Eighteen months on from the installation of an Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED wide format machine, Gary Wallace, MD of Wallace Print in Kent, gives a positive report on his investment from what was a new supplier to the business.
Wallace Print invested in the new Agfa wide format engine in December 2019. The new printer was an addition to the SwissQ flat bed and roll-to-roll offering they already used, as they needed a faster roll-to-roll machine to deliver the demanded volume. They felt that the dual-roll feature on the Agfa machine was a massive benefit allowing them to produce serious meterage at up to 50% faster per hour.
No sooner had the new machine bedding in, Covid hit and, like others, it changed the model of the business over the next 12 months. Gary Wallace explains:
“It was initially a very concerning time, having to rapidly assess the effect that the pandemic would have on the business. But ironically Covid presented us with an opportunity to print a ridiculous amount of floor graphics through the Anapurna, as we realised early on that every business had to display the correct social distancing messages. We became insanely busy by mid 2020 and this resulted in new client wins in new sectors. We continue to grow at an alarming rate and our new client wins are at an all-time high.
There is no doubt that the Agfa Anapurna played its part in this growth by the sheer volume of output due to the speed of the dual-roll feature and in helping us to create new and exciting products that some of our competitors struggle to produce, largely around the white ink capability on this large format machine.”
Wallace Print was initially a father and son screen printers that set up in 1986. It has adapted with the changing landscape of the industry and is now a fully digital large format printer employing 30 multi-skilled staff and under normal circumstances turning over C: £5m pa. Printing, finishing and installation is all that Wallace Print do and they are proud of that fact. They have not been distracted by diversification that they feel can sometime impact on a business. They can print on pretty much anything, to a huge size, onto reels or rigid materials and they print a minimum of 18 hours per day turning orders around at speed. Their very loyal customers know what they do and how efficient they are with stable, repeat projects.
No matter the size, if it fits their machines, Wallace Print will print it and their workload is usually very varied. Some jobs have very intricate finishing elements with minimal print and in others the installation can be the largest part of the job. Their customers can be agencies, print managers, retail, leisure, construction, corporate or automotive and the business thrives on the variety and volume this offers.
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 outdoor and indoor jobs. The white ink function creates possibilities for printing on transparent material for backlit applications or for printing white as a spot colour. They are fitted with air-cooled UV LED lights that save energy, costs and time and are ideal for heat-sensitive materials. They also lead to a faster process as they can be switched on and off instantaneously. It also boasts ‘Thin Ink Layer Technology’ resulting in one of the lowest ink consumptions in the market.
Gary explains that investing in new print technology is something that Wallace Print has always been prepared to do and they are keeping a watchful eye on Agfa and other technical developments to enable them to keep ahead of the competition. He concludes:
“I need to say a big thank you to our existing and loyal employees who helped us through the 2020 tortuous year. They enabled us to rebuild Wallaceprint.com to be very efficient, even with our exponential growth, with of course, the professional assistance of the Agfa team.”