Print Leeds has praised Agfa’s proactive approach and rewarded their patience by
signing a new five-year plate contract and investing in Agfa’s Arkana plate processor
and wide format Asanti workflow for their business.
Print Leeds Operations Director, Paul Fisher, said “I felt there was more synergy moving forward
with Agfa and have been impressed by their product innovations over the years. Whilst they have
never directly supplied Print Leeds before, they have proactively kept us aware of their
developments over a sustained period of time, giving me the confidence to make the move when
the time was right.”
The timing came when Print Leeds were planning the move to new premises, the old Drawn Metal
site in Bramley Leeds, four times the size of their old facility. They had invested in another
Heidelberg XL106-7 seven colour press, so they went in search of a new plate deal to satisfy their
increasing orders. A new environmentally friendly processor was also required and as the Agfa
Arkana offered such a light footprint, using a bath with just 15 litres capacity, Print Leeds felt it
would help with their retention of ISO14000, where a year on year reduction on environmental
impact is required. The deal was finally clinched by Agfa’s unique Asanti workflow, offering an
advanced, but easy to use workflow solution for the businesses wide-format department.
The Asanti production upgraded their workflow technology and whilst it was originally designed to
be used with Agfa output engines, the Asanti’s flexibility facilitates the driving of third party
engines either direct or by using a generic output.
Print Leeds, established in 2002, moved into a new four-acre site just two months ago and whilst
work is still underway modernising the facility, it offers plenty of room for growth over its four
industrial buildings. Investing in the business and new technology is nothing new to Print Leeds,
Managing Director Rod Fisher, who started his career in reprographics, bought his first Heidelberg
press in 2002. He purchased a further business, that specialised in labels, a few years later and
now his business has 39 employees, three print divisions: Labels, Litho UV on to plastics and Wide
Format Digital and boasts a £5m turnover.
The company’s new 5-year deal with Agfa is fundamentally based around printing plates. They use
an estimated 11,000 square meters per annum, which is set to grow with their additional
Heidelberg press and they selected to use the Agfa Energy Elite Eco Plates known for their longrun
performance. These plates are an advanced and robust no-bake thermal printing plate for
high-end, high-performance commercial, packaging and UV printing.
The Agfa Arkana processor, perfectly complements their Energy Elite Eco printing plate. It offers
consistent quality plate processing with minimal chemistry usage and maintenance, allowing
printers to further reduce their Eco footprint. Maximum throughput even on Very Large Format
(VLF) CtP lines makes it the perfect match for high production and heavy-duty environments.
Arkana (a product of Agfa’s ECO3 principle of Ecology, Economy and Extra Convenience)
incorporates a small developer tank, drastically lowering replenishment rates and considerably
reducing chemical consumption. It features the Agfa patented gum cascade technology in which
the gum both cleans the plate and protects it with a finishing layer. The process eliminates the
need for rinsing water so all in all it produces up to 50% less collectable waste than similar
products. Its long bath life reduces maintenance frequency, while the clean chemistry technology
used in the system reduces maintenance time.
The Agfa Asanti was purchased as a completely automated production hub for the company’s, non
Agfa, wide format printer. It features Agfa’s award-winning colour management solution and
integrates with the latest version of Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) enabling highly specific
functionalities (like nesting, see-through concept, proofing support) together with fast, automatic
pre-flighting. It avoids errors, minimises manual interventions, shortens pre-press procedures and
simplifies the entire printing process.
Owner Rod Fisher concludes “The deal with Agfa has been part of our £5m investment in new
premises during late 2017. The plate price obviously had to be right and the product exceed our
expectations, but knowing that AGFA is a well established brand in the industry, with trusted
relationships, gave us the confidence to change.“
Agfa Graphics is a global solution provider to the printing industry, employing over 4000 people.
They supply an extensive range of prepress solutions, including hardware, software and
consumables to commercial, display, newspaper and packaging printers. Their UK offices are in
Brentford and Leeds. Details at www.agfagraphics.co.uk.
Read this story in Print Week , Print Monthly and on the Agfa Graphics website.