Flying the Flag with Agfa
One of the UK’s largest fabric printers, Northern Flags, is flying the flag with Agfa Graphics, having recently invested in two Agfa print engines and a workflow solution for use at its new Leeds facility.
Northern Flags, which has a 33-year history in supplying flags and its sister brand, FaberExposize, which offers extended print POS solutions, re-shored a proportion of print into the UK just two years ago. The business required a faster and wider inkjet solution and a quality dye sublimation printer with maximum show through results, important when printing textiles.
The FaberExposize brand takes its name from its European owner and expands the team’s specialism for fabric printing to a broader range of materials and a wider customer base.
The company, which is a new Agfa customer, has installed a two engine solution comprising the Agfa Avinci DX3200 dye sublimation engine and Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED 3.2m wide format inkjet press, both of which are driven by Agfa’s Asanti workflow, one of the few wide format workflow solutions supplied by an engine provider. This new installation is part of the company’s £1m investment in new UK premises and equipment.
Commenting on his company’s investment, Iain Clasper-Cotte, UK Managing Director for Northern Flags and FaberExposize, explained: “We were simply blown away by the Agfa Avinci DX3200 dye sublimation printer We made numerous trips to Agfa in Belgium and also participated in demonstrations and testing on the Agfa stand at FESPA in Hamburg before making our final purchasing decision and I’m happy to say that we are now achieving the best digital results in the market and are even rivaling screenprinted production.
“We have a total of 55 wide-format printers across the group, so we have lots of experience and we diligently met with many suppliers to get the right solution for our UK business. The Avinci’s performance convinced us and, coupled with the established and reliable Anapurna H3200i LED wide format ink jet printer, Agfa has continued to reassure us that we made the right choice. These machines may be the first, but I’m sure they won’t be the last Agfa engines we purchase!”
Each Agfa press offers different strengths and having both machines provides Northern Flags with the flexibility to decide which job and fabric is most suitable for use on each machine.
The Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED is a high-speed hybrid UV LED-curable inkjet system, with a six-colour print engine and a print width of up to 3.2 metres. It combines high quality with high productivity for outdoor and indoor, rigid and flexible wide-format applications and offers both roll-to-roll and flatbed printing of materials up to a thickness of 45mm. It’s also fitted with the very latest energy saving air-cooled LED lamps, which are ideal for use on thin heat-sensitive materials.
Whilst the dye sublimation process can be a more expensive option, as the ink soaks into the material, it can be easily folded, thus making transportation and packaging a lot more cost effective. Thus, quite often, the overall cost of the job can be less than when using a UV ink jet solution, where the ink lies on top of the material and can be damaged if not packaged correctly.
The Agfa Avinci DX3200 is an industrial dye sublimation roll-to-roll printer that delivers remarkable print quality to a wide range of soft signage applications. It’s a highly productive, large format unit, that offers a print width of up to 3.2 metres low ink consumption, six colours (CMYKLcLm) and a resolution up to 540 x 1080 dpi.
Both presses are driven by Agfa’s award-winning Asanti workflow, a completely automated production hub that is based around the latest version of Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) and facilitates highly specific functions, such as true shape nesting, automatic pre-flighting and high quality colour management. This combination is designed to avoid errors, minimise manual interventions, shorten the overall pre-press procedures and simplify the entire printing process.
Iain concluded, “In the end, we chose Agfa as it is as passionate about its solutions as we are about the quality we deliver. It understands our business and has proved to be very proactive and responsive to our business needs. We could have asked for more.”
For further information about Northern Flags and FaberExposize, visit: https://www.northernflags.com and www.faberexposize.co.uk
For further information on Agfa’s extensive range of sign and display and prepress solutions, visit: www.agfagraphics.co.uk