20 May 2024

Zund G3 2XL-3200 Cutter grows capacity for UPG Print Group

UPG Print Group grows cutting capacity with another Zünd investment.

Based on the outskirts of Ashford in Kent, UPG is part of the Picture Playground Group, run by two brothers (Kier and Tallis). The manufacturing base was acquired as part of their purchase of Print Big, a business established over 20 years ago.

The brothers’ fresh approach, unbounding energy and serious approach to investment has allowed the business to expand year on year, with growth of over 250% across the last two years of trading, with turnover expected to hit £3.9m by the end of 2024.

Tallis Simons, Group Director commented, “The business employs 31 people across all disciplines who are largely based at the Ashford site, which has doubled in size over the last six months with the acquisition of additional factory space”. UPG are a dedicated, knowledgeable and client-focused business that aspires to make a difference every day, by addressing clients’ needs and exceeding their expectations.

Tallis said “We value the long-term partnerships we have with our clients and work collaboratively to lead effective change. Within our team, we have a great mix of experience with a shared obsession for delivering excellent service. We’re focused on working with long-lasting supply partners, that help us create great products across our markets. We offer a fresh and optimist approach, supported by some incredibly creative and talented people across our teams, with our customers appearing to like our technical philosophy, it’s showing in our results.”

Following the purchase of their second AGFA press in 2022 (a Jeti Tauro) UPG found a bottleneck in their production workflow. Tallis said “Following the investment in the new AGFA kit, our print output expanded dramatically, adding strain across our finishing departments. Our existing Zünd, G3 3XL-3200 Digital Cutter was working at full capacity, but this was still leaving production bottlenecks”. Tallis knew they needed to increase their cutting capacity and was keen to assess the market for an additional digital cutter.

UPG visited FESPA-Global Print Expo in 2023 to explore the latest technologies from Zünd and other manufacturers. Tallis said “We may have been happy with our current Zünd, but this did not guarantee the purchase of another”. However, the two brothers were very impressed with the new technology, cutting capability, versatility and software advancements of the latest Zünd G3 digital cutter."

Tallis said “During our visit to the Zünd stand at FESPA, we could quickly see how the latest software and hardware advancements from Zünd would add value to our business.” UPG spoke to Zund UK and a deal was agreed for a Zünd G3 2XL-3200 with a front extension table.”

Three months on, reflecting on the purchase Tallis said “The installation was incredibly smooth, and we have been blown away by the productivity, versatility and availability of data from the new Zünd. A great example, when comparing our existing G3 3XL-3200 to the new G3 2XL-3200 is the real-time savings it has allowed due to the larger footprint from the front and back extension configuration. On roll-based media alone, these are recorded in the region of a 200% increase in productivity, thanks to the larger footprint and full table extension with an upgraded tool kit. The ability to maximise our data capture has also played an important role in the production approach, as we can identify key information relating to capacity and productivity data, minimising downtime. This feature has proved very powerful for UPG across the board when scoping future projects as we continue to maximise on our investment. Overall, we have been blown away by the Zünd, it’s flawless and incredibly versatile. We are sure it will not be long before our next one!".