ASTRON group, based in Prague, started as a small studio in 1993. Now, with a 300-strong team, it is a major player in the Central European print market, offering a wide range of products; from magazines and leaflets; to banners, POS, and illuminated and 3D signage.
Its customer base covers the public sector, small local businesses, and large national and multinational brands. One area the company highly prides itself on is its high-quality sign making, and in late 2019 it invested in an Onset X3 HS from Fujifilm, with High Five and Dual Flex robotics, to produce exceptional print work in the fastest possible time.
“Our company motto is ‘from business card to billboard’ – we want our customers to know just how vast our product offering is,” says Ing. Tomáš Novák, CEO at ASTRON group. “We produce a bit of everything here, but we always strive for the best possible customer service with every product we make, meaning they must be printed to a very high standard and delivered in good time.”
Leading up to the Coronavirus outbreak of 2020, ASTRON group was hitting annual turnovers of almost €20m. The business has always been run very efficiently, and when the time came to increase production capacity even further in its large format division, ASTRON group went on the lookout for some of the most advanced print technology on the market.
Tomáš continues: “We closely follow all the news from the major print technology manufacturers, so when we became aware of the Onset X3 HS model from Fujifilm we were interested to find out how it could help us expand our business even further. We already had a well-established, positive relationship with Fujifilm stretching back 3 years as we own an Acuity Advance Select X2 and have invested heavily in their inks too, so we were intrigued by the new high speed Onset model.
“Seeing the print quality was one thing, but the advanced robotics on the Onset X3 HS were remarkable – it was something completely unique and new to us. We immediately recognised that utilising robotics for the movement of substrates could overhaul our production methods for the better.
“Since its installation in early 2020, we’ve seen the Onset X3 HS with High Five and Dual Flex robotics increase our productivity and production capacity substantially, while also reducing labour costs at the same time. We’ve moved from a classic, labour-intensive sign-making process, to industrial high capacity printing. We see this investment as a strategic move that is essential for us as a business because we want to be the print industry’s leader for the Central European market – a goal we are certainly on course to achieve now.”
Tomáš also acknowledges the importance of the support provided by Fujifilm: “We have a very good relationship with our local Fujifilm team. The level of technical knowledge offered by the service engineers has been invaluable and they’re always available to help when needed.
“For any business looking for large format digital printing solutions – we would highly recommend Fujifilm. They are well aware of our customers’ requirements and have proven to be the perfect choice for us.”
Kevin Jenner, European Marketing Manager for Wide Format Inkjet Systems at Fujifilm Graphic Systems Europe says: “It’s one thing to have an extremely broad product offering – it’s quite another to back that up with exceptional standards of service and quality across every product line. ASTRON group has done just that, year after year. They’re an exciting company, full of ideas and always eager to grow, and we’re delighted they’ve chosen the Onset X3 HS High Five and Dual Flex solution to be part of those plans.”