Cheltenham-based Mark Latchford Screen and Digital Print has seen the improvement following installation of the new machine, which cost around £125,000.
The 34-year-old business has moved from screen printing to mainly digital work, producing POS, graphic panels for exhibitions, die-cut labels and signage.
The latest installation was prompted by an investment two years ago in a CNC router to increase output speed on the finishing side. Latchford, the company founder, realised he had to upgrade its print room to keep up.
“We needed a digital printer with a large enough bed to accommodate 3x2.5m sheets of Foamex and Dibond material and 2.5m-wide rolls for banners and so on,” he said.
The 2.5m-wide hybrid inkjet printer, supplied by i-Sub Digital, can complete indoor or outdoor, colour or white prints on rigid or roll media at speeds of up to 115sqm/hr.
Agfa said it features a vacuum system, ensures accurate dot positioning for sharp prints and runs fast-drying, versatile UV-curable inks.
“We looked at similar machines but they didn't compare for speed, quality or price,” Latchford said.
“The Océ Arizona was very expensive, not as fast and not so good on roll-to-roll work; the Jetrix was also more expensive than the Agfa and had banding issues.”
He added: “We replaced an Agfa Anapurna M2 UV flatbed machine, which was a good workhorse. We wanted more speed and higher quality but liked Agfa's service, so stayed with them.”
Latchford's two-staff company makes £260,000 turnover and also runs a Mimaki CJV 130 and a CJV 300, which he bought in May for £19,500.
“We are increasing turnover year on year and want to do a lot more longer-run production work instead of one- and two-offs. We need to increase the speed and quality of work.
“Since installation of the Agfa Anapurna M2500i we have cut production times in half, at least. In fact it seems like we're not as busy as we used to be, despite completing much more work.”
i-Sub Digital director Andy Spreag said: “The Agfa Anapurna M2500i is designed for productivity and automation on a huge variety of media and products.