Bridson upgrades cross-site workflow

By Max Goldbart, Tuesday 17 October 2017

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Isle of Man-based printer Bridson & Horrox has installed new Agfa Apogee Cloud software across all of its sites, having acquired two companies in Lancashire over the past year.

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From left: Horrox, Agfa systems specialist Barbara Cooper and Agfa area manager Dave Cross

The digital and litho printer acquired Chorley-based Haslam Printers in February and Bolton-based Wallace Printers last October, creating a 47-staff group. 

Managing director Darren Horrox said that once the acquisitions had taken place - Bridson’s first outside of the Isle of Man - it was integral to have pre-press workflow to connect multiple sites. The software went live in September making Bridson one of the first in the UK to use it.

Apogee Cloud, which was launched last year, will serve the two Lancashire sites that are in the process of having their sites merged and will be in “transition phase” until the new year.

“We’ve been working with Agfa for many years as Bridson & Horrox, so, when I started this journey they were someone who I wanted to work with and the only people who could provide me with cloud services,” said Horrox. 

“It’s great that I can have multiple sites operating with the same workflow; you get resilience, disaster recovery built in, it really creates the route for one to output many. I’m very pleased with it and it really ticks all the boxes.” 

Each job Bridson and its acquired companies’ produces is now controlled centrally by a single user interface, eliminating the need for local configuration or servers on each site. Agfa’s pre-press suite readies each job from online file submissions through to pre-flighting and imposition, driving production to the company’s Avalon platesetters. Horrox is now considering investing in Agfa’s PrintSphere data-sharing software to work alongside Apogee. 

Horrox added that the market in the Isle of Man is “highly changeable” and that offshore banking and insurance had been dealt “significant blows” recently, impacting general industry on the island, citing Bradley Groups' recent acquisition of Isle of Man-based Mannin Group as indicative of change.

Across sites, Bridson runs a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75, an HP Indigo, a Heidelberg Versafire digital press, a number of Xerox machines and a Heidelberg GTO. 

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