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Format Graphics enjoys the whole Agfa experience

Format Graphics enjoys the whole Agfa experience
 Agfa UK has gained a new customer in Milton Keynes, Format Graphics, which has recently installed an Avinci CX3200 dye-sublimation printer to satisfy its growing soft signage requirements.

Format Graphics, formed in 2012, specialises in the production of large-format graphics, mainly in the form of signage and point of sale, for exhibitions and events. It completes many bespoke projects for head office refits and museums too, but its core customer base is made up of exhibition companies and design agencies and its turnover is around £2m per annum.

Format Graphics employs 16 people at its facility in Stonebridge, Milton Keynes, which it purchased four years ago, and offers clients a full project management, production, finishing and installation service, the latter via a team of full-time fitters that install the POS for Format’s clients. The company uses two hybrid print engines that are respectively two and 3.2 metres wide to fulfill its vinyl, Foamex, Dibond and acrylic printing requirements, but as the demand for soft signage increases, it realised that it needed a new engine to cope with the growing volumes of soft signage production.

Baz Ogle, the owner and Managing Director of Format Graphics, (pictured above left with Agfa’s Paul Fitch) explained: “Our old printer, which we purchased six years ago when we first started printing onto textiles, always produced quality results, but it was too slow to satisfy our current level of demand. Accordingly, we looked at three machines as potential replacements and submitted test files to assess the quality of print on each of them.  We discovered that the results achieved on   the Agfa Avinci CX3200 dye sublimation printer were undoubtedly the best, even though the printer uses only four colours.”

Format Graphics purchased the Agfa Avinci CX3200 roll-to-roll printer, which can print both directly onto textiles and transfer paper at a speed of up to 270m2 per hour, and it was installed at the end of 2021. since the beginning of 2022, the fabric printing side of the business has continued to grow and now represents around 20 percent of the company’s turnover. Soft POS is especially popular in retail, where it’s easy to fold up and post to the store in a jiffy bag for staff to install into an existing frame.

Baz enthused that he has been ‘blown away’ by the quality and reliability of the new machine. He confided: “The installation took two days and, by day three, we were printing live jobs as part of the training. It now takes us less than a day to print the same volume it used to previously take us a week to produce. The speed, quality and colours are all excellent. We have kept the old machine as a backup, but we’ve had no need to use it in the past five months. Better still, we’ve not had to trouble Agfa since the  installation and there has been no downtime. The printer is happily churning through the work and we haven’t missed the extra nozzle on the printheads at all!”

Baz continued: “It’s not just the printer that has been impressive; the finance package Agfa offered really helped too and Agfa’s experienced engineers actually made the installation and training period enjoyable. I must make special mention of Agfa’s Arnas Ceckauskas who helped with the installation. We found him to be so knowledgeable about textile printing and he also helped us pair the Agfa Avinci printer to the Monti Rotary Calender unit quickly and with amazing results.”

Whilst the new engine has been busy this year with the current demand for soft signage, Baz is keen to expand the company’s horizons by using the Avinci to help it diversify into new revenue streams when time allows. As Avinci prints onto transfer paper, an important feature important when using stretchy fabrics, it will help enable the business to enter exciting new markets.

The last comes word from Baz, who concluded: “The positive experience we have enjoyed with Agfa means that we will certainly be more open to including it when we scope our printer purchases in the future!”

For further information on Format Graphics, visit: www.formatgraphics.co.uk

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

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