"It now takes us less than a day to print the same volume it used to take us a week to produce. The speed, quality and colours are excellent"
Format Graphics, formed in 2012, specialise in large format printing, mainly in the form of signage and point of sale, for exhibitions and events. They complete many bespoke projects for head office refits and museums too, but their core customer base is made up of exhibition companies and design agencies. Their turnover is around £2m per year.
Format Graphics employ 16 people at their facility in Stonebridge, Milton Keynes which they purchased four years ago. They work across administration, production and finishing, including full-time fitters who install the POS for their clients. In production, their two main hybrid print engines, a 2m and a 3.2m, satisfy their vinyl, Foamex, Dibond and acrylic print requirements, but as their demand for soft signage increased, they required a new engine to cope with the volume.
“We purchased a Mimaki JV5 printer six years ago when we first started fabric printing. It always produced quality results, but it’s now old technology and too slow for our current demand. We looked at three machines as potential replacements and sent them all test files to assess the quality of print and the results of Agfa's Avinci CX3200 dye-sublimation printer was undoubtedly the best, even though it only offers 4 colours.” Said Baz Ogle, Owner/Managing Director of Format Graphics.
The business purchased the Avinci CX3200 roll-to-roll printer that can print both directly to textile and to transfer paper at a speed of up to 270 m² per hour and it was installed at the end of 2021. During 2022 the fabric printing side of the business continues to grow and now represents around 20% of the company’s turnover. Soft POS is especially popular in retail where it’s easy to fold up and post out to store in a jiffy bag for staff to affix in an existing frame. Baz confirmed that he has been “blown away” by the quality and reliability of the new printer.
We’ve not had to call out anyone from Agfa since installation and there has been no downtime. The Avinci is churning through work quickly and it hasn’t missed a nozzle on the print heads at all.
“The installation took two days and by day 3 we were printing live jobs as part of the training. It now takes us less than a day to print the same volume it used to take us a week to produce. The speed, quality and colours are excellent. We kept the old machine as a backup, but we’ve had no need to use it in the past 5 months. We’ve not had to call out anyone from Agfa since installation and there has been no downtime. It’s churning through work quickly and it hasn’t missed a nozzle on the print heads at all.”
“It’s not just the printer from Agfa that has been impressive, the finance package offered really helped with the decision to move and the experienced engineers made the installation and training enjoyable too. I must make special mention of Arnas Ceckauskas from Agfa who helped with the installation, we found him to be so knowledgeable in fabric print work and he also helped us pair the Avinci printer to the Monti Rotary Calender unit quickly and with amazing results.”
Whilst the new engine has been busy this year with the current demand for soft signage, Baz is keen to expand into new products with the machine when time allows. As the new Avinci now prints to paper too for transfers, which is important for stretchy fabrics, it will allow the business to enter new markets.
Last word from Baz, “The positive experience we have had moving to Agfa means we will certainly be more open to including them when we scope our new print machine requirements in the future.”
Company website: http://www.formatgraphics.co.uk/