22 March 2020 Print Companies

Buckland Media brings in the big guns: Agfa and Esko

Buckland is expanding its large format division with investment in a flat bed printer and the cutting table to go with it.

Buckland Media has installed a 2.5 metre Agfa Anapurna hybrid LED UV inkjet press to cope with a growing demand for display print.

The press has been delivered, along with an Esko Kongsberg cutting table, and is up and running in time for orders from the events sector to disappear with the arrival of Covid-19. But there are no regrets from the Dover business.

“We had started to move into point of sale printing with a roll machine,” says commercial manager Richard Archer. “We then realised we could offer bespoke wallpaper. That has grown and grown and grown for us.”

The new investment is proving highly productive, says Archer, giving production of site boards for the construction industry, as an example. “Previously, when we have been applying vinyl to boards it would take three days to produce 67 panels. Now we can do the same in eight hours direct to the board,” he says.

“And rather than buying in acrylic and boards that have been cut to size, we can do that in house and save money.”

The investment follows a year investigating the technology and repositioning the company away from the ultra competitive litho market. It has retained the litho press but it is no longer emphasising this aspect of its service.

“We needed to understand what our USP would be and that is about speed and service. We can satisfy demand when someone says I need it tomorrow, and we can install as well. We can react quickly: we can design, print and install within a five day week.

“This was just the right time for us to invest, replacing litho which is down to a bare minimum, and the money saved has been invested back into machinery.”

The company has been exposed to the events industry and works for tourist attractions which have been closed down due to the coronavirus crises. It has regular clients in the NHS as well as a finance client. “Until this week, I think we were perhaps a little naive. Now reality has sunk in and we have started planning for the worst case scenario,” says Archer.

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There will be LED lamps for UV curing on the new hybrid press at Buckland Media. The press is joined by a cutting table, to help the business cope with an increase in the number of orders.

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