Traditional wallpaper manufacturer Anstey says it expects the digital side of its business to grow further into the new decade, following a steady increase in the department - now running six HP printers - throughout 2019.
Anstey has a history dating back over a century and is the UK's largest contract wallcovering printer. Based in Loughborough, its premises were formerly used as a print house by Ladybird Books and Anstey continues this legacy of producing work destined for family homes around the world: its high-quality wallpaper is sold by some of the sector's best-known brands.
The company uses 19 different processes to produce its high-grade wallcoverings including, since eight years ago, digital printing techniques. Six years ago, Anstey began its journey with HP and supplier Papergraphics, and now uses four HP Latex 3200 production printers alongside two HP Latex 360 printers for proofing. Since then, digital has grown to represent a significant part of Anstey's turnover, with every sign that the rapid growth rate will continue in the year ahead.
"Digital is just one arm of our business but it is increasing year on year," says Lee Renshaw, Production Manager, Anstey. "In general, digital printing offers many benefits to us as a wallpaper manufacturer and to our customers: shorter runs, a quicker turnaround, unlimited colours, and different print effects that none of our other processes can replicate.
"Since the HP Latex machines were installed, replacing a printer from another brand, we have experienced high levels of consistency and print quality, an improvement in machine reliability and less operator intervention."
Anstey has recruited new staff in both its digital printing department and its design studio to meet increased demand for digitally printed wallcoverings, providing employment opportunities while expanding its business. Owing to the significant growth of digital in a short time frame, Anstey and HP have also worked together to ensure the whole company is familiar with the modern technology.
"Digital is very different to other print processes," explains Lee Renshaw. "It is more technology focused, with emphasis on elements like file transfer, control maintenance and a calibration schedule. This presents new challenges to our employees but by working with HP we've provided in-depth training across different departments including technical, production and engineering. Our whole model of business is changing and growing."
Anstey also benefits from its own Technical Account Manager at HP, a sole point of contact within HP's engineering team with whom Lee and his team have weekly calls to discuss any new requirements and opportunities which may have arisen.
Looking ahead to 2020, Lee says Anstey's digital department is expecting to increase its output again - thanks to both new customers and re-orders - and to expand further into international markets.
For more information on Anstey, please visit: www.anstey.uk.com