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Agfa Anapurna replaces three engines at PrintBig

Agfa Anapurna replaces three engines at PrintBig

The image shows (l to r) Paul Smith MD PrintBig, Paul Abson Sales Director PrintBig, Henry Stevens Agfa and Joe Woolley Production Manager PrintBig

PrintBig, a design and print business, based in Headcorn near Ashford, has become the latest advocate of the Agfa brand following the installation of its first-ever Agfa engine, a new Anapurna H3200i LED press powered by the Agfa Asanti workflow solution.

The new engine, which was installed early in July, has effectively replaced three machines, thus enabling PrintBig to print wider and faster according to PrintBig’s Managing Director, Paul Smith. The new Anapurna H3200iLED has replaced a solvent 2.6m roll to roll printer, plus a latex roll to roll and a 1.6m hybrid printer, all of which had served the business well over the years. However, it needed a wider format engine, especially to cope with soft textiles for its exhibition work, but didn’t want to lose any of the features offered by its incumbent machines.

Paul Smith explained: “We looked at a number of replacements to satisfy our customer’s current demands for larger volumes on shorter lead times. The Anapurna H3200i LED can print ten times the speed of our old printers and the quality is superb.

“For quality and square metre output the Agfa H3200i LED Anapurna is at the best price point in the market today as an investment and it’s also extremely cost-efficient to run, which for us was just as important as the unit price. The investment cost to output volume is low and the yield is high.

“The added value for us was also that the Anapurna offers us six colours and allows us to use an extra white. We use a great deal of white ink, which we applied manually with vinyl or painting and now we can print a solid or spot white directly onto media. We are also delighted with the LED curing, which is cooler and cheaper to run. The LED lamps are more reliable than the old tungsten bulbs, which not only needed replacing more regularly but also delayed production as time was needed for them to heat up and cool down.”

“As more and more customers demand green credentials, which are usually based around substrate choice, it’s advantageous to promote the benefits of a machine that prints twice the width at ten times the speed and uses half the electricity. The Anapurna’s power-saving really adds up over the course of a year.”

Following his graphic design training, Paul Smith first established PrintBig in 1991 and the company now produces a range of marketing materials that range from self-adhesive graphics, point of sale material, banners, pop-ups and exhibition graphics. It operates from a 6000 sq ft production space, employs eight people and most of its business is via referral.

The Anapurna H3200i LED with the Asanti workflow may be the company’s first investment in Agfa kit, but Paul was keen to point out how professional the team from Agfa have been, reporting that it went above and beyond to secure the sale and completed the machine’s installation a day ahead of schedule.

He concluded: “ At almost £500K this development represents a substantial investment for us. As well as the Anapurna, we also acquired a larger 3.2m flatbed cutter and larger roll handlers and lifters too. We also had to move other kit around so that we could accommodate the larger format Agfa engine. However, we think that over the next five our customers will require larger format print with a faster turnaround and now we are ready for it – bring it on!”

For further information on PrintBig, visit: www.printbig.co.uk

For further information on Agfa, visit: www.agfa.com

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