Consort Display Group achieves high production on Sunbrella® fabrics with Agfa’s Jeti Tauro H2500 LED printer

August 03, 2020
Roger Lepley, Consort Display Group Roger Lepley, Consort Display Group

Consort Display Group provides customers with access to cost-efficient, durable display solutions specializing in designs for harsh weather conditions. Founded in 1983 by architect Roger Lepley as Kalamazoo Banner Works, Inc. (KBW), the company was the first to offer innovative street banner mounting hardware created to dissipate wind force. KBW/Consort installed hardwearing banners for museums located outside the windy city of Chicago, and the rest, as they say, is history.

For more than three decades, Consort Display has built a reputation for pioneering dependable products and has become a trusted source for outdoor banners and displays, stands, retail furniture, pennant flags, light pole banners, and wall-mounted signs. Its extensive product line, manufactured in Southwest Michigan, features brand names such as BannerFlex, Dori Pole, Podia, Abstracta, and DisplayOne, industry names that define quality and reliability.

To grow to the next business level, Consort Display president Roger Lepley recognized the need to automate the production of graphics being screen printed on Sunbrella® fabrics. The durability and color saturation of Sunbrella graphics was gathering a large following and challenging the business to keep up with demand.

Sunbrella and Agfa’s Jeti Tauro: Perfect together

Tests of inkjet printers took him to Atlanta, Chicago, and Toronto, Canada. Lepley’s research led him to the Agfa’s Jeti Tauro H2500 LED, a robust hybrid UV inkjet system featuring speeds up 275 m2/h (2,960 ft2/hr) and prints up to 2.54 m (100”) wide. The robust performance characteristics of Sunbrella fabrics defeated many wide-format printers except the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED.

“The only solution that could do what we wanted with the media we use was the Jeti Tauro from Agfa. It is incredibly fast and has helped us automate productivity with graphics that are rich and vibrant on challenging weather-resistant substrates,” states Lepley.

Instead of a screen-printing technique using mesh to transfer ink onto the Sunbrella fabric one color at a time, Consort Display has the advantage of using the Jeti Tauro inkjet printer with six colors plus white to achieve fast throughput of graphics in one run. Agfa UV LED inks cure fast and perform well on a variety of rigid and roll media, including Sunbrella fabrics.

Customers’ brand colors required additional screens, adding to the complexity and turn-around time. The wide color gamut of the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED, and the high-pigmented UV inks easily produce custom colors and text quality as small as 4-point type.

The Jeti Tauro from Agfa is incredibly fast and has helped us automate productivity with graphics that are rich and vibrant on challenging weather-resistant substrates."

Inks that are amazing on fabrics, roll or board media

“Sunbrella media requires proficient white ink application. The density and intensity of the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED inks set it apart,” notes Lepley. “The Tauro handles white ink printing with ease. Layering color on top of the white ink makes the graphics pop, and we’re able to achieve close to traditional screen print quality, but now surpass that with smooth gradients and four-color process printing. The inks are amazing on fabrics, roll or board media, and stand above other manufacturers.”

Extremely vivid color

Agfa’s UV inkjet inks offer a higher pigmentation than other inks and contain more color particles per droplet. This unique formulation, combined with innovative dispersion capability, or ‘thin ink layer’ technology, requires less ink to obtain an extremely vivid print. Print service providers use less ink per square foot, saving on consumables while reaching a wide color gamut.

The craftsmen at Consort Display are masters at formulating branding colors for their clientele, which keeps new projects flowing. The Jeti Tauro H2500 LED is expanding its customized products and launching the company into new markets. Consort is adding new businesses to their portfolio that require graphics to out-live harsh weather conditions while delivering these products more efficiently.

“We’ve expanded our offerings beyond the original strategy. The versatility of the Jeti Tauro to print on roll and rigid media with the addition of a Multicam finishing system has expanded our market capabilities,” explains Lepley. “A commercial sign shop hired us to print plexiglass signage. A few other customers ordered corrugated yard signs. We are working with retail and design clients to customize our Abstracta stands and nesting tables. The Jeti Tauro can output branding on the glass and tile tabletops. We’re having fun making products no one else is doing.”

The versatility of the Jeti Tauro to print on roll and rigid media with the addition of a Multicam finishing system has expanded our market capabilities."

Consort automates wide format workflow with Asanti: increases output

The Jeti Tauro 2500 LED is driven by Agfa’s wide-format workflow software Asanti, which controls the entire printing process from prepress to production and finishing. “Our artists learned the Asanti interface quickly. It simplifies, optimizes, and automates many steps and helps us increase our output,” adds Lepley.

Consort continues to stay ahead of the competition

Producing rich, vibrant prints on Sunbrella fabrics with the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED was just the beginning for Consort. The team’s creativity and know-how are what keep Consort ahead of the competition. As the originator of the very first fiberglass and aluminum combination street banner brackets, the company continues its tradition of being the industry innovator with a growing product line that always surpasses the ordinary.

Today, Consort is breaking out of their niche. The addition of the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED has advanced the company’s expertise. By helping organizations attract attention despite unforgiving outdoor conditions, Consort remains committed to creating cutting-edge graphic display applications with well-designed, thoughtful, and reliable products that excite their customers.

The creativity and know-how of Consort’s team plus Jeti Tauro H2500 LED help keep them ahead of the competition."

Consort remains committed to creating cutting-edge graphic display applications with well-designed, thoughtful, and reliable products that excite their customers.

For further information on the Consort Display Group, please visit www.consort.com.

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