Never miss a deadline. That has been the mantra of Leicester-based Dale Studios for more than 30 years. It is this focus on meeting the core needs of its customers that has also resulted in them being one of the UK’s most creative, respected and reliable design and printing companies.
Keeping such a fundamental promise, even while the business continues to grow at a rapid rate, means ensuring the right tools for the job are readily at hand. For Dale Studios, the latest addition to their workshop is a new Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED 3.2m Hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll LED UV-curable printer, supplied by long-term large format solutions partner, I-Sub.
It’s all about capacity
Ben Millard is Creative Director for Dale Studios and he explains why the company needed to make this important investment. “Our business has grown several-fold over the last five years, since we first invested in UV flatbed printing with I-Sub. Maintaining our commitment to never miss a deadline means we have to have the capacity to fulfil an ever-increasing number and range of projects and we knew it was time to significantly increase the printing and production power we could offer.”
Initially, the company was looking at 3.2m UV roll-to-roll options, but when they saw the hybrid version of the Agfa Anapurna, the machine was hard to refuse. “For a relatively low cost premium, we could see the huge benefits that having a hybrid flatbed and roll-to-roll printer could offer us, particular at 3.2m size. We have the flexibility to print onto a range of rigid media as well as fast roll-to-roll printing, and dual roll facility,” says Ben.
Dale Studios and I-Sub have worked together for more than 10 years and i-Sub has supplied all of the company’s large format solvent and UV printers in that time. Ben explains the key reasons behind this long relationship, “Fulfilling our promise to meet every deadline means that as well as having the right equipment in place, we also need a supplier that can respond positively and professionally to any issues we may have. In that sense, I-Sub have never let us down. They are there when and where we need them and always go that extra mile to make sure we can deliver the very best service to our customers.”
Easy installation and workflow integration
The new Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED was installed in September 2018 and has instantly become a critical element in Dale Studio’s workflow. “Agfa in particular have been excellent in ensuring we are up and running and fulfilling orders really quickly. It has been a fairly straightforward installation and the machine is quickly up to speed, pushing out work at an electric pace pretty much 24/7,” says Ben.
The company already ran their existing production machines using Caldera RIP software, which the Agfa is also running on. This manages the workflow and provides greater control of the printing and production processes. “Consistency between different machines and colour correct print is critically important to us and something Caldera does very well. We have already noticed that the printer, managed by the Caldera RIP, is delivering high quality graphics and colours with less ink usage. This is delivering significant cost-savings, as well as ensuring we are meeting the demands of our customers,” he adds.
Future business growth
Dale Studios offers a complete end-to-end solution for design, print, manufacture, installation and after-care. Quite simply, they know what they are doing, and have a great understanding of the industry and because they do the whole job, they can also maintain better control of the deadline. “The addition of the new Agfa could further transform our business,” says Ben, adding, “It significantly enhances our production capacity and our capability to deliver a broader range of applications. This means meeting even more of our clients’ requirements and growing our reputation as well as our turnover.”
Emma Plant, Sales Director for I-Sub Digital, comments, “Dale Studios have been an exciting company to work with, particularly over recent years. They are fully focused on delivering the best possible solutions for their customers and this means they demand the very best in terms of innovation, quality and reliability from their machines and suppliers. We have delivered the latest in large format printing technology and they have brought the best out of these solutions and their rapid growth is testimony to this.”
Ben Millard concludes, “This is a really exciting time for Dale Studios. Our growth over the last ten years has been rapid, and with the addition of the new Agfa, we fully expect to keep this going. Quite simply, the printer gives us the quality, speed and capacity to produce even more jobs, at pace whilst still maintaining the quality and attention to detail, as well as allowing us to offer a host of new applications, such as large scale fabric back-lit banners, which is a rapidly growing market area along with ultra wide prints up to 3.2m. We have built our business on the service we offer and our commitment to never letting our customers down. Thanks to our latest investment, we know that we can continue to get better, meeting even more of the ‘unrealistic’ deadlines and delivering even more amazing projects.”
Photo Caption - Ben Millard of Dale Studios and Emma Plant of i-Sub Digital with the new Agfa Anapurna 3.2m LED UV printer