Will push and test the press 'to the max'

Delta Group signs for world's first Agfa SpeedSet

SpeedSet Orca: substrate versatility gives it broad potential appeal.

The Delta Group is poised to install the world’s first Agfa SpeedSet Orca single-pass B1 inkjet press.

Delta Group was among the customers that viewed the device when it was unveiled at a VIP customer event in Cambridge towards the end of last year.

Since then the SpeedSet has had ‘Orca’ officially added to the product name.

Delta is already familiar with single-pass inkjet as its production firepower includes two EFI Nozomi printers.

The business runs more than 40 output devices spanning litho, digital and screen printing.

Delta Group COO Martin Shipp commented: “We at Delta are excited to get our hands on the first SpeedSet Orca in the world in our plant. We will be pushing it to the limit and expect great things from the press.”

Vincent Wille, president of Agfa’s Digital Print & Chemicals division, said the manufacturer was excited to secure Delta as the first SpeedSet beta customer.

“The Delta Group will push and test the SpeedSet Orca to its maximum and will be enjoying high-quality output for their business every day,” he said.

“We are very proud that companies like Delta see the huge benefit of using water-based inkjet technology whilst achieving the highest print quality.”

Delta serves a host of leading brands and retailers. Its product range includes corrugated displays and packaging products, large-format boards, bespoke banners, stickers and carton board outputs, as well as brochures, leaflets and posters.

Matt Brooks, head of packaging at Agfa Digital Printing Solutions, also enthused about the identity of the first customer.

He said: “Working with Martin on this journey has been a fantastic experience and I am delighted we are partnering in the next exciting chapter of the SpeedSet story.”

While the core target market for the SpeedSet is folding cartons, Brooks has previously pointed out that its substrate versatility – from lightweight 0.2mm paper to 2mm microflute – broadened its potential appeal.

The 11,000sph SpeedSet is a modular device, configured with a Mabeg feeder and stacker, and Natgraph hot air dryer.

The B1 mega-press is 25 metres long, 5m wide, and 3m high.

It is an all-digital device, featuring inkjet primer, four colour CMYK inkjet bars using 25 Fujifilm Samba 1,200dpi printheads for each colour, then two inkjet varnishing bars.

Infra-red pinning takes place after priming and varnishing, with the warm air dryer after that.

Agfa – which took over the SpeedSet development project when it acquired Inca in 2022 – has developed all the fluids and inks.

The alpha press shown last year will remain in Cambridge.

Delta Group’s head office is in Waltham Cross, and it has sites in Melksham, Penge, Biggin Hill and Dublin.

The business is also in the process of moving from its Waltham Cross operation to a new site that is better suited to its current production requirements. 

Printweek understands that installation of the SpeedSet will begin in the next few weeks. The site location had not been divulged at the time of writing. 

In its most recent results, for 2022, Delta had sales of £88.6m and employed around 600 staff. The group's “full service” offering spans a wide range of services from strategy to global deployment.