Agfa install a RIP-roaring success for Bobcat Digital

The Anapurna runs at triple the speed of Bobcat's previous press
The Anapurna runs at triple the speed of Bobcat's previous press

Wide-format printer Bobcat Digital has tripled its production speed since installing an Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED 3.2m hybrid press.

Bobcat was founded in 2013 by three colleagues from the litho trade and it was this experience in litho printing that made Agfa’s Asanti RIP software a major selling point for managing director, Rob Blackburn.

He said: “As my background is litho print production, where pre-press accuracy is critical, the RIP software is a very important consideration for me. 

“Agfa’s history is pre-press, they understand it and that’s so obvious in the Asanti workflow. 

“On wide-format it seems to be more normal to sort out any issues on press but that’s time consuming and costly – so, at Bobcat that responsibility lies with our pre-press design team, which makes the print operations much more efficient.”

The new printer was installed at the start of the year. Blackburn said it was significantly faster and more efficient than the firm’s previous engine. Bobcat had found itself under pressure in 2022 with a growing order book, and had increasingly been outsourcing work by year’s end.

The H3200i, with triple the production speed, has cut some jobs down from 100 hours’ printing to just 33, making projects easier to plan, and giving the team more confidence to take on work with tight lead times.

The press’ low running costs, ability to run both roll-to-roll and flatbed, and white ink function all helped to convince Bobcat to take on the machine.

Blackburn added: “The overall training and support package from Agfa has been very good. Our operators are happy with the Anapurna and find it easier to use. 

“In fact, they want to put all jobs on the Anapurna as it’s so much faster and with great quality results. It’s early days and we haven’t had the chance to go to customers and sell the machine’s capabilities, but it will help us move into new products too.

“It’s already changed and improved how we print our Aluminium Composite Material ACM metal signage where we used to print on self-adhesive vinyl and mount them, now we can print direct which brings down costs and speeds up the process.”