PrintBig, a design and print business, based in Headcorn near Ashford, has become the latest advocate of the Agfa brand.
Early July it installed its first ever Agfa engine, a new Anapurna H3200i LED press run by the Agfa Asanti workflow solution. The new engine has effectively replaced three machines for the business allowing them to print wider and faster according to PrintBig’s MD Paul Smith.
The new Anapurna H3200iLED has replaced a Solvent 2.6m roll to roll printer, a HP Latex roll to roll and a Durst Omega Hybrid 1.6m, all of which had served the business well over the years. The company needed a wider format engine, especially to cope with soft textiles for their exhibition work, but didn’t want to lose any features offered by their incumbent machines.
“We looked at a number of replacements to satisfy our customer’s current demands for larger volumes on shorter lead times. The Anapurna H3200i LED can print ten times the speed of our old printers and the quality is superb. For quality and square metres output the Agfa H3200i LED Anapurna is at the best price point in the market today as an investment and it’s also extremely cost efficient to run, which for us was just as important as the unit price. The investment cost to output volume is low and the yield is high.” Said Paul Smith MD for PrintBig.
“The added value for us was also that the Anapurna offers us six colours and allows us to use an extra white. We use a great deal of white, which we applied manually with vinyl or painting and now we can print a solid or spot white directly onto materials. We are also delighted with the LED curing which are cooler and cheaper to run. They are more reliable that the old tungsten bulbs which, not only needed replacing more regularly but could delay production with the time needed for them to heat up and cool down.”
As more and more print buyers ask for green credentials, which are usually based around the choice in materials, it’s helpful to explain the benefits of a machine that prints twice the width at ten times the speed and uses half the electricity. The power saving, therefore ecological benefits of a printer like the wide format Anapurna’s add up over the course of a year.
PrintBig was established in 1991 by founder Paul Smith. Paul has been in the market since he trained as a graphic designer at the age of 18 and the company now produces a range of marketing materials from self adhesive graphics, point of sale material, banners, pop-ups to exhibitions. They now have over 6000 sq ft of production space and employ 8 people. Most of their business is via referral and they boast that they rarely lose a client.
The Anapurna H3200i LED with the Asanti workflow may be the company’s first investment in Agfa kit but they were keen to point out how professional the team from Agfa have been, quoting that they went above and beyond to secure the sale and that the installation ended a day ahead of schedule.
“This latest development has been a substantial investment for us.” Said Paul Smith. “Almost £500k, when you take into account the need for a larger 3.2m flat bed cutter, larger roll handlers and lifters and the moving of kit to cater for the larger format Agfa engine. But we see the next five years in print with our customers, offering bigger format with a faster turnaround and we are now ready for it.”
Picture Caption: L to R: Paul Smith MD PrintBig, Paul Abson Sales Director PrintBig, Henry Stevens Agfa & Joe Woolley Production Manager PrintBig.