l-r: Jack Murphy, Marketing Director at The Big Display Company with Paul Fitch from Agfa
Lots to smile about at the Big Display Company
Avinci CX3200 textile printer helps The Big Display Company gain new business
The Big Display Company has a lot to smile about having taken receipt of their latest print engine, a new Avinci CX3200 dye-sublimation printer, which is giving them triple the output of its predecessor. The business is a new customer for Agfa but having had years of experience in buying their arsenal of printers, Marketing Director, Jack Murphy, knew exactly what they needed from this new machine, and he couldn’t be happier with it.
The Big Display Company, based in Slough, is a family business, originally established in 1978 by Vince Murphy as Bullseye Awards and Garments Ltd. For many years it specialised in the production of trophies and awards and became a leader in its field. In fact, even today they still produce the iconic annual BBC Sports Personality Award. But over the years, to future-proof the business, it diversified into many other areas and Vince now works closely with his two sons, Jack heading up Marketing and Joe driving Sales. Diversifying certainly aided business growth and they finished 2022, their best year ever, with a profitable turnover of £3.2 million.
The business started to diversify around 20 years ago and as Vince had a background in screen printing, they initially purchased a small Roland printer to add banners to their product offer as a lot of their business was event-driven. Over the years buying machinery became addictive, according to Jack, and they added further latex machines to their fold. They then took a leap into direct-to-board printing with the purchase of their first UV printer and around 15 years ago invested in their first 1.6m dye-sublimation printer. This allowed them to print fabric gazebos, flags and tablecloths and they say it took them over 10 years, and the purchase of four further inline printers, finishing with one 3.2m wide, to perfect the dye-sub process. This included getting the right team of print operatives and talented seamstresses.
Continual investment and diversification over the years enabled the business to offer a one-stop solution for their clients, who are a mixture of other printers, sign installers, promotional gift suppliers and event agencies. Today this established trade print business employs 25 people and supplies customers across the UK. It now has an arsenal of multiple printing systems and a Zund GS 3.2m cutter. And their latest addition, the Avinci CX3200 dye-sublimation printer, is the first Agfa-branded product they have purchased.
The Agfa machine runs 3 to 4 times faster than our old dye-sublimation printer
“We are really pleased with the results from our first Agfa print engine,” says Marketing Director Jack Murphy. “Our old dye-sub machine needed replacing with repair bills growing each year, so our raw material supplier suggested we talk to Agfa. We knew what the business wanted, we’ve purchased many machines over the years, so I asked Agfa lots of technical questions and their replies came back immediately, I suppose it’s the benefit of dealing directly with the manufacturer. I had looked at other suppliers, ones that we are more familiar with, and there were cheaper machines available, but they were going to be more expensive to run. Agfa has a good reputation and the Avinci delivers what we need.”
The new Avinci CX3200 3.2 m wide dye-sublimation roll-to-roll printer can print both directly to textile and to transfer paper, and at a speed of up to 250 m² per hour. The advantage to The Big Display Company is the firepower as it runs 3-4 times faster than their old machine, it’s more reliable and, having the offline fixation, it doesn’t waste as much material. It’s also much more energy efficient and features the Agfa ‘Thin Ink Layer’ technology resulting in very low ink consumption.
The final tool in clinching the deal quickly with Agfa was its finance package, which is unique in the marketplace for this level of equipment. It allows the customer to lease whilst purchasing the Agfa wide-format equipment and software. Loan periods range from 3 to 5 years with zero deposit options available.
Once the decision was made on the printer, the finance deal was a great solution for us and very quick to set up. The finance, coupled with the service offered by Agfa have been very impressive.
Jack Murphy added: “Once the decision was made on the printer, the finance deal was a great solution for us and very quick to set up. The finance, coupled with the service offered by Agfa have been very impressive. Moving to a new supplier was a big decision for us, most of our machines are modular which means our operators can repair them and yet Agfa engines are close-down machines, so you must rely on an Agfa engineer to fix them. We know that all machines with moving parts will at some time need fixing and it’s how responsive the supplier is at these times that’s important. But as promised, Marcus, our closest Agfa engineer, has been very responsive throughout the installation and training and we have faith that will continue when other issues occur. Overall, the whole experience in buying from Agfa has been very impressive and we are very happy with our decision.”
This new investment by The Big Display Company will once again open new markets for the business. They are keen to promote the eco benefits of this new equipment and what it can offer, moving customers away from PVC and on to using dye-sub fabrics for POS that are easy to post and reduce single-use plastic. And now their new commercial fixation calendar unit is installed, they intend to target the soft furnishing interiors market too.
We know that all machines with moving parts will at some time need fixing and it’s how responsive the supplier is at these times that’s important. But Agfa has been very responsive throughout the installation and training and we have faith that will continue when other issues occur. Overall, the whole experience in buying from Agfa has been very impressive and we are very happy with our decision.