Hay River’s Poison Graphics is undergoing a significant upgrade of equipment and an expansion of its working space.

Derek Mundy, the owner/operator of Poison Graphics, said about $760,000 is being invested into the changes.

One of the cornerstones of the upgrades is the arrival on May 31 of a massive new printer, called the HP R2000 latex printer.

“The tech came in from Ontario,” said Mundy. “We spent two-and-a-half days setting it up and two-and-a-half days giving us training.”

The new printer will mean a huge increase in production.

The first job for the new printer was an ‘Every Child Matters’ sign, which is now on the fence of Diamond Jenness Secondary School.

“That job normally would have taken about an hour, an hour and a half,” said Mundy. “We did that whole job in under 10 minutes.”

Along with being faster, the new printer can do larger jobs.

“The printing area on it is 98 inches wide and it’s on a conveyor belt,” said Mundy. “So it can go forever, basically.”

Plus, he noted it will also provide better quality.

Mundy believes the new printer should mean more business for Poison Graphics, noting it is only one of 30 such machines in all of Canada.

The $230,000 printer was purchased with $100,000 of support from the territorial government’s inaugural NWT Manufacturing Innovation and Technology Contribution.

An additional change at Poison Graphics has been the arrival of another major piece of equipment, a new computer numerical control (CNC) machine, which was still waiting to be installed last week.

“That’s going to get rid of all the bottlenecks within our company,” said Mundy. “Right now, we had one machine serving many roles. It took about half an hour to retool the machine depending on what we were doing. So now there will be no bottlenecks. Everything that gets printed can go straight to that new CNC machine we got there.”

With the changes at the company’s printing shop on Vale Island, more room was needed, so Poison Graphics has added a new office trailer next to its main building.

“We spent about a month doing renovations inside the building in order to accept all this equipment,” said Mundy.

The changes were so significant that there had to be an increase in power supplied to the main printing shop.

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