Burgeoning demand for glossy art brochures has prompted Cambrian Printers to sign a five-year contract with Agfa for Azura TU plates.
This will result in the processing of over half a million plates imaged on Cambrian’s two Avalon N8-60 platesetters installed at its Aberystwyth site over the five years.
“We look to customers for long-term commitment and therefore try to do the same with our suppliers,” said chairman Robert Read.
The plate contract comes as Cambrian Printers is developing new business in high-quality fine art auction catalogues.
“We looked at various plates but Agfa’s are tried and tested. It’s not just about the plates or the platesetters, but service and support. We are geographically challenged so support is important.”
Cambrian Printers’ targeting of short-run, high-pagination work means a large number of printing plates are used in its offset printing department.
“The quality control needed to produce this level of work places demands on our staff and our suppliers.
“Environmental benefits are important too. We will save approximately 700,000 litres of water over the five-year contract,” added Read.
“The platesetters are bullet proof – they just don’t break down and you can’t fault the plates. They have to be good to produce the quality of work we require.”
His 80-staff company makes a turnover of £7.5m and also runs a 10-colour KBA Rapida 106 and a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105. Digital kit inlcudes two HP Indigos, a 5600 and a 7800.
Read said the company was looking to invest in another B1 press towards the end of this year or early next and was weighing up various options.
“When we bought the KBA six years ago we were attracted by the fast makereadies and automated plate changes, so we are competitvely priced on multi-page short-run work.”
He said the new investments would consolidate business, rather than build on turnover, by improving service.
Technical manager Chris Haines said of the plates: “Cleaning and maintenance take half the time they used to and need to be carried out less frequently. There’s virtually no mess.”
Picture shows (l-r): Robert Read, Jack Bennett of Agfa Graphics and Chris Haines of Cambrian Printers.