Agfa Graphics' first :Anapurna M inkjet printer was recently installed at Melbourne-based printer Square One Images.

The fine print quality of the flatbed/roll-fed colour printer make it an ideal machine for the company's ambitions in the high-quality architectural printing sector. It has been in full production since early September.

“Architectural work needs high quality output and speed,” explains owner Mark Tollitt. “The main reason for purchasing the :Anapurna M was its high quality and fine line detail. We can achieve good quality colour on our [Oce] Arizona but the :Anapurna prints fine text really well. That's where I was impressed.  It also has good speed, price and engineering quality.”

Established in 2000, Square 1 produces high quality architectural printing, having moved away substantially from point-of-sale material – although it still undertakes a wide range of work, from traditional screen printing and vinyl-cut signage, to wide format solvent printing.

The company works closely with architects, interior designers and project managers, with most architectural printing produced for the commercial sector. Project include exterior fitouts (e.g. the Melbourne Aquatic Centre), kitchen splash backs, wall panelling, and free-standing indoor displays.

“We'd class our business as small-run, high-quality printing. Five hundred prints is a large order for us. We had to change our focus to architectural printing because the market was already saturated with display printers - everybody can do that. We've looked at different methods and materials we can use, to give our clients something more inspiring.”

After purchasing the Arizona flatbed printer two years ago to handle architectural printing, Tollitt realised a second machine was needed to grow the business.

“We needed another string to our bow. Now we don't need to outsource, or risk losing clients because of delays. We can do everything ourselves.”

The :Anapurna M handles rollfed and rigid substrates to 50mm thick and 160cm wide. It uses 14 picolitre printheads and Agfa-made UV-curable inks and the sixcolour system includes light cyan and light magenta (plus one flush solution tank). It outputs up to 14m2/hr with resolutions of 720x1440 dpi and borderless printing. Text is positive to 4-point and negative to 5-point (in all colours).

“We've been getting very good results with it, including some ceramic tiles,” says Tollitt. “There's no banding at all and we get higher mileage because of the print quality.”

“We bought from a good company. A lot of manufacturers get involved without any experience, but Agfa has been around in reprographics and colour a long time.

They talk to industry technicians because they get feedback from the users and can make improvements. A lot of companies drop the machine in, then run. I felt I've got the backup if I have a problem.”

Agfa Graphics


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