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Anstey sees a pattern of growth

Anstey sees a pattern of growth

Traditional wallpaper manufacturer Anstey reports that it expects the digital side of its business to grow further in this decade, following a steady increase in the department, which is now running six HP printers.

Anstey has a history dating back over a century and is the UK’s largest contract wallcovering printer. Based in Loughborough, its premises were formerly used as a print house by Ladybird Books and, since Anstey’s high-quality wallpaper is sold by some of the sector’s best-known brands, the company is continuing Ladybird’s legacy of producing work destined for family homes around the world.

The company uses 19 different processes to produce its high-grade wallcoverings, including for the last eight years, digital printing techniques. Six years ago, Anstey began its journey with HP and supplier Papergraphics, and now uses four HP Latex 3200 production printers alongside two HP Latex 360 printers for proofing. Since then, digital processes have grown to represent a significant part of Anstey’s turnover, with every sign that the rapid growth rate will continue in the year ahead.

Lee Renshaw, the company’s Production Manager observed: “Digital printing is just one arm of our business but it is increasing year on year. In general, digital printing offers many benefits to us as a wallpaper manufacturer and to our customers, including shorter runs, a quicker turnaround, unlimited colours, and different print effects that none of our other processes can replicate.

“Since the HP Latex machines were installed, replacing a printer from another brand, we have experienced high levels of consistency and print quality, an improvement in machine reliability and less operator intervention.”

Anstey has recruited new staff in both its digital printing department and its design studio to meet the increased demand for digitally printed wallcoverings, thus providing employment opportunities for local people while also expanding its business. Owing to the significant growth of digital in a short time frame, Anstey and HP have also worked together to ensure the whole company is familiar with the modern technology.

Renshaw continued: “Digital is very different from other print processes as it is more technology-focused, with the emphasis on elements such as file transfer, control maintenance and a calibration schedule. This presents new challenges for our operators, but by working with HP we’ve provided in-depth training across different departments, including technical, production and engineering. Our whole model of business is changing and growing.”

Anstey also benefits from its own Technical Account Manager at HP, a sole point of contact within HP’s engineering team with whom Renshaw and his team have weekly telephone calls to discuss any new requirements and opportunities which may have arisen.

Looking ahead, Renshaw reports that Anstey’s digital department is expecting to increase its output again, thanks to a happy combination of new customers and re-orders, and to expand further into international markets.

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