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Wallace Print steams ahead with an Agfa Anapurna

Wallace Print steams ahead with an Agfa Anapurna
Following the installation of an Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED wide-format printer 18 months ago, Gary Wallace, MD of Wallace Print in Kent, delivers a positive report on his investment from what was a new supplier to his business.

Wallace Print invested in the new Agfa wide-format engine in December 2019 to run alongside its existing roll-to-roll and flatbed machine as it needed a faster roll-to-roll option to meet increased demand. The company felt that the dual-roll feature on the Agfa machine offered a massive benefit as it enabled it to produce serious meterage at speed up to 50 percent per hour fast than previously.

However, almost as soon as the new printer was up and running COVID-19 hit and, in common with other sign and print companies, Wallace Print had to change its business model and adapt to the new circumstance.

Gary Wallace explained: “It was initially a very concerning time, as we had to rapidly assess the effect that the pandemic might have on the business. But ironically, the pandemic presented us with an opportunity to print a ridiculous amount of floor graphics on the Anapurna, as we realised early on that every business would have to display the correct social distancing messaging.  We became insanely busy by mid-2020 and we attracted new clients operating in different industry sectors. Happily, we’ve continued to grow at an amazing rate and our new client wins are at an all-time high.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the Agfa Anapurna played its part in this growth due to the sheer volume of output we could deliver, which was partly facilitated by the speed of the dual-roll feature and also by the Anapurna’s white ink option, which enabled us to create new and exciting products that some of our competitors struggle to produce.”

Wallace Print was originally a father and son screenprinting business that was set up in 1986. Since then, it has evolved in order to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the printing industry and is now a fully-fledged digital large format print specialist that employs 30 multi-skilled staff and, under normal circumstances, enjoys an annual turnover of around £5 million. Printing, finishing and installation are all that Wallace Print does and Gary Wallace is proud of that fact.

He said: “We’ve not been distracted by the level of diversification that I believe can sometimes impact on the efficiency of a business. We can print onto pretty much anything, to a huge size, using both flexible and rigid media and we print for a minimum of 18 hours per day turning orders around at speed.

“We can print anything no matter what the size – if it fits our machines, we’ll print it and our workload is usually very varied.  Some jobs require very intricate finishing elements with minimal print and with others, the installation can be the largest part of the project. Ou customers include agencies, retailers, leisure venues, construction companies and corporates and we thrive on the variety and volume this offers us.”

The Agfa wide-format hybrid Anapurna LED series is perfect for printers that want to combine board and roll-to-roll jobs. The engines print at a width of up to 3.2m and combine high print quality with high productivity for both outdoor and indoor jobs.  Further, the white ink function creates possibilities for printing onto transparent material for backlit applications, or for printing white as a spot colour.  The printers are fitted with air-cooled UV LED lights that save energy, reduce costs and time and are ideal for use with heat-sensitive substrates. They also facilitate a faster printing process as they can be switched on and off instantaneously and thanks to Agfa’s ‘Thin Ink Layer Technology’ ink consumption is low.

Gary confided that investment in new print technology is something that Wallace Print has always been prepared to do and he is keeping a watchful eye on Agfa and other technical developments in order to keep ahead of the competition. He concluded: “I need to say a big thank you to our loyal employees who helped us through the tortuous year that was 2020. They enabled us to rebuild Wallace Print to become very efficient, even with our exponential growth, and of course, I’d also like to credit the Agfa team for its professional assistance, which has also played its part in our success!”

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