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Agfa double whammy increases capacity for PPL

Agfa double whammy increases capacity for PPL

Liverpool based PPL has invested in its second Agfa Jeti Mira 2.7x3.2m flatbed printer, which has enabled it to double its capacity for wide format work. 

The company, which has grown as a multi-channel service provider offering both above and below the line support, purchased the new machine to increase capacity during busy summer periods and to grow the commercial print side of its business. The Jeti Mira was installed in May this year.

.PPL was first established in 1998, following an amalgamation of Liverpool-based ‘Creative Services’, formed in 1975 and PPL ‘Programme Publications formed in 1946 in Epsom, both of which began by supporting local sports events. Today PPL caters for some of the largest international sporting tournaments, offering these brands a complete one-stop-shop for their event management. It has held the R&A Golf account for The Open Championship for over 40 years and publishes for the Rugby Football Union and the England and Wales Cricket Boards too.  It not only designs and prints the programmes and daily score inserts for these events, but also manages on-site programme sales and event publications.

Agfa’s wide format printers enable PPL to print all display POS for the events in-house, while the company also uses a fleet of portable Mimaki printers to provide an onsite printing service for each event.

Through its event work, PPL has diversified into new areas over the years and now has a flourishing digital signage network department that rents and sells both small and large outdoor LED units.  It also manages the data and digital scoreboards at tournaments, produces all POS, including the design, print and installation of the Dibond panels that surround a course, the programme production and selling and even manages the social media feeds for the brands and the professional drone footage of events. In order to handle this work the company employs 30 full-time staff, a total that increases three-fold during the busy summer months when it also provides location staff too.

Today, 60 percent of PPL’s work comes via its sporting clients and 40 percent is commercial work for local agencies and retailers, and it’s this latter category that the company is eager to grow.

Nick Holloway, PPL’s Production Manager explained that whilst a lot of what PPL offers is not unique in itself, the scope and breadth of its services are unusual. He said: “Our customers all benefit from the input of a dedicated team of professionals, including printers, pre-press experts, photographers, event managers, videographers, designers, account handlers and installers, many of whom are multi-skilled and run very different projects at various times of the year. Their expertise is based on years of servicing different customers’ needs and there’s very little that fazes them!”

PPL’s relationship with Agfa started 13 years ago, when it invested in an Anapurna hybrid UV printer. This was ultimately replaced with a flatbed Agfa Titan and in 2015 with its first Agfa Jeti Mira MG2732 HS flatbed with roll-to-roll option.  The latter was installed when the business moved from its central Liverpool location to one that is double the size close to the airport and which also offers better transport links. The 20,000 sq.ft facility offers plenty of space for building displays and housing the two Agfa machines.

The powerful Jeti Mira is a moving-gantry flatbed printer designed for optimum flexibility. With a bed size of up to 2.7x3.2m , a roll-to -roll option, LED curing and advanced 3D lens technology, the Mira series has recently won SGIA Product of the Year 2019 in the category Best UV/Latex Flatbed ($200,000–$500,000). PPL opted for two six colours plus white with primer models, which are managed via the intuitive Agfa Asanti workflow software.

Commenting on the Agfa dedication to service, Nick Holloway said: “The support we have received from Agfa over the years has been superb. The machines have been working flat out producing materials for our summer events and we’d like to keep that going with an increased level of commercial print, together perhaps, with a new winter sporting client!”

For further information on PPL, visit: https://www.thepplgroup.com

For further information on Agfa’s full printer and software portfolio, visit: www.agfa.com

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