No-one can have missed the impact that CMYUK Digital has made on the wide-format market in the UK with its in-depth knowledge of the industry complemented by a broad experience of handling colour and understanding every aspect of ink-jet production. As UK distributor for EFI VUTEk’s family of digital printers, complemented by Zünd’s precision computerised cutting systems, the company has now filled the third corner of the triangle through its recent appointment by Agfa to handle its Anapurna M series.
These latest additions to CMYUK’s portfolio of quality products is a logical one and helps to consolidate the company’s position as a leading, successful distributor in the UK. Since its arrival on the market, the Anapurna M Series of combination flat-bed and roll-fed printers has proved to be extremely popular amongst display producers and sign-makers, offering as it does an economic selection of UV-curable solutions which produces photographic quality onto a wide range of rigid and flexible materials.
CMYUK Digital’s Robin East had been looking for a modestly priced printer family for some time but hadn’t rushed into providing historic technologies within this cost sector because none fitted his criteria in terms of quality and duty cycle. “I’d been watching the growth of the Anapurna M range for a while and it struck me that, with its capabilities and pricing, it would be the perfect complement to our high-end EFI VUTEk solutions,” he states. “The opening for us came with the cessation of one of Agfa’s initial distribution agreements in the UK. The timing proved to be perfect for CMYUK Digital, fitting in with our growth plans and intent to cover all equipment investment levels across the UV-curable market.
“Of vital importance, too, is the fact that we refuse to compromise our existing portfolio with a series which hasn’t been proven in the market and didn’t have a good track record,” East continues. “All Agfa equipment sold by us will come complete with all the peace of mind a user deserves and needs, including a manufacturer’s full warranty and, of course, our own technical support. And, in common with our other technologies, all inks and consumables will be supplied from our central ware-house, including an on-line ordering option.”
With many happy customers giving testimony to the levels of service they receive from CMYUK, the company has built up a strong reputation for providing a very efficient follow-through in terms of support and this starts before a machine is purchased. Pre-sales and consultancy are backed-up with full product analysis to make sure that the buyer is getting the right machine for his work-flow and output requirements, and an important emphasis is based on business development and a sensible return on investment.
“CMYUK Digital’s initial consultancy analyses the specific requirement from the customer’s applications, and helps specify accurately the solution required. The implementation of equipment includes bespoke client site surveys, and co-ordination of associated electrical, air and data services. Full training is provided covering machine operation, application techniques and colour profiling,” East explains.
The company stresses it is fully conversant with the training and software side of running a wide-format machine, including RIPs, colour management and profiling to make sure that users of printers supplied produce the correct results, thus reducing wasted output and associated costs. “We strive for trouble-free implementation, working with customers to make sure that they can be productive from the completion of installation — and this is a principle we apply across the board, no matter how large or small the investment,” says East. “We are always available as the client’s first point of contact when it comes to support, liaising with the manufacturer if necessary to minimise down-time and ensuring that upgrades are available as soon as they are released.”
Having made a name for itself as a highly regarded distributor of EFI VUTEk printers and Zünd finishing tables, the addition of Agfa’s Anapurna M series will enable display producers to rely on a dependable source from which to purchase all products. Many potential clients are first-time users of UV-curable ink-jet printers and some are moving into digital production from other print and display related sectors so have minimal knowledge of how combination flat-bed and roll-fed systems work. A further section of users comes from those who are familiar with the technology but who need extra capabilities for high quality colour work. CMYUK Digital’s experience covers all bases and, as East emphasises, no two users are the same and should never be treated as such.
Following the signing of the agreement at FESPA Digital in May, CMYUK Digital is now distributor for the four current Agfa Anapurna M models, as well as any future additions to the range. All of these are sturdily and ergonomically constructed as a stable platform from which to output direct to rigid substrates as well as to flexible materials, featuring dual-board and borderless printing. The machines are designed to output all types of application including front-lit and back-lit posters, banners, signs and displays, exhibition graphics, point-of-purchase and indoor and outdoor advertising applications. Their resolution of 720 x 1440 dpi makes the printers ideal for any photorealistic job up to 1.6 m wide and users can even produce wide-format photographic and fine-art jobs on their Anapurnas.
Since the original six-colour Anapurna M was first introduced by Agfa, the series has been enhanced with the addition of options which have brought the display industry an efficient family of products that won’t break the bank. For users wanting to incorporate varnish into their jobs, the Anapurna Mv represents probably the lowest cost option on today’s market with its ability to handle spot and overall coverage. Those who want a four-colour flat-bed and roll-to-roll unit can choose the entry-level Anapurna M4F whilst companies who want a white ink capability can now opt for the recently launched Anapurna Mw. These machines all feature Konica-Minolta’s tried and trusted KM512 piezo electric print-heads.
Also new this year, and launched at Sign & Digital UK, is the Anapurna M2 — pronounced “squared” — which CMYUK Digital sees as being a best-seller. This model features enhanced automation, a special vacuum strength control system for smoother material transport at higher speeds and shuttle safety sensors which protect the print-heads, in this case the Konica-Minolta KM1024 which features 1024 nozzles and is designed to be energy efficient through its low power requirements. Agfa’s also simplifed the media loading with the M2, making it easy to handle different materials, thanks to the automated registration bars and head height adjustment. Unlike many printers in this category, there’s also an ionising bar which eliminates static, thus enhancing adhesion and crispness of fine details and text.
East believes it has been well worth the wait to find the right machine to fit into CMYUK Digital’s product portfolio. “The Anapurna M family completes the triangle for us, bringing a high quality modestly priced printer series to our growing list of customers who want to move to UV-curable production but who don’t want to deal with a different distributor,” he concludes. “The Agfa brand needs no introduction, and we’re proud to be adding the company’s name to our equipment range.”