ProCo has become the first UK company to invest in an Agfa Jeti Tauro H2500 LED machine as part of a circa-£500,000 kit investment.
The Sheffield-based marketing services printer also bought an Agfa Anapurna RTR3200i, trading out two older Anapurnas, with total investment in print kit reaching around £400,000.
An additional £90,000 was spent on a Crest RSC3200 X-Y cutting system, a Matic Cronos Ultimate sewing station and a Bobis Multi Applicator, which were supplied by print and finishing equipment supplier Atech.
The finishing equipment was installed two weeks ago, with the Agfa machines arriving earlier this week.
The investment represents a significant step change for ProCo’s large-format division, which was established in July 2015 when Carl Jackson joined the company as large-format manager.
Jackson said: “As we’ve gone on and developed and got more involved in large-format, it’s progressed into us now being ready for larger kit. It’s the quality of the Agfa, we did look at others, they were great, but really we’ve got all Agfa workflow, and computer-to-plate, so we are an Agfa house in a way and they really work for our production staff.”
ProCo already runs an Agfa Asanti 3.0 workflow and the investment involved a two-month trial of its Asanti Storefront web-to-print system.
“The workflow element is really great. The automisation with both Asanti and the engines is a really big bonus plus we are looking at Asanti Storefront," added Jackson.
Jackson lauded the virtues of the LED function of the new Tauro, along with its vacuum belt, which “holds everything down, even corrugated board”.
“It’s the quality as well, plus the versatility,” he added.
Launched at Fespa in its LED form, the six-colour (CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta) 2.5m-wide hybrid UV Tauro can reach speeds of up to 275sqm/hr. It has continuous and automated feeding and takes a wide range of flexible and rigid media. The machine uses Ricoh’s 7pl Gen 5 printheads.
The roll-to-roll 3.2m-wide Anapurna prints at a maximum speed of 127sqm/hr and comes with air-cooled LED-UV curing as standard. It also prints in six colours (CMYK plus light magenta and white).
Agfa UK inkjet sales manager Bobby Grauf said the relationship between ProCo and Agfa dated back to Sign & Digital 2015.
“ProCo's large-format division has proved itself to be such a great success that in less than two years their 2015 investment couldn’t cater anymore for the growth of that segment within ProCo,” said Grauf.
“We’re very close to our customers and we try to be as forward-looking as they are. We took ProCo to Belgium to demonstrate the variety and the different presses we’ve got and together we decided the Jeti would be the investment that brings ProCo forward again.”
Jackson added: “Now is the time we take a lot more of what we were outsourcing in house. Bringing some of the elements we were outsourcing in-house and backing up the fact that we need faster output."
140-staff ProCo also runs four HP Indigo machines and an RMGT Ryobi LED-UV press is due to be installed next month.