House of Flags has invested in a 2.5m-wide Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED hybrid printer as it looks to branch out into printing on more rigid materials.
Since 1977 the company has specialised in (unsurprisingly) flags, and now has three different offices spread across the UK, including its Cambridgeshire headquarters. The company processes more than 7000 orders annually and boasts a turnover of more than £4 million.
It has delved deep into the world of digital printing in order to produce top soft-signage products for its customers. However, as the industry evolves the company was also keen to investigate other potential uses for digital technology, including printing onto more rigid substrates.
In fact, when Adam Moore joined the team earlier this year as Studio and Print Production Manager, one of the things he was specifically tasked with was investigating machinery currently on the market that could help House of Flags diversify its product range.
Despite having been involved in the printing industry ever since he left school and seeing all the different evolutions that have taken place in digital technology over the years, Adam had never previously worked with an Agfa machine.
Fortunately, House of Flags already had a longstanding relationship with Agfa reseller i-Sub and had previously purchased several different machines from them including a number of dye sublimation print solutions and a digital cutting table. After investigating the different options available, Adam visited i-Sub's Kettering demonstration suite to put the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED through its paces.
Designed to be the perfect solution for sign shops, digital printers, photo labs and mid-size graphic screen printers that want to combine board and roll-to-roll print jobs, the wide-format Anapurna H2500i LED is a high-speed hybrid UV LED-curable inkjet system.
The 6-colour engine prints at widths up to 2.5m and combines high quality with high productivity for outdoor and indoor, rigid and flexible wide-format jobs. With its automatic board feeder productivity is increased further, and its white ink function creates possibilities for printing on transparent material for backlit applications or for printing white as a spot colour.
"I was extremely impressed with the Agfa," Adam says. "The user interface was simple and user friendly and the machine itself is very versatile. We've gone for the 2.5m model as the 3.2m would have been a little bit too much machine for us at the present, but its performance has been out of this world and the installation was the quickest and easiest I've ever been involved with."
One particular attribute of the Agfa Anapurna that impressed House of Flags was its white ink channels. "With a lot of alternative machines, you need to flush through the white ink channels when you're not using them," Adam explains. "It can be a long and messy process. With the Agfa printer they've literally got it down to a switch and button. They've taken away a very messy job and you just don't find that on more ordinary machines."
The printer itself arrived at House of Flags towards the end of June 2021, with Adam effusive about both the machine and the level of service. "There have been no teething problems at all," he adds. "Beyond that, the help from the I-Sub and Agfa teams has been simply incredible, they're just really helpful and friendly guys, if you want to talk to them you can just pick up the phone; there's no messing around with support codes and waiting for someone on the other side of the world to get in touch!"
House Of Flags' established relationship with i-Sub gave the company confidence to invest their trust again in i-Sub to deliver the right solution for the present requirements, whilst also allowing for future growth and profitability. Adam Moore summarises: "i-Sub have been really helpful and accommodating with our requests. They have proven to have a strong relationship with Agfa and - in turn - provided House of Flags with a smooth and successful installation."
Emma Plant, Sales Director at i-Sub, adds: "We were delighted that House of Flags invited i-Sub to work with them and guide them to the best solution for their new UV printer requirements.
"They are a very forward-thinking company. This was demonstrated by their decision to broaden their product offering, invest in new technology to grow the business and ensure their client's needs were met whilst offering the best quality products and service available."
The Agfa Anapurna has already opened up new opportunities for House of Flags, including the ability to print directly onto rigid boards and produce effects like window manifestations - applied to any expanse of glass offering the opportunity for branding and/or decoration. As more weird and wonderful applications become the norm for the company, Adam says it will likely investigate new finishing options on their digital cutting table to assist with its rigid materials output.