CASE STUDY: KUHN CORP
As well as the quality of outputs from both machines, we were impressed by the level of knowledge and support provided by Ricoh. As well as output quality, another benefit has come from the fact that our equipment downtimes are now much lower
Established in 1993, Kuhn Corp is a leading provider of print and packaging materials to customers around Australia. The Brisbane based firm’s 12 employees deliver a full portfolio of services, from initial concept and graphic design to high-quality output on a range of materials.
In a competitive market, delivering the highest-quality outputs at all times is vital. In early 2019, company director Walter Kuhn realised that the equipment he had in place was no longer achieving the standards his customers had come to expect. “Our previous press wasn’t giving us the level of performance and outputs that we were requiring,” he says. “We were also having to contend with downtimes that could make it challenging to meet production deadlines.”
After reviewing a range of alternative devices on the market, the company took the decision to replace its existing sheetfed press with a Ricoh Pro C7200 series digital printer. The Pro C7200 has in-line sensors and calibration that delivers improved front-to-back registration and colour consistency. At the same time, Kuhn says he saw a demonstration of the new Ricoh Ri 3000 direct-to-garment (DTG) printer. “I had no plans to enter the garment printing space, but when I saw the outputs that the Ri 3000 could produce, I realised there had to be market demand and so I placed an order immediately.” The Ricoh Ri 3000 is designed for everything from one-off print jobs to longer runs. It can print full-colour graphics onto light garments in less than 60 seconds. Orders for both printers were placed in mid-August and they were up and running in Kuhn Corp’s print shop within a week. “As well as the quality of outputs from both machines, we were impressed by the level of knowledge and support provided by Ricoh,” says Kuhn. “They understood our particular requirements and were able to show why their offerings were the perfect match.”
With both machines now fully operational, Kuhn Corp is already enjoying some significant benefits. Output quality has improved and the DTG printer has opened up a whole new market for the company. “We’ve been very satisfied with the Pro C7200,” says Kuhn. “Outputs are much closer to what you would expect from an offset press. In fact, some of our customers have asked whether their jobs were actually completed on an offset rather than a digital machine. They are very happy.” The Pro C7200 also gives the company the ability to produce landscape A4 output as well as banner prints – something that wasn’t previously possible. “As well as output quality, another benefit has come from the fact that our equipment downtimes are now much lower,” says Kuhn. “This has led to an improvement in productivity which is great for both us and our clients.” He says the Ricoh Ri 3000 DTG printer was put to work as soon as it was installed, printing images onto t-shirts. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the very high image quality that it can produce. It allows us to print detailed photos directly onto t-shirts with great resolution.” Kuhn says staff have found the Ricoh Ri 3000 printer very intuitive to use and have been experimenting with printing onto a range of different substrates. “We have been getting a lot of interest from customers and our order numbers are growing nicely.” Kuhn says he is very satisfied with the after-sales support provided by Ricoh. While the machines haven’t required any service calls, he’s confident of a prompt response if or when they do. “We have a strong, ongoing partnership with Ricoh. If we need any sort of support, it takes just one phone call and I know we will have someone ready to assist us. I see them as being an important supplier for us in the years to come.”