Total Signs and Graphics has invested in an Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED UV printer and a Blackman & White Genesis V digital cutting system from expert wide format system supplier i-Sub Digital, in an investment made several years ahead of schedule owing to 'a happy push'.
James Cody, Operations Director at Total Signs and Graphics, explains that the Grimsby business had planned to expand production with a new Agfa Anapurna printer in around five years. But when additional floorspace became available at the same time as one of its major customers, a garden centre chain, expanded to become one of the largest in the UK, Total Signs stepped on the accelerator.
"We've always had a strong relationship with the garden centre company and when it went national there was potential for us to grow with them," he says. "However, there was no way we could do it without new a printer - it simply wasn't possible to complete the work in the required time scale."
James attended the Sign and Digital UK show in April 2019 to receive a tailored demonstration of the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED UV printer from i-Sub, a specialist supplier of wide format digital printing systems and consumables - and unbiased advice and support - to customers across the UK. Following a successful application for grant funding, Total Signs took delivery of the Agfa Anapurna in August 2019, giving it the ability to print onto a wide range of uncoated rigid and roll media for indoor and outdoor applications at high speeds. The new Agfa is the first UV printer for the graphics and signage business, which had formerly used only solvent systems.
In turn, however, the faster turnaround enabled by adding the Agfa Anapurna to the newly expanded premises created a bottleneck in the finishing department. Total Signs again contacted i-Sub to discuss its needs, and doubled its investment with the purchase of a Blackman & White Genesis-V digital cutting system soon after.
Blackman & White is the UK's only manufacturer of cutting machines, designing and building its exceptional quality systems at its factory in Essex. In late 2019 i-Sub became the UK exclusive dealer of the Blackman & White range, including the Genesis-V digital cutting system with its interchangeable router, laser and knife tools.
Armed with its new equipment, Total Signs and Graphics could immediately take on more projects for its garden centre client.
"From mid-July until late November we had a team of two installing internal and external signs and graphics, all printed on the Agfa, at branches all around the country," says James Cody. "We then a won a further POS job ahead of Christmas: producing shelf strips for tens of thousands of products. There was no way we could have done that by hand - it was all done on the Blackman & White Genesis-V."
Emma Plant, Sales Director at i-Sub, comments: "We were delighted that Total Signs and Graphics invited i-Sub to work with them and guide them to the best solution for their new printer and finishing requirements. They are a very forward-thinking business which was demonstrated by their decision to fast-forward their initial five-year investment plan into new technology to grow the business and ensure their client's needs were met. whilst offering the best quality products and service available.
"The Agfa Anapurna printer and Blackman & White cutter also offer peace of mind for future growth as both machines have the capacity for further production. In turn this ensures Total Signs not only have the confidence to take on more business and win new work but also that they have the security of knowing deadlines and expectations will be easily achieved using the latest technology available."
James adds: "Our customer's growth gave us a happy push to bring our investment schedule forward five years. The Anapurna and Genesis-V have made a massive difference that means we can now enter new markets and employ two new members of staff.
"We're very loyal customers of i-Sub's, because their service is absolutely second to none. Like Total Signs and Graphics, they put people first."