Nijs bv - Road signs à la carte

"Custom road signs we can now deliver within one day."

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Herante BV business manager Etienne Weijenberg and Michiel Breugelmans, production manager at Nijs bv next to the Avery Dennison TrafficJet™ Xpert.

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THE CHALLENGE

Have better control over the quality and turnaround time of road sign production.

Product in user story: Avery Dennison TrafficJet™ Xpert printer

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What do you do when you want to have better control over the quality and turnaround time of road sign production? Working closely with an external partner is one option, but another is to do the production in-house. And that’s exactly what Nijs bv from Scherpenheuvel-Zichem (Belgium) did. They now have the most common road signs available off the shelf and custom signs can be delivered within a day. A world of difference !

You can probably count on both hands the number of companies in Belgium that are active in applying road markings and placing road signs. But just as in other sectors, they’re always looking for extra added value with which to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Since Kris Nijs started his own business for road markings and road signs 21 years ago, a lot has changed. Kris explains: "We used to have more of a long-term planning approach, but today everything has to be faster. So being able to change gears quickly is a must, if one link in the chain falters, then the whole plan falls apart."

Timely delivery was a pain point

One of the pain points that Nijs bv often ran into was the timely delivery of road signs. Kris explains, "We offer a lot of 'turnkey' solutions for road construction contractors. This includes both the application of road markings on newly constructed roads and the placement of the necessary road signs, and all for a fixed, all-in price. For the contractor, there are only advantages, as they don’t have to worry about anything. For us, on the other hand, it's a real challenge, because all the road signs have to be delivered at the same time, and that's where things sometimes went wrong."

Production in your own hands

We decided that the way round this issue was to produce the road signs ourselves. Michiel Breugelmans, Production Manager at Nijs bv explains, "We knew that on-demand print solutions were on the market and sat down with Etienne Weijenberg, Manager of Herante bv, our supplier of reflective films and Avery Dennison distributor for retro reflective film in Benelux and Germany. He presented us with the Avery Dennison TrafficJet Xpert digital printer. A compact device with a good price-quality ratio and sufficiently fast to meet our needs. But a printer alone is not enough, of course, because the printed foil must also be laminated, cut and applied on a substrate."

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More than just road signs

When they do something at Nijs bv, they want to do it right first time. Michiel: "During that brainstorming session we looked at whether we could also use the investment for other purposes - such as producing our own marketing materials. That's why the configuration turned out to be slightly larger than what we initially had in mind. In addition to the TrafficJet Xpert printer and laminator, we also have a flatbed cutting table with cutter which we use, among other activities, to make our own templates for the road markings. Best of all, we think up and discover new applications every day."

Multifunctional and reliable

"The great thing about the TrafficJet Xpert is that it has large ink cartridges containing both special True Traffic Color™ spot inks in the typical road sign colors of black, blue, red, yellow, green as well as cyan and magenta, so we can use the printer for other full-color purposes as well," says Michiel. "Another asset, and not unimportant for laymen like us, is the simple operation of the printer. Installing a new roll is child's play and five minutes of daily maintenance and a nozzle check are enough to keep the print quality optimal. On top of that, it has also proven to be a very reliable machine so that we can often print through the night unattended."

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Kris Nijs concludes, "Thanks to this investment, we can now be much more responsive and have control over both quality and delivery time. The most common road signs are now available off the shelf and special signs we deliver the next day. Yes, we really couldn't live without it and in the future we are planning a second printer so that each machine can print on a specific reflective foil."

The Avery Dennison TrafficJet™ Xpert printer is always used in combination with Avery Dennisson retro-reflective films.

Avery Dennison submit combinations of sheeting, printed with the TrafficJet™ Xpert and laminated with Avery Dennison's overlays. All are tested and certified to meet the requirements of the current specifications. Customers are able to use all Avery Dennison's testing for their own CE.

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