Printing from a distance with Renault DP World F1 Team

Print Solutions: Positive About Print

Like most in-house graphics professionals, Joe McNamara and his colleague David Colman, have seen a sharp rise in demand for social distancing graphics and signage as Renault DP World F1 Team’s Technical Centre prepares to reopen.

It is 10 am on Wednesday morning and, with a tight deadline, Renault DP World F1 Team’s head of graphics should be in his print room, not sitting in a home office, in his shepherd’s hut at the bottom of his garden, in a video conference call with the Roland DG marketing team via a fast broadband link.

A long time friend of Roland, Joe’s relaxed persona is nothing new, but there is an additional air of calm and tranquillity about him on this occasion.

Maybe it was the birdsong in his garden that was soothing his soul ­– or maybe it is the live feed on his laptop showing him, in real time, that everything is going like clockwork back in the printroom at his company’s headquarters in Enstone.

‘With an exceptionally busy start to the season this year, I had built this work from home set up just a few weeks before we had even heard of Covid-19 and my only regret is not doing it years ago,’ Joe explained.

He watches David Colman, his right hand man, on the screen, removing a print from the VG2 and laying it on the application table beside him. ‘Incredibly, we are as productive now, and in fact probably more so, compared to when we were both working in the same room. I can send all production directly to the machines in between Microsoft Teams meetings and phone calls, while Dave works through the finishing alone in the graphics studio at Enstone, with no distractions.’

But what about the device itself? How does the design get from Joe’s laptop in his office in rural Gloucestershire to a printer/cutter in the headquarters of Renault DP World F1 Team, 49 miles away? Fortunately for Joe and others like him, the TrueVis printer/cutters and VersaWorks 6 RIP have both been developed to allow for this kind of remote connectivity. The experience has certainly opened Joe’s eyes to the potential of the technology.

‘The idea of sitting next to a machine in an office is starting to become a little bit outdated. You could put the TrueVis in a small room just a little bit bigger than the machine and produce as much work as you could in a big space, like we have. It really opens up a lot of possibilities – this machine could be halfway around the world and with a decent broadband connection, you can still run prints through it. Just this year, I was in our garage in Barcelona at the first F1 test in February and I was able to make edits and send the job to the TrueVis all the way in Enstone!’

‘I am currently working more hours than usual to get through the current workload, but the lack of a 90 mile, round trip commute means rather than sitting in the car for two hours a day, I am getting more work done and feeling a lot better for it! David is also enjoying the fast pace in the studio in Enstone because, every time he takes something off the printer, I have sent another job to it by the time he turns around again. With him being a military veteran, he much prefers to be busy. He’s enjoying the new way of working too, and the working day just flies by – it works for everybody.’

He continued, ‘Over Easter weekend, we worked on a government backed project to prepare our factory for producing ventilators instead of the normal racing car parts. Naturally there was a huge amount of signage needed for that, so we took what we had learned and applied it to this project. In this case, a lot of it is temporary ‘do not shut’ labels for windows and simple instructional stuff like that, but our technical centre is a huge complex – and that is a lot of windows. We were faced with a huge task because there was so much temporary safety signage and floor graphics to do for the factory re-opening – but we were confident we would hit our target with time to spare.’

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