September saw the installation of an Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED wide format engine for established POS manufacturer, BD&H. It was the second part to a £150,000-plus investment that followed the Agfa Asanti workflow and Agfa Asanti StoreFront installation for the business last year.
“We decided that the Agfa Anapurna would be a great next step for our business, so we committed to the Asanti workflow solution and to their linked Asanti StoreFront product last year in anticipation.” Said David Hutchins MD for the Norwich based business, BD&H.
BD&H wanted to offer one of their larger customers the convenience of ordering their agreed range of POS on line, calling it off directly for display and effectively offering them a one-stop-shop. Agfa’s Asanti StoreFront cloud-based software product has enabled this, working perfectly alongside the Asanti workflow. It’s worked so well it’s BD&H’s intension to roll the service out to other customers, especially as they now have a more efficient print solution with their new Anapurna engine.
Now that the trio of Agfa products are fully installed we asked BD&H how they are using the products and what advantages they have brought to the business.
BD&H was originally two separate businesses, BD Studios that specialised in screen-printing and W H Hutchins, a litho print business, both established in 1968. The two companies worked closely together for many years so their merger in the late 1980’s was a natural progression. The business grew, largely on the silk screen side supported by digital print and took a slightly different focus when they started to print a lot of signage for a company called Tullford, who at the time specialised in signage for the ice cream industry. After a few years, the principle of Tullford wanted to retire and BD&H bought the business. It was a good investment and the foundation of the POS side to their business today that has grown exponentially over the past few years. BD&H now employ 30 people and deal with brands directly. They have their own studio so can support their clients with concept visuals, prototypes, repro and print. They also run a selection of specialist printing machines and cutting equipment too from their site. They no longer call themselves a printer as that can give an incorrect perception of the business. That may be where they began, but now offering a full service BD&H prefer to say: “We manufacture POS and brand it for major accounts”.
The Agfa Asanti workflow product was installed and trained into the business late 2017. Asanti is a complete, automated sign and display production hub featuring a colour management solution, integration with the latest version of Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE), highly specific functionalities (e.g. nesting, see-through concept, proofing support) and fast, automatic pre-flighting. It has streamlined BD&H’s workflow shortening procedures and simplifying their processes.
Agfa’s Asanti StoreFront is a cloud-based web-to-print solution that enables print buyers to place orders online 24/7. Asanti StoreFront offers an easy to access, therefore more efficient service to BD&H customers.
The Anapurna H2500i LED printer is a high-speed hybrid UV LED-curable inkjet system with a printing width of 2.5m for indoor and outdoor applications. It has already taken the aggravation out of some of the jobs that BD&H used to struggle with. It’s physically so much faster than their older printers, all of which are still in use and have a place at BD&H. The Anapurna however uses less ink, due to its Thin Ink Layer Technology, that helps keep the cost of consumables down and increases the speed of print too. The press also satisfies many of the environmental questions now being asked by their larger brand customers.
“The installation of the Anapurna was extremely efficient and so far the service has been good.” Said David. “The demand for faster, cheaper print with increased quality has been a key driver within our industry for many years and this continues at speed. In the early days we had a Zund digital printer and people were amazed initially at what we achieved in terms of quality. But within a year that wasn’t good enough. We used to do screen printed bus POS where 65dpi used to be acceptable, now the quality has to be high resolution, 300dpi equivalent, and the demands just continue to increase. The completion of our investment with Agfa will help keep us ahead in our market. It’s early days with the final part to our investment installed only a few weeks ago, but we are already realising many of the planned benefits.”
Caption: L to R: James Fox Director BD&H, Paul Fitch Agfa, David Hutchins MD BD&H