Posted by Harry on 16th Jun 2018

LIghts. dry ice and music herald the latest wide format press

Lights. dry ice and music herald the latest wide format press

By all accounts Agfa Graphics scaled down their presence at Fespa, and the reason appears to be they targeted a chunk of their marketing resources into this week’s open days. Or in their marketing speak, their Red Carpet Event at their factory in Antwerp in Belgium. Around 300 guests attended the two days with the bulk coming on the Tuesday to take a look at the Jeti H3300 LED press. By pulling in potential and existing customers along with the media and interested parties the firm essentially has a captive audience. Wining and dining is part of the sell but as other companies have done using the open day events with hospitality on a grand scale the pitch clearly works. No vast costs at transporting heavy plant to exhibition halls and then setting them up, and no concerns about buyers playing one exhibitor off against another in negotiating a deal on the day. Just the cost of looking after 300 guests for 48 hours.

The Red Carpet Event was introduced by Agfa’s affable Willy Van Dromme in the showrooms. He says: “My boss thinks I was born in Agfa but he says if this presentation goes wrong I may die in Agfa.” He went on to stress a list of ‘extremes’ as he put it essentially plugging the company’s dedication to quality manufacturing and customer service. These were two qualities which several customers at the event confirmed anecdotally to this publication. The extremes he spelt out were: extreme productivity and quality; extreme ROI; extreme reliability; and extreme support.

He also spoke about the Jeti Tauro H3300 LED which was building on the success of the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED. The new machine he comments is bigger, sturdier and faster with an engine which guarantees both smooth, detailed results and rapid UV-LED curing. He explained that the hybrid UV inkjet workhorse produces ‘visually stunning prints’ on media up to 3.3 m wide at speeds up to 453 m2/hr.

Following his presentation the guests were taken across the sprawling complex to two large showrooms in which all of the Agfa range were on display including the Jeti Tauro H3300 LED. In a dramatic presentation involving pulsating music, flashing lights and dry ice the qualities of the large printer were described before the talking stopped and the machines began printing.

The Jeti Tauro H3300 LED was surrounded by a large group of people eagerly photographing it in action like some form of mechanical movie star making the event’s red carpet title not completely irrelevant. It allows for single or multiple board feeding, manual or semi manual production, as well as roll-to-roll printing up to 600mm in diameter with a printable area of 3.2m. It also has a fully automatic mode which means it can ‘pick and place’ which allows the unloading to go directly onto a pallet four at a time. As one board is being printed another is saying goodbye to the printer and hello to the pallet. It is hypnotic to watch and surely shows where the print process is heading. And the event itself also reveals how showcasing new machinery is moving away in some cases from trade exhibitions to open days. Only time will tell what the ROI is on the trend.

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This article first appeared in Print Monthly Magazine and website.