Rol Digital: Innovation and sustainability in large format

From its new 3,000 m² facility in Móstoles, much more spacious and with the possibility of expansion in the future, Rol Digital can continue to offer its customers the agile and precise response that has always characterized this Madrid-based company. The installation of a highly productive Tauro LED H3300 printer has contributed to Rol Digital differentiating itself on the market by its versatility in applications, the quality of its work, and its tight delivery deadlines. An added value that complements the experienced teams across all departments. We met with Rubén Torres, CEO of Rol Digital.

Rubén Torres, CEO of Rol Digital (in the center), with Lorena Feria, consultant and head of sustainability, and Agfa sales representative Joseé Ramón Morales

Sustainability is one of the concepts that has been reiterated throughout our conversation with Rubén Torres, who founded the company at the young age of 23 after starting in the graphic world by working for a company in the sector when billboards were still hand-painted. He tells us that the discovery of digital printing prompted him to start his own company, realizing that this technology represented the future: “I started in 1999 with a Roland SC540, which was a cutting plotter and digital printer. I remember wanting to offer something different to clients beyond typical plain colors, and with simple functions like beveling, embossing, or shading, I would tell them that ‘texts and letters would look like candies.’ This idea was well-received, as it was a way to deviate from conventional lettering. Over time, the business grew, and I acquired larger format printers.”

When did your relationship with Agfa begin?

It’s been about fifteen years. My first Agfa machine was an Anapurna XL that I acquired from Resopal. I remember it was a great discovery for us to see direct printing with UV inks, as we produced a lot of signage, and we had to print the vinyl and attach it to a rigid material, which was time-consuming and prone to errors and redos. With direct printing, all of this changed, and we could work with materials of all types, even more so now, as the ink adheres practically to any substrate. Later, we complemented this machine with another 4-color Anapurna MV with varnish. Subsequently, another Anapurna M2500i arrived, and our first Jeti Tauro LED, the H2500. More recently, we added a Tauro LED H3300 with Master RTR. I would like to highlight that we were the first company in Spain to install this machine. Currently, we work with both Tauro’s. In total, we have had five Agfa machines, considering them a high-value partner.

With the Tauro LED H3300, we now produce twice as fast on a wide variety of media without loss of quality.

What are the most significant changes that the Tauro LED H3300 brings?

Mainly, the speed; now we produce twice as fast. The two Tauro machines are located side by side, and we can see the difference. Additionally, the H3300 is fully equipped. I would like to highlight, for example, the master roll-to-roll system for printing super-large-format rolls. We use rolls up to 600 meters, and many nights we leave the machine printing. The next day, the job is finished without errors. It is a very reliable system that gives us a lot of peace of mind.

What advantages do the Agfa Anuvia UV LED inks bring?

Apart from their quality and color reproduction, which is undeniable, I would like to highlight the versatility they offer when using a wide variety of substrates. I remember once facing the challenge of printing an order for a company in Dubai, whose level of perfection and excellence was astonishing. They wanted to reproduce geometric patterns in gold on very expensive glass to build an entire building, and they were not satisfied with applying cut vinyl on the surface. Direct printing was the solution, and the result was spectacular. We printed as many batches as necessary to complete the entire facade. We are delighted with the Anuvia inks, which have GREENGUARD Gold certification, ensuring that they are safe and environmentally friendly inks that can be used in schools, hospitals, etc. It’s an added advantage of these inks, which have also achieved the 3M Performance Guarantee.

The Jeti Tauro LED H3300, the first of its kind to be installed in Spain, is the fifth Agfa printer to arrive at the Rol Digital facilities

What other projects are you working on with the Tauro LED H3300?

The truth is, every time we have installed a new Agfa printer, the workflow and new clients have always increased, and existing clients have proposed new projects that, without that machine, we could not have undertaken. Or we would have had to subcontract them, which implies a loss of profitability.

Lorena Feria, consultant and head of the Sustainability Department at Rol Digital: With Agfa, Rol Digital has found the perfect balance. It began its sustainable transformation six years ago and, in its daily operations, works according to three criteria: environmental efficiency, economic sustainability, and social commitment. When an order comes in, we always think about eco-design, how to make the project as efficient and viable as possible, but always causing the least environmental impact. That’s why the energy factor is so crucial, and being always accompanied by technological innovation, in this case, from Agfa, has been a great contribution.

For Rol Digital, which cares about its sustainable development as a company, all its partners and collaborators must have the same values. Supplier-client communication is essential. And our clients not only see us as a printing service but as a partner that will accompany them throughout the process, even after the project is completed, because in 2024 Rol Digital will launch a reverse logistics program to have greater control over product traceability and recycle the waste generated by the customer. This adds greater value.

Has working with the Tauro allowed you to reduce outsourcing?

Without a doubt. Now we can take on projects that we couldn’t produce before. The versatility in materials that the Tauro offers is impressive. In fact, in Spain, we are a reference as a digital printing company, and we no longer outsource anything. We only turn to some of our partners for occasional services that we cannot provide, but not for printing.

For Rol Digital, which cares about its sustainable development as a company, all its partners and collaborators must share the same values.

What applications are most common in your day-to-day operations?

We’d finish sooner by listing what we don’t do… Jokes aside, we print banners, vinyl, and signage on all imaginable substrates, whether cardboard, plastics… At this point, I would like to highlight that Rol Digital is a company that pays a lot of attention to sustainability. We work with certified, recycled, and recyclable materials. In fact, we are one of the few printing companies in Spain with its own sustainability department. We have the expertise of Lorena Feria, a sustainability expert and consultant who accompanies us in all projects.

Agfa’s technology aligns perfectly with Rol Digital’s environmental credentials.

Of course, not only because it allows us to use all these more sustainable materials but also due to factors such as its energy efficiency. We have noticed the low energy consumption of LED lamps, which also offer many other advantages: by curing cold and not with heat, we can work with materials like cardboard or polyester without the risk of damage, and we also forget about the undesired effects produced by other types of curing. We are delighted with LED technology. As I mentioned, it allows us to work with materials like cardboard and thus promote new growth opportunities through structural design with technical cardboard. It’s a new world with many possibilities for stand construction or interior design projects.

Role Digital Showroom, a sample of versatility in large format for all types of applications in visual communication, retail, decoration, events, etc.

What other values stand out from a partner like Agfa?

I would highlight two strong points: their own ink development, which is in their DNA, and also the attention they pay to their customers. It is a company that listens to us. Any comment we make about the behavior of the ink on a specific material, for example, they take into account. Thus, we have always been able to detect evolutions in technology, and some very significant ones. For example, the Anuvia inks now have impressive durability and stability. In our case, communication is very intense between supplier and customer. I would like to highlight another important aspect of Agfa: Their immediate response. Whenever we needed it, their technical service has assisted us in a short period. They are aware that we cannot afford to have the machines down. We are especially grateful for the management and support of José Ramón Morales, our contact at Agfa, who, more than a member of the manufacturer’s commercial department, we consider as another teammate in our team.

José Ramón Morales, Sales Manager at Agfa, offers his opinion on Rol Digital:

Rol Digital is a strategic, pioneering, and future-oriented customer. Its staff members are always restless, observant, and thinking beyond. This makes them different in the market, and it is essential for them to continue this way, to keep growing as they are doing, with knowledge. The latest installed Tauro, the H3300 LED, has the automation that the company needs right now, in order to expand in the future. For me, Rol Digital is a visionary company but with very clear ideas in the present, with a very powerful human team in each of its divisions.

This article first appeared in the Spanish trade magazine AP Digitales. Read it here.

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