Print-Leeds signs five-year deal with Agfa

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Print-Leeds has signed a new five-year plate contact with Agfa and invested in the manufacturer’s Arkana processor and Asanti wide-format workflow software.

The kit was installed at the wet-glue label, digital POS and litho UV plastics printer’s new 2,800sqm Bramley premises last month. It formed part of a £5m investment programme, which also saw the firm purchase a new seven-colour-plus-coater Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106.

After investing in the new press, the 39-staff company required a new plate deal. It had previously been using a Fujifilm processor and plates on its Heidelberg Suprasetter A106 platesetter but operations director Paul Fisher felt there was more synergy with Agfa moving forward.

“We looked at other suppliers and decided to change on this occasion. Agfa were offering us a more attractive deal, particularly on the plate deal itself,” he said.

When we purchased [wet-glue label printer] S&C Labels [in 2012], they were using Agfa as a supplier of plates at that particular time and we were using Fujifilm.

“When we brought S&C over with us onto one site we went with Fujifilm on the deal in the end. But Agfa always stayed in contact with us for five years, telling us about technology and other developments, and that’s what attracted us to look at them as an alternative.”

Print-Leeds uses an estimated 11,000sqm of plates per annum, which is set to increase with the addition of the new Speedmaster.

It has chosen to use Agfa’s Energy Elite Eco Plate going forwards, which the manufacturer said is a robust, no-bake thermal printing plate for high-end and high-performance commercial, packaging and UV printing.

The Arkana processor, meanwhile, is said to offer consistent quality plate processing with minimal chemistry usage and maintenance. The device incorporates a small developer tank, which lowers replenishment rates and reduces chemical consumption.

Print-Leeds liked the environmental credentials of the Arkana, including its compact footprint, and felt that the kit would help with its retention of the ISO 14001 accreditation, which requires a year-on-year reduction on environmental impact.

The fully-automated Asanti workflow will drive a 2015-purchased Screen Truepress Jet W3200UV.

The circa-£5m turnover firm also operates a Speedmaster CX 102 hybrid-UV press, a 2017-purchased Dyss digital cutter, a Gietz foiling machine and a range of other finishing kit.

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