Visual Services of Texas Scores Big with Epson SureLab D3000 Professional Dry Lab

Visual Services of Texas Scores Big with Epson SureLab D3000 Professional Dry

In-house Epson Dry Lab Delivers School Sports Photo Business Better Quality,
More Profit and No Chemical Waste

PR Newswire

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 1, 2014

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --High school football in
Texas is a big deal. "Even our photographers feel the competitive vibe when
they set up team shots on the football field," said Pete Wagner, vice
president of Visual Services of Texas-Houston, LP (VST), a school sports and
event photography company serving over 170 schools in the greater Houston

Epson America, Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Epson America, Inc.)

VST stepped up its own game in the competitive school photography field when
it purchased two Epson^® SureLab^® D3000 professional dry labs for its
Richmond, Texas studio. "Our products have never looked so sharp and vivid,"
said Wagner. "Driving right into our busy fall season, the two SureLabs are
workhorses operating six days a week."

From Wet to Dry Lab
As a high-volume photography company, VST discovered 15 years ago in-house
printing is more convenient and cost-effective than outsourcing. And after
years of "putting a lot of miles" on a costly in-house chemical-based minilab,
the company stood at a technology crossroads. "We had to decide the cut-off
point for investing in older technology that was proving too costly to
maintain," said Wagner.

He knew which way to turn when he saw the SureLab D3000 in action at his local
Epson representative's studio. "We were content with the quality from our
in-house wet minilab, but I was surprised to find the Epson dry lab had
quality twice as good, and it was reasonably priced," said Wagner.

After some test runs, he noticed smoother skin tones, color accuracy,
shadow-to-highlight detail, clarity, and sharpness. "I saw impeccable quality
improvements over silver halide and our aging printers," he said. "It was a
no-brainer to figure out that sales orders would increase once coaches,
directors, parents, and students saw the brighter colors and quality images."

Ready, Set, Production!
By the next school term, VST had installed two SureLab D3000 dry labs that
were printing a high volume of sports photos for 170 high schools and junior
high schools – preserving memories of school spirit, students, coaches and
teams, whether football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, track,
swimming, tennis, bands, orchestras, choirs, cheerleaders, proms, or
homecoming dances.

VST is now producing team pictures at fast speeds with a much lower
cost-per-print and total cost of ownership. "Because we're a small business,
our workflow is very streamlined for maximum efficiency," said Wagner. "We
made a smooth transition to the SureLab without any additional
software/hardware purchases."

After a photographer finishes shooting the school event, images are delivered
to the in-house studio via camera cards or file sharing. The VST production
staff gets busy loading images into a database to sort for each individual
school, sport, team, and player. Next, images are edited and retouched using
Adobe^® Photoshop^® and ACDSee^™ Pro 7 software. VST also shoots and edits
with ExpressDigital^® Darkroom^™ Assembly school group photography management
software and field station laptops. Staff use PrintShop^® Deluxe to print
order envelope labels on a standard desktop printer, with stations for
shipping boxed product back to the schools.

High-Volume Heavy Hitter
During VST's busy season, the SureLab D3000 dry labs produce up to 500 prints
per day, including 8"x10" pages (combinations of 2.5"x3.5", 5"x7" and 4"x5"
sizes) and specialty work like 12"x48" team picture panoramas. One SureLab
D3000 is dedicated to outputting individual photo packages, while the other
prints à la carte products and high-volume 8"x10" team photos. VST also uses
an Epson Stylus^® Pro 7900 for large-format printing up to 44-inches wide.

With the SureLab D3000, VST can produce up to 260 8"x10" prints per hour and
up to 650 4"x6" prints per hour^1 without lab fees or delays. The printer uses
Epson's MicroPiezo^® print head technology with variable droplet sizes as
small as 1.5 picoliters. For use exclusively with six-color Epson
UltraChrome^® D6 ink cartridges and not with any other inks or cartridges^2,
the SureLab produces water-resistant prints with image quality beyond
traditional chemical-based photo labs that will last for generations^3. The
dry lab is available in a single- or dual-roll configuration, and either unit
can be coupled with an optional 10-bin sorter.

No More Hazardous Liquid Waste
"Our biggest money savings with the SureLab came from no longer having to
store and properly dispose of hazardous waste," said Wagner. Outside Houston
city limits, VST must conform to the limitations and regulations of its
off-grid municipal sewage status. Using the SureLab D3000 instead of
chemical-based systems, VST can erase costly overhead from its balance sheet –
up to $7,000 per year for silver halide effluent storage.

Wagner also appreciates the simplicity of using and maintaining the SureLab
D3000. "We just do a little cleaning at the end of the day, and we're done,"
he said. "Our installer had the printers operational within hours. Additional
operator training was minimal for machine maintenance and driver software."

"VST has always strived to be customer service conscious, to approach our
clients in a professional manner, and provide a high quality product in a
timely delivery," said Wagner. "In Houston and surrounding school districts,
we work diligently to maintain our customer base and are fortunate to have
tireless support from our vendors. Epson printing technology and involvement
has enabled us to live up to our mission."

For more information on Epson's complete line of professional printers and
papers, including the SureLab D3000, visit

About Epson
Epson is a global innovation leader whose product lineup ranges from inkjet
printers and printing systems, 3LCD projectors and industrial robots to
sensors and other microdevices. Dedicated to exceeding the vision of its
customers worldwide, Epson delivers customer value based on compact,
energy-saving, and high-precision technologies in markets spanning enterprise
and the home to commerce and industry.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more
than 73,000 employees in 94 companies around the world, and is proud of its
ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which
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^1 Print speeds are based on print engine speed only. Total throughput times
depend upon front-end software, file size, printer resolution, networking,
number of pages per print job and frequency of jobs.

^2 The SureLab D3000 is designed to use only Epson ink cartridges and not
other brands of new or refilled cartridges, or other brands of ink or bulk ink
systems. Using Epson cartridges is important for reliable performance and high
image quality. Epson offers voluntary recycling of spent ink cartridges.

^3 Print permanence lasting for generations is based on accelerated testing of
prints, on specialty media, displayed indoors in a glass frame or stored in an
album. Actual print permanence will vary according to media, printed image,
display conditions, light intensity, temperature, humidity and atmospheric
conditions. Epson does not guarantee the permanence of prints. For maximum
life, prints should be displayed under glass, UV filter or lamination, or
properly stored.

Note: EPSON, Epson UltraChrome, MicroPiezo, SureLab, and Epson Stylus are
registered trademarks and EPSON Exceed Your Vision is a registered logomark of
Seiko Epson Corporation. All other product brand names are trademarks and/or
registered trademarks of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any and
all rights in these marks.



Contact: Duane Brozek, Epson America, Inc., 562-290-4026,, or Stephanie Johnson, Walt & Company, 408-369-7200
ext. 1048,
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