Dan Tarbit, Deputy Director – Operations Division at Potts Print delighted with the new Agfa investment…

Potts Print replace two printers with an Agfa wide-format inkjet press

Whilst Potts Print has been an Agfa customer for many years, they have just purchased their first Agfa print engine, a Tauro H2500, to support their increasing demand for large-format print.

Potts Print is one of the largest privately owned printers in the northeast. Established in 1875 and initially based in North Shields, they moved to their current facility in 2007, two premises that would allow them to further expand their operation. They are an established litho printer and over the past 10 years have expanded their offer to include digital printing, direct mail, personalised packaging, large format print and a storage and distribution solution for their customers.

They employ over 100 people across two sites, which are both 65,000 sq. ft in size. One site hosts all pre-press, production and supporting departments which equates to 90% of the workforce and the other is a warehouse and storage facility. The business supplies print promotions, point of sale and high-volume mailings to a variety of business sectors including local NHS Trusts, universities, local authorities and retail nationwide.

Potts has been supplying large format print for several years and as their demand grew, they acquired their specialist supplier in this area, Digital XL back in 2014. Digital XL had been in large format print for 14 years at the time of the acquisition and with the merger came the expertise of key staff including Dan Tarbit who is now Deputy Director of the large format team for the Potts business.

We needed more production speed, ideally an upgrade path to support us as we grow, and wanted to ensure there were environmental benefits too. Agfa stood out by a mile.

This specialism sits within the business that has a phenomenal print capacity with 4 litho presses, 10 small format digital printers, 2 latex and 1.6m printers. All the pre-press workflow across the business is managed on the Agfa, now ECO3, Apogee workflow software and has been for over 10 year. Their plate setters are from ECO3 too in their litho division. They are also currently trialing some beta packaging plug-ins for ECO3 on their pre-press systems.

It’s no surprise that ECO3 selected Potts Print as a test site. They are a forward-thinking business and were early achievers in this market with certifications like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 for business processes and FSC and PFC chain of custody for sustainability. The latter enables them to trace all the way back to source for material supply. They are a carbon-neutral business and have made big changes to reduce their carbon footprint over the last few years in all areas of the company. They measure their results each year and are already 17% down on their 2020 footprint which they are driving down further with recent investments in the latest print engines, like the Tauro from Agfa. They offset the remaining carbon with an ecological charity, hence their carbon-neutral status.

“The environmental impact was certainly one of the considerations in the purchase of the new Agfa machine,” qaid Beck Owen, Deputy Director of their Corporate Services Division. “It replaces two older printers that were coming to the end of life at 7 years old and the energy they used with their halogen lights alone was a lot greater than we are predicting with the new Agfa machine. We are excited to see the cost savings from both energy and ink usage on the Tauro that was installed in the middle of June.”

Dan Tarbit explains the key reasons why they chose the Agfa wide-format press after reviewing the market: “We had the top-of-the-range models with our incumbent wide-format printer supplier, so we decided to start getting sales representatives in from alternative suppliers mid 2022. We needed more production speed, ideally an upgrade path to support us as we grow, and wanted to ensure there were environmental benefits too. Agfa stood out by a mile.”

The Tauro engine was the best fit for our business today and at the right price point. Because we can run with multiple sheets on the Tauro, we can now run up to nine times faster on some jobs, so the speed is mind-blowing.

“We visited their Antwerp demonstration area where we could view all their print engines in one place including their range of Anapurna, Oberon, Mira, Tauro, Avinci dye-sub and Onset machines. We even took media with us that we were having problems with, like with adherence on certain clear vinyls and the Agfa engineers showed us how to resolve the issues. So, we came away fairly convinced it was the choice for us. Their Tauro engine was the best fit for our business today and at the right price point. It is a hybrid machine offering roll-to-roll and flatbed media feeds and whilst on paper it is 3 times faster than our old machines because we can run with multiple sheets on the Tauro, we can now run up to 9 times faster on some jobs, so the speed is mind-blowing.”

The Agfa machine was delivered in June, the installation went well, and the team received both initial and follow-up training along with certification. And whilst is it early days, they are reporting great quality results and a projected 60% saving on inks as they are not only cheaper to buy but with the Agfa ‘Thin Ink Layer Technology’ their usage is down too.

The hybrid Tauro H2500 relies on UV LED curing to offer six vivid colours plus white print. It is a robust productive printer able to handle extreme workloads. It allows for substrate widths up to 2.54m wide, runs at a print speed of up to 390 m²/h, and has cutting-edge automation for countless rigid and flexible media options. It features up to 32 fast-firing Ricoh inkjet print heads, each with 4 nozzle rows for 2 colours per head offering great quality at speed.

Final word from Dan “Agfa has a really solid brand offer and a great range of machines for the wide-format market. Their staff are on the ball with their experience, knowledge and professionalism. Their machines are reliable and with their quick backup service, it gave us the confidence to go for one engine to replace the two that we had. We are using the Asanti workflow software which is a tailored wide-format version of the Apogee workflow we know so well too, which is a great benefit for us. We see Agfa continuing to be a growing partner with Potts Print, they are just a great BIG brand in print today.”

https://www.potts.co.uk/index.htmlinfo@potts.co.uk / +44 (0)345 375 1875

Agfa Sales Manager UK & Ireland: paul.fitch@agfa.com

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