New Agfa engine drives wide format growth plan for Henderson Print

October 23, 2018
Left to right: Alan Ritchie, Head of Print at Henderson Group; Alan O’Brien, Director of Technology at GPMI; Peter Doyle, Sales Manager Ireland at Agfa Graphics Left to right: Alan Ritchie, Head of Print at Henderson Group; Alan O’Brien, Director of Technology at GPMI; Peter Doyle, Sales Manager Ireland at Agfa Graphics

Henderson Print, located in Belfast, has invested in a wide format Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED press taking them into “a new and more profitable market for the business”, according to Head of Print for the company, Alan Ritchie.

The business started as the print department for the highly successful, £800m turnover Henderson Group. They appointed Alan Ritchie 34 years ago to expand the print business by attracting work from outside the group. Today, with an annual turnover of more than £3m, over half of which is work obtained outside the Henderson Group of companies, Henderson Print has invested in this new hybrid machine to grow the wide format division of their business.

Henderson Print is an established litho print provider that has been located on its current site in Michelin Road since the acquisition of Dargan Press two and half years ago. They now have 29 employees and run two B2 five-colour presses and a B2 two-colour press. They already have four Roland roll-to-roll wide format printers and this latest investment adds a Kongsberg plotter cutter machine working alongside the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED digital wide-format press run by the Agfa Asanti workflow solution.

The company did have the advantage of knowing that the wide format business they could pitch for from the group alone was financial justification enough for a new Agfa Anapurna. Albeit that they have to compete for sister company business on price, just like any other provider. They purchased the new Agfa kit through their print supplier GPMI, with whom they’ve had a long working relationship.

“We were blown away with the demo provided by GPMI. It really sold the Agfa engine to us.”

“We were looking for a flat bed wide format printing solution so we could print on ridgid substrates. We visited the Sign and Display exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham to assess the options last year.” Said Alan Ritchie. “On our return we were given a demonstration on an Agfa Anapurna by Alan O’Brien, Director of Technology at GPMI. We were simply blown away by the demo in their Dublin showroom. Everything ran perfectly, and we were really impressed by the quality of the print. Agfa has a great reputation for product innovation and quality in the industry. That, coupled with the fact that Peter Doyle from Agfa is very responsive to our needs and of course an attractive price and service contract, meant that David Brennan at GPMI quickly closed the deal.”

The installation of the Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED went smoothly and to date Henderson Print has had very little down time on the kit. They insisted on having Alan O’Brien from GPMI carry out the training as they highly rate his technical ability and the production employees within Henderson Print know him well.

The Anapurna H2500i LED printer is a high-speed hybrid UV LED-curable inkjet press with a printing width of 2.5m for indoor and outdoor applications. It has been designed to use minimal ink, using Agfa’s ‘Thin Ink Layer Technology’, helping to keep the cost of consumables down and offering an environmental advantage too. The LED-curable lamps also use less power and reduce set-up time by not having to wait for bulbs to warm up.

Asanti

The Agfa Asanti workflow is a complete, automated sign and display production hub featuring a colour management solution, integration with the latest version of Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE), highly specific functionalities (e.g. nesting, see-through concept, proofing support) and fast, automatic pre-flighting. It will streamline Henderson’s workflow simplifying their processes.

“We see a lot of our future expansion coming from the digital wide format side of our business.” Concluded Alan Ritchie. “There will always be a market for litho, but I don’t see it growing at the rate we require and the investment size for a new litho press would be upwards of £1.5m. The wide format market is financially easier to access, and the market opportunity is there. The Anapurna quality is superb, even our customers are blown away with the sharpness, definition and colour strength of image. We are super impressed. It also allows us to get creative in what we offer. It’s great for small print runs which can be personalized to gives us a point of difference to sell in the future.”

For further information on Henderson Print, please visit www.henderson-print.com.

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