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Customer Case  | Leeds, United Kingdom  | 01 March 2018

Northern Flags fly with Agfa Graphics

“We were simply blown away by the Avinci DX3200 dye-sublimation printer”

One of the UK’s largest fabric printers, Northern Flags, is flying the flag with Agfa Graphics, having invested in two Avinci fabric-printing engines and an Asanti workflow solution for their new Leeds facility.

Northern Flags, which has a 33-year history in supplying flags and sister brand FaberExposize, offering extended print POS solutions, re-shored a proportion of print into the UK just two years ago. The business required a faster and wider inkjet solution and a quality dye-sublimation printer with maximum show-through results.

The FaberExposize brand takes its name from their European owner and expands the team’s specialism for printing on fabric to a broader range of materials and wider customer base.

The company, which is a new customer to the Agfa brand, has installed a two-engine solution consisting of the Avinci DX3200 dye sublimation engine and an Anapurna hybrid 3.2m wide-format inkjet engine, both of which are driven by Agfa’s Asanti workflow software, one of the few wide-format workflow solutions supplied by an engine provider. This new installation is part of the company’s £1m investment in the UK in new premises and equipment.

“We were simply blown away by Agfa’s Avinci DX3200 dye-sublimation printer,” said Iain Clasper-Cotte, UK Managing Director for Northern Flags and FaberExposize, following numerous trips to Agfa in Belgium and demonstrations and testing on the Agfa stand at Fespa, Hamburg. “It has allowed us to deliver the best digital results in the market, rivaling screen print production. We have a total of some 55 wide-format printers across the group, so lots of experience, and we diligently met with many suppliers to get the right solution for our UK business. The Avinci’s performance convinced us and coupled with the established and reliable Anapurna hybrid wide-format inkjet printer, Agfa has continued to reassure us that we made the right decision. They may be the first, but I’m sure they won’t be the last Agfa engines purchased by the group.”

Left to right: Iain Clasper-Cotte, UK Managing Director Northern Flags & FaberExposize with Gary Giles, Account Manager Agfa Graphics

Each Agfa printer offers different strengths and having both machines gives Northern Flags the flexibility to decide which job and which fabric should go on which press. The Anapurna H3200i LED is a high-speed hybrid UV LED-curable inkjet system. The 6-color engine has a print width of up to 3.2m and combines high quality with high productivity for outdoor and indoor, rigid and flexible wide-format applications. It offers roll-to-roll or flatbed printing of materials up to 4 cm in thickness. It’s also fitted with energy saving air-cooled LED lights, which are ideal for thin heat-sensitive materials.

Whilst the dye-sublimation can be a more expensive option in print, quite often the transportation and packaging make the total dye-sublimation job less expensive and better suited for a wider range of textile-based substrates than most UV inkjet solutions where the ink lies on top of the material. The Avinci DX3200 is a dye-sublimation roll-to-roll printer bringing remarkable print quality to a wide range of soft signage applications. It’s a highly productive, large format unit, printing up to 3.2m wide with low ink consumption, in 6 colors (CMYKLcLm) and with a resolution up to 540 x 1080 dpi. 

Agfa’s Asanti workflow is advanced, easy-to-use, software for wide-format printing. It’s a completely automated production hub featuring Agfa’s award-winning color management technology. Asanti integrates with the latest version of Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) enabling highly specific functionalities (like nesting, see-through concept, proofing support) together with fast, automatic pre-flighting. It avoids errors, minimizes manual interventions, shortens pre-press procedures and simplifies the entire printing process.

Iain concluded, “In the end we chose Agfa as they are as passionate about their solutions as we are about the quality we produce. They understand our business and have proved to be very proactive and responsive to our business needs.”

Avinci DX3200

Avinci DX3200

A dedicated 3.2-meter soft signage roll-to-roll printer, Avinci DX3200 produces remarkable print quality and vibrant colors up to 123 m²/hr. for both in- and outdoor applications.

Northern Flags fly with Agfa Graphics

Northern Flags fly with Agfa Graphics

One of the UK’s largest fabric printers, Northern Flags, is flying the flag with Agfa Graphics having invested in two Agfa print engines and a workflow solution for their new Leeds facility.

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