Exclusive Coverage: A New Player in Large-Format Land

Industry veterans hoping to carve out niche in competitive marketplace.

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Pledging to put customer service first, three print industry veterans are attempting to carve a niche in the large-format UV-cure inkjet printer market with their new company, Vanguard Digital Printing Systems.

David Cich, president and co-founder of the company, is a 25-year print veteran who was once with Oce´ and, most recently, CET Color. When he left CET to launch Vanguard late last year he brought Jim Case and Jim Peterson along with him. The two Jims now serve as the company’s co-CEOs.

“What we do is we put the customer first no matter what,” Cich tells Sign & Digital Graphics magazine. “Our philosophy is that if you take care of the customer, you take care of the employee and you take care of your vendor partners, then success will come your way.”

The company’s flagship product is the VR5D, a 4′ x 8′ UV-curing flatbed that can print onto substrates up to 4″ thick that weigh up to 300 pounds. It works with both rigid and flexible material.

The VR5D is one of two flatbeds the company is rolling out in 2016, Cich says.

He says Vanguard’s printers can be upgraded in the field, meaning if customers want to add more printheads to increase capacity they won’t have to buy a new printer. It’s another part of the company’s philosophy, Cich said: a singular focus on the customer.

“Right now with the 4′ x 8′ we’re entry- to mid-level, with the 5′ x 10′ we’re going to be mid-to-high level because the 5′ x 10′ uses Kyocera printheads, which gives much faster speeds out of the printheads because of the size of them,” Cich says. 

The company’s second printer is expected to hit the market in the next few weeks. This year Vanguard also plans to release two direct-to-fabric machines.

The company sources its components from all over, but it manufacturers the machines at its facility in Suwanee, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.

“We are selling direct and through distribution,” says Cich. “What we will do is, in geographical areas in which we have partners, we sell through the partners, and in areas where we don’t have distributors we sell direct.

“This year we will focus on the Americas, and after this year we’ll start focusing on expanding the brand worldwide.” 

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Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is digital content editor of Sign & Digital Graphics & WRAPS magazines.

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