B&P Lightbrigade Group, the UK’s largest independent supplier of large format printing systems and services, have today announced their Strategic Alliance Partnership with AGFA.
This agreement sees B&P, under their Uniform brand, named as the first, and currently only, OEM for the the AGFA ANAPURNA printer which was recently shown for the first time at FESPA in Dusseldorf.
As part of this agreement B&P will take delivery of the UK’s first ANAPURNA system in November of this year. The system will then be integrated into the Uniform range and launched as the Uniform Chieftan, serving as the flagship product of the recently announced Uniform Professional range.
David Burton, Managing Director of the B&P Lightbrigade Group tells us “We are delighted that our position as the UK’s leading installer of cutting edge large format digital systems has led to AGFA choosing us a partner for what we believe will be a seminal product in the large format market. The ANAPURNA brings to market the next generation of printhead technology, a unique and well thought out ‘walking floor’ media transport system, and combines this technology to create a system capable of high volume, high quality production.
Burton continues “The growth of flatbed UV printing has been somewhat held back by printhead restrictions that precluded users from meeting the quality expectations they had enjoyed with desktop derived systems using HP thermal or Epson piezo-electric printheads. We believe AGFA’s new 764 nozzle Universal Print Head (UPH) will finally do away with the choice between quality and volume that has long existed in the large format market”.
The UPH has the ability to print greyscale images up to 16 levels with a minimum drop volume of 8 pl. This compares favourably with printheads currently used to produce photographic imagery on desktop personal printers. Combine this quality potential with production speeds ranging between 14 and 97 square metres an hour, dependent on resolution, and the potential for this system to transform the UV flatbed market is indeed obvious.
Asked about how B&P will differentiate their Uniform Chieftan version of the ANAPURNA from systems that will also be released by AGFA themselves, and their production partner Mutoh, Burton told us “We plan to sell the Uniform Chieftan as part of a complete production solution that will see the AGFA printer as one aspect of a complete solution that might include feeding, media transfer, cutting, finishing and stacking systems. We did exactly this with the first Zund UV flatbeds, through integrating them with the right software, partnering them with automated finishing systems, and in so doing created a complete flatsheet production system that covered the full production spectrum. This philosophy saw us selling over 60 Zund UV flatbeds at a time when many others were still building product or considering their route to market.”
He continues “We also believe our strength has long been in taking new product and combining it with existing technology in order to create integrated systems that we can install and make stick. I believe AGFA see this strength in us, and know we have the ability to not only generate sales and install systems, but have the support resources that will see us well able to deal with any early technical issues and thus lay firm foundations that will directly benefit AGFA and their partners”.
Further information on Uniform printers, ink and media can be found at www.uniformdigital.com
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