Gateshead based print and sign company, One Sign & Digital, has invested in a new Agfa Anapurna 1650i LED Hybrid printer. The new machine has been supplied by i-Sub Digital and highlights One Sign's commitment to continuous investment in the very latest print technology.
One Sign & Digital operates from a 10,000 sq. ft office space and manufacturing facility in Gateshead. The company has the in-house production capabilities to supply clients with a broad range of applications, a responsive service and fast turnaround, using the latest and leading machinery. Chris Timmins is the founder and owner of One Sign and he says, "Around ten years ago, when my father sold his sign business, we set up One Sign & Digital as a full service print company in the same premises. I was a graphic designer by trade so the company focused on design solutions and printing cards, letterheads, brochures and the like. As the company grew we invested in a variety of print equipment so that we could provide all our products and services in-house and so that we would have full control over projects from start to finish. We now have 25 staff and a well-established, growing printing operation."
This commitment to technology investment and customer service has been the major driving force behind One Sign's growth and success. Chris adds, "As well as focusing on customer service, which I believe is paramount in this business, we aim to keep at the leading edge of technology. Having the most modern, reliable and high quality machines means that our customers can turn to us for just about any printing requirement and we have the capability and capacity to meet their needs and their timings. We have a broad range of large format digital printers, covering the key technology areas of solvent, latex and UV. We also spend a lot of time researching and testing new media and materials to ensure we can fulfil as broad a range of customer requirement as possible. The recent purchase of the Agfa Anapurna has taken our offering to whole new level."
The 1.6m wide-format hybrid Agfa Anapurna 1650i LED printer combines rigid board and roll-to-roll printing with a maximum media thickness of 45mm and a print width of 1650mm, making it a hugely versatile and productive solution for One Sign. With CMYK & White inks the creation of superb quality output at high speed is simple, with very little maintenance it is one of the easiest machines to operate and maintain in it's class.
Benefits of the Agfa Anapurna UV-LED Hybrid Printer
The company originally purchased a UV machine around five years ago and this opened up a range of new and exciting applications for One Sign. The recent acquisition of the Agfa Anapurna has taken that to another level. "The Anapurna has already had a huge impact on our business because it is simply faster and more reliable than the machine we were using before, as well as outputting vastly superior quality graphics. Our previous machine produced an 8x4ft graphics board in 22 minutes. The Agfa can do this in 8 minutes! As a result, we are able to produce more work and our operators are more productive as they are no longer having to wait extended periods for printing to finish. This has already had a positive impact on our turnover and profitability," says Chris Timmins.
The ease of use and maintenance of the new printer has really impressed Chris, "The Agfa is more user-friendly and simple to look after. Our previous UV machine had serious issues with static that meant ink over spray was a constant challenge, causing print quality issues and time delays. The Agfa has a built-in anti-static system ensuring static is no longer an issue and the print quality is consistently perfect. We used to have a problem with white ink on our previous machine due to the tubes and nozzle's constantly blocking up. The Agfa has a dedicated White ink re-circulation system that ensures there are no such issues and White ink waste is kept to an absolute minimum reducing running costs significantly for us."
He continues, "The Agfa Asanti RIP software drives the Agfa Anapurna and offers excellent colour control, functionality and is more of a workflow than a simple RIP as we were used to previously. Along with Agfa's UV ink technology the Asanti RIP software enables extremely low ink use, reducing our production costs dramatically. These improvements and many more have made a huge difference to our workflow and our ability to meet deadlines and grow the business. In addition, the printer takes up considerably less space in the workshop, which is important considering the number of machines we have in our production area."
Working with i-Sub
Another important benefit of selecting the Agfa is that One Sign could continue its long-standing relationship with i-Sub. Chris explains, "As much as we pride ourselves on customer service, sometimes we are reliant on our own suppliers to maintain excellence. We have always had a fantastic relationship with i-Sub, where they put our interests first. Everything is dealt with dealt with promptly and professionally, with lots of feedback to reassure us that everything is being dealt with properly. They go above and beyond to sort out anything we need and that means we always go to them first with any printing requirement."
Emma Plant Sales Director at i-Sub says "One Sign & Digital were a typical customer who had invested in a UV flatbed system a number of years previously. Whilst such systems were the forefront of technology at the time, the issues relating to print quality, speed, reliability and ease of use become apparent as time goes on. When new technologies such as the Agfa Anapurna are developed, these issues are eliminated and allows for the business to move into new areas along with increasing profitability."
She continues, "We have worked with Chris and his father previously for over 15 years. The importance of working with a supplier you can trust and building a strong relationship is demonstrated with One Sign's loyalty to i-Sub and choosing us as their preferred supplier for this investment."
The Agfa was installed at One Sign in November 2018 and has already made a big difference to the business. "Thanks to the Agfa, we are now able to look at new applications, such as day/night print displays, which opens up further revenue streams for us," says Chris. He concludes, "It's a significant investment, but one that will repay itself many times over the coming years. We are confident that with the advice and support we receive from i-Sub that we can continue to meet customer demand and grow our business in a sustainable and positive way."