“The reliability of the machine is nothing short of incredible,” says John Howard, managing director of Eye Spy Signs in Cambridge, Tasmania, about the company’s 'pride of the fleet' Durst Rho 163 traffic sign printer. "It was not cheap but what do you expect to pay if you are buying the best in the world?"
Eye Spy took delivery of the Durst Rho 163 TS in March 2017 and “all of a sudden, another world opened up,” says Howard. “It quickly re-affirmed our position as an industry leader in road sign manufacturing.
“Year on year, our turnover has increased whilst our labour levels have decreased. Running costs are surprisingly low and the reliability of the machine is nothing short of incredible – we have experienced machine availability exceeding 99% since it was commissioned.
“As well as conventional roll-to-roll printing, it offered many side benefits including the ability to print flat substrates. For example, we very frequently print jobs direct to corflute requiring no over laminate. These days we put many different types of substrates through the machine – it is so versatile."
Eye Spy Signs was established in 1994 as a one-man operation in a garage in Hobart installing real estate signs. In 1996 the company bought a government road signs workshop at tender and all of a sudden became heavily involved in road sign manufacture for the State of Tasmania.
"For the next 20 years, our road signs were made using conventional methods – screen printing or cut vinyl – both high in labour content and inherently inefficient," Howard says. "In the meantime, the development of digital printing processes – and in particular ink technology (in conjunction with 3M) was progressing at a quick pace.
"Recently the company has invested more than $600k in new equipment over the period 2017 to 2018, in purchasing a ZUND flatbed cutter and a DURST Rho 163TS digital traffic sign printer – totally endorsed by 3M for all facets of traffic control signage. Eye Spy also makes reflective vehicle livery using Orafol films.
“The acquisition of the Durst machine is the best business decision that Eye Spy has ever made," he said. "It was not cheap but what do you expect to pay if you are buying the best in the world?” Support from Durst had been “outstanding," he added.
Earlier this year, Howard showed the Durst printer in a video tour of the Eye Spy factory.
Eye Spy Signs has grown to be a leading signage contracting company in Tasmania, employing over 20 people, located at 263 Kennedy Drive, Cambridge in a custom built factory/warehouse.
Eye Spy Signs runs three wide format digital printers – allowing it to print up to 2500mm wide.