With the EFI VUTEk printer, Ateliers Cassandre can now claim to be a leading sublimation printing company in France, and even in Europe.
One of the French leaders in event printing, Ateliers Cassandre, in Wissous, an inner suburb of Paris, specialises in wide and very wide format digital printing on all media. “My father started the company in 1995”, recalls Clément Asnar, the current Managing Director. “We are stand designers who converted to printing and more specifically, events. To keep the business moving forward and to sustain it, we had to come out from behind the stand and look beyond it.”
Over seven years, Ateliers Cassandre has become a 100% digital print provider. The company has around fifteen employees and today offers a huge range of print solutions: exhibition display stands, signs for shops, banners, largescale canvasses etc., for events, trade shows, interior decoration, businesses and construction. “Advertisers are increasingly in search of a ‘great idea’ that will place them in the spotlight, a communication or customised print product that will highlight their competitive edge. Our role is to be a creative force thanks to our technical innovation, to support them with different types of expertise and extremely diverse state-of-the-art machinery which incorporates every type of printing technology: UV, latex, and sublimation.’
OFFERING SOMETHING UNIQUE TO CUSTOMERS
Clément Asnar is conscious of trends and market expectations and in 2017 made the choice to put money back into the company in order to considerably grow the sublimation division. Thanks to the VUTEk FabriVU 520 from EFI, which measures five metres in width, he is preparing for the future of his company. “In an increasingly strained printing market, the growth of a company depends on its ability to stand out, to offer its customers something not necessarily unique, but at the very least unusual and difficult to source from other suppliers. This is what the FabriVU allows us to do,” Asnar says. “The aim is for Ateliers Cassandre to quickly become THE print provider in France, in particular with those in the decoration sector and interior designers.”
Staying ahead of competitors, Ateliers Cassandre led the way in sublimation by investing in its first 3.20m wide machine in 2015, says Asnar. “It was obvious to me that the future of our profession lay here and that fabric would occupy an ever more important place in printing because of its incredible qualities: a very pleasing look, nicer to the touch than other materials, a print quality with striking colours, its ecological aspect, etc.”
After taking time to master this new sublimation technology, Ateliers Cassandre quickly knew how to grow their customer portfolio, to such an extent that Asnar decided to reinvest in the company in order to grow this area and also to provide a vital backup to secure production. The choice of very wide format, 5 metres in width, is required for the decoration sector’s needs, in particular.
The level of investment commits Asnar and his team to carrying out an in-depth study of the materials available on the market and meeting the demanding quality, durability and throughput criteria of his SME. His choice focused on the VUTEk FabriVU 520 from EFI. “The future of the company was committed given the level of investment, so my first criterion was the reliability of the supplier”, he says. “EFI’s reliability has been established for a long time and the purchase of the Italian manufacturer Reggiani made the difference. Reggiani is extremely well-known on the sublimation market and its association with EFI was an additional guarantee of the quality of the technology both today and its future development.”
Ateliers Cassandre’s technical manager visited the EFI’s Bergamo factory in Italy to see the 5m wide VUTEk FabriVU in production and to discuss specialised technical issues with the site teams. “He came back convinced that we were making the best decision”, something which has not waned since, quite the opposite!
AN INDUSTRIAL PRINTER
The EFI VUTEk FabriVU is a 4 colour printer, with resolutions up to 2,400 dpi, it provides four level grey scale printing with 4 pL to 18 pL drop sizes to ensure exceptional quality. “Throughput, ranging from 157 m2/h POS quality, at a maximum speed of 446 m2/h, was not necessarily our top priority but rather industrial design and the long-term reliability of the printer,” according to Asnar.
By choosing the EFI VUTEk FabriVU 520, Ateliers Cassandre is banking on sublimation by transfer technology and has therefore also invested in a second calendar. In order to offer its customers a complete service from A to Z, the company has also incorporated a fabric welding bench. The workshop is in the process of industrialisation surrounding the printer which will make it easier to attract and to be able to deal with bigger customers. “The VUTEk FabriVU is therefore fully incorporated into our growth strategy and in my vision for the future of the company, Asnar says. It enables us to scale an important additional market. Today there are very few of us, in France and even in Europe, positioned as specialists able to provide this end-to-end service in this very wide format and with this level of quality.”
Since incorporating the VUTEk FabriVU 520, the company has offered an exceptional range of printing processes in all sizes: a flatbed machine with 3m x 2m digital cutting, three 5m UV machines, several 1.60m latex and eco-solvent machines, plus sublimation machines with two calendars and a sewing and welding workshop, and more. “What many customers are seeking is highly proactive suppliers that can always offer them a bespoke solution, however varied their requirements may be”, Asnar says. “With the FabriVU, our machinery is now of a capacity to provide A to Z solutions and we have the ability to find the right compromise whatever the difficulty or the peculiarity of the work requested.”
The director of Ateliers Cassandre doesn’t lack ambition for his company and he is giving himself the means to grow it. Thanks to the VUTEk FabriVU, the company has a greater presence among its existing customers as a result of its larger product range. “The growth of the company has always been smooth”, notes Asnar. “Our goal is not to flood the market but to continue along our path at our own pace in the spirit of service that my father passed onto me.”
Of course, the second step is to open up markets and to establish new contacts thanks to these recent investments. He mentions printing on carpet, for example, “but we are still at the stage of discovering all of the printer’s possibilities and there are definitely creative opportunities and opportunities to add value that we aren’t even aware of yet.”
Every day, new material profiles are produced on an ongoing basis to provide a fully comprehensive and original range of products and services. “We try to find new added value media to provide arguments to encourage our customers to assess certain sublimation outputs. Furthermore, they are very responsive to and interested in the potential our recent investments offer. It certainly takes time to convince customers and especially to change their habits but we are perfectly equipped to do so!”
Created in 1995 in Wissous, l’Essonne, Ateliers Cassandre was initially a stand designer which converted some years later to printing and more particularly, to events. The aim of this new positioning is to stand out and for this, the SME is investing in wide format digital printing (up to 5m in width) and on all media: PVC, wood, textiles, Plexiglas, tarpaulin, adhesive sheets, etc. The director’s vision for market growth commits it to take one step further by positioning itself very early in sublimation, and by offering its customers an alternative with high quality, environmentally friendly printing.
4 Route de Paray, 91320 Wissous, France
+33 (0)1 69 30 01 01
ATELIERS CASSANDRE IN FIGURES:
1995: Ateliers Cassandre is founded
22 years of experience
1600m² workshop across multiple levels
1.8 million euros invested over 5 years.
“In an increasingly strained printing market, the growth of a company depends on its ability to offer its customers a unique service.”
“We decided to be among the first to offer 5 metre wide sublimation printing.”
“With the FabriVU, our machinery is now of a capacity to provide our customers with anything that they need.” - Clément Asnar, Managing Director of Ateliers Cassandre