorporated in the Hot Ink brand.”
Saville concurs: “It may seem strange to say that our customers don’t keep coming back for our print quality, because frankly that’s a given. What they want is everything else we build around the products, and the social values we share with them.
“For example we’re one of the only carbon-neutral printers in Cape Town. We also have a responsibility, as a successful and growing business, to give back to our community, which we’ve regularly done through initiatives like the Amy Biehl Foundation.”
Johnson says Hot Ink is never going to become a “full-on commercial printer,” and that selective investments like the Versant 80 are very much in keeping with the company’s boutique appeal.
“We are not going to compete with the print shop next door on price, but what you’re getting from us is a complete package, something that goes above and beyond paper and ink. We believe that’s a far more valuable proposition that customers are willing and able to pay for.”