Oklahoma-based Bluestem Integrated Printing LLC was looking for presses that provide productivity, flexibility and image quality. They found that in two Xeikon digital presses: a Xeikon 8800 and a Xeikon 3500.
Both presses produce high-resolution output at 1200 by 1200 dots per inch (dpi) and feature a media width of 51.3cm (20.2 inches). The Xeikon 3500 was designed for label and packaging applications while the Xeikon 8800 is more frequently used for traditional graphic arts printing.
Bluestem was looking for presses that provide productivity, flexibility and image quality. ‘The Xeikon presses have been incredibly versatile,’ said Bluestem President and Owner, Hal Salisbury. ‘With the help of Xeikon’s support team and our own engineer, we are always developing new unique applications that the press wasn’t necessarily designed for — but nine times out of ten it works.’
Bluestem is a mid-sized, all-digital print shop providing the retail and convenience store sectors with small-medium and large format point of purchase/point of sale (POP/POS) marketing collaterals. Bluestem also offers its customers complex kitting, fulfillment and distribution services. The company has a wide footprint, distributing to all 50 U.S. states and internationally.
‘We take a value-add approach, working consultatively with our customers to assess, simplify and improve complex programs and processes and integrate automation whenever appropriate,’ said Salisbury. ‘The goal is to achieve the best possible turn time while still maintaining a high level of quality.’
‘We constantly review our programes looking for opportunities to fulfil our clients’ orders more quickly, take tasks off their plates and add value to the process.’ Bluestem bought its first digital press in 2007 and, in 2012, became an exclusively digital print shop. According to Salisbury, ‘Over time we saw the potential of digital print, and when the opportunity arose to acquire a pioneering all-digital shop it wasn’t a difficult decision. Digital disruption in the newspaper business had begun to shrink our volumes and we needed to transition into offering other product categories.’
One particular benefit of Xeikon presses is their ability to produce output of virtually unlimited lengths. ‘One of our largest volumes is in-store marketing pieces used by the retail industry, including shelf-edge applications of varying lengths, often as long as 1.5m – 1.8m (5 or 6 feet),’ said Salisbury. ‘So the Xeikon presses are uniquely suited for us.’
Looking to the future, Salisbury plans an expansion into the market for labels. ‘This is a particular specialty of the Xeikon 3500, and a market that offers a lot of opportunities.’