March 10, 2020
GTI Light Booths: Quality that is Built to Last
Whether it’s a New York ad agency, a Connecticut wallcovering studio, or a major car manufacturer, a GTI light booth is at the core of many companies’ workflows. An essential tool for accurate color matching, a GTI viewing system is often the first tool workers turn on in the morning – even before the coffee maker – and it’s used regularly by anyone that is concerned about the quality of the product their company produces.
When so much is at stake, it’s vital a light booth operates properly – day after day. Companies trust GTI because its products are built to last and require very little maintenance. Indeed, GTI’s uncompromising commitment to manufacturing quality products and servicing has made it an industry leader.
“A Product That Doesn’t Require Much”
Lou Chappo is GTI’s executive vice president and sets the standard to which products are built. He’s been with the company for forty-plus years, almost since the beginning.
In the late 1970s, Chappo, an Empire State native, was living in Louisiana where he attended Louisiana State University. On a trip home for his daughter’s christening, he reconnected with Fred McCurdy, a long-time family friend and founder of GTI. Fred offered Lou a job at his budding company, which he accepted.
As GTI’s executive vice president, Chappo oversees the design and manufacturing of all products. One of his team’s key roles is to ensure that products conform to the viewing standard for their respective industries, such as automotive, print, and textiles. Furthermore, it’s a priority for GTI to develop highly reliable products. The goal is that, other than routine relamping, no additional maintenance will be required for the life of the product. “It’s always been our goal to offer products that deliver precise, consistent viewing conditions, and long term trouble-free operation,” Chappo said.
Dedication and Attention to Detail
Surprisingly little has changed at GTI since Chappo began in 1980. It’s still a “soup-to-nuts operation,” as he describes it. Parts – except for electronics – continue to be made in-house. Today, automated CNC machines cut, punch, and weld metal sheets and tubes into the components that make up a light booth, whereas in the past those parts were made on hand-operated machines, such as stations that punched holes in metal.
Chappo points out that GTI only makes light booths, which allows their workforce to dedicate itself to the booth’s design, assembly, and fine-tuned operation. This not only enables GTI to offer viewing booths for all size applications in all industries but to also offer custom products such as color harmony rooms. On top of that, the average employee tenure at GTI is 21 years. Meaning, when a product is manufactured, it’s by a worker who has a deep, intimate knowledge of the company’s products, values, and standards.
GTI’s onsite fabrication gives Chappo and his team a unique perspective of the manufacturing process. Workers scrutinize each step of the process – fabricating parts, shaping chassis, and inspection – according to GTI’s high standard of quality to produce a product that is built to last for decades, not years. Furthermore, it’s a top priority of GTI to produce products that are virtually identical in appearance and performance, which helps to preserve the company’s place as an industry leader. “The ultimate goal is to have one-hundred percent consistency,” he said.
Little Maintenance Necessary
After manufacturing, each product is turned on, warmed up, and tested to ensure that it operates properly and complies with industry viewing standards. In the end, GTI products require little or no maintenance other than routine relamping.
Over time, lamps in a light booth will naturally degrade and need to be replaced. Proper relamping ensures that a viewer maintains conformance to published specifications. GTI is still getting calls from customers that purchased viewers in the early eighties and want to relamp.
Chappo concludes, “GTI is proud to make a high-quality product at a very competitive price. We use top quality components, have a highly skilled and dedicated staff, and are 100% dedicated to making the best viewing solutions in the industry. The result is a product that meets the customer’s expectations for many years – as proven by the large number of sites with multiple viewing booths and the frequency of repeat customers.”