Redacción AlabrentAt the end of 2019, Partners Studio (Kielce, Poland) became one of the first users of an Avalon N24-90S platemaking system from Agfa. The new solution represents the company’s next investment in Agfa’s offset printing solutions. It is part of a long-term cooperation between the two companies that dates back more than a quarter century. Just a year ago, Partners Studio also installed a Jeti Tauro H2500 LED inkjet printer from Agfa. Ever since, the company has been based on two pillars: form printing, as well as large-format UV led inkjet printing. In both cases, Agfa supplies the equipment, software and consumables, while also providing after-sales service.
Partners Studio and Agfa – together for 25 years
2019 marked the 25th birthday of Agfa’s Polish sales office. Almost at the same time, two partners – Marcin Potrzebowski and Piotr ó tak – registered their own business named Partners Studio. Both companies have been working closely together from the beginning. Piotr ó tak says: “A little earlier, throughout 1993, we functioned as a regional branch of Partners, at that time the representative office of Agfa in Poland. Hence our name; not accidental, but a continuation of existing activities. We used to be one of Agfa’s dealerships, while we also provided DTP and prepress services to local printers, based – obviously – on the equipment and materials of our strategic partner. In 1997, we equipped ourselves with a filmsetter, and in 2003 with the first CtP system, in B1 format. We made a strategic decision for our future a year later by investing in a large-format platesetter and establishing a close cooperation with one of the leading Polish producers of cardboard packaging.”
“It was a jump into deep water,” adds Marcin Potrzebowski, “but in retrospect it proved to be an extremely good decision. Over the years, we’ve been developing our business in the area of form printing, investing in more and faster Agfa solutions. This allowed us to expand our customer base, also in geographical terms. The fact that we were – and to our knowledge still are – the only Polish company equipped with VLF equipment was of considerable importance.”
Avalon N24-90S: the first in Poland, one of the first in Europe
According to the owners of Partners Studio, these investments were in some way “forced” by, on the one hand, the growing demands of customers for shorter lead times, and on the other hand, the need to implement the latest technological solutions, such as the availability of spare parts. “The CtP system we were using until recently would certainly have worked for the next few years, but production safety is one of our priorities. This was possible only with the purchase of a new platesetter, covered by a service contract and a contract guaranteeing minimal downtime of the device and immediate availability of spare parts. Being the sole supplier of printing plates for one of our strategic customers, and working closely with other printers (which includes offering support for problems with their own platesetters), we must have equipment that will give us and our clients a sense of security. That is the case with the new CtP system,” says Piotr ó tak.
Installed in mid-November 2019, the configuration includes an Avalon N24-90S thermal platesetter and an Elantrix processor. The whole system is controlled by Agfa’s Apogee 11 workflow software. “Apart from the fact that the equipment is completely new, it is twice as fast as the one we previously used, producing twenty VLF-sized plates per hour. This gives us additional comfort to tackle our customers’ production peaks. The ability to quickly produce the required offset plates is the most important advantage of the high-speed Avalon platesetter. With the theoretical possibility of making up to ten thousand VLF printing plates per month in a three-shift system, we consciously maintain free production capacity, which gives us high flexibility and the ability to react immediately. This is what our customers care about,” adds Marcin Potrzebowski.
“We still use the same proven Agfa plates and chemicals, which also contribute to the highest quality of the final prints,” continues Piotr ó tak. “The configuration itself has several other advantages, e.g. it does not require a dedicated compressed air pump, making it an autonomous device for which only electricity is needed. Also worth mentioning is the fact that it is quieter, which increases operator comfort.”
The line delivered to Kielce is the first Agfa solution of this type in Poland and one of the first in Europe. Aleksandra Sajdak, regional head of sales in the Polish branch of Agfa, says: “In the case of Partners Studio, we are dealing with a semi-automatic solution, but equipped with the ’S’ option, dedicated to the highest production speeds. If needed, the line can be retrofitted with an automatic plate feeding module. It is therefore a flexible configuration, allowing for possible future expansion.”
Comprehensive commercial and service care from Agfa
As Piotr ó tak emphasizes, in the quarter-century cooperation of the two companies, Agfa employees responsible for the daily contacts with Partners Studio have played an important role: “At this point, I would like to emphasize the professionalism and commitment of both Aleksandra Sajdak as our sales manager, as well as Jacek Gajewski, an Agfa service employee residing in Krakow. It is no exaggeration to say that both of them were responsible to a large degree for the recently implemented contract. Our philosophy is based on partnership, as the name of the company itself indicates. Jacek Gajewski not only reacts quickly when we have a problem with the equipment, but he also works proactively, preventively. In short, we feel safe not only thanks to the new technological solutions we installed, but also thanks to the people who stand behind them.”
“Our investment last year in Agfa’s Jeti Tauro H2500 large-format UV LED inkjet printer was based on the same premises. This purchase marked a milestone for us and represented another leap into the deep. Our only experience with digital large-format printing was the printing of proofs. Currently, orders carried out on the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED generate about 50% of our turnover and this share is constantly growing. Such growth dynamics would not be possible without the large involvement of our partners from Agfa, also with regard to implementation and after-sales care. We have taken two extremely important purchasing decisions over the past months, which have cemented our relationships with this supplier even more,” adds Marcin Potrzebowski.
25 years together, but it doesn’t end there…
“We are glad that our solution has once again found recognition in the eyes of such an experienced and renowned company as Partners Studio. Its owners know our offering in the CtP area, also in terms of the many technological nuances related to the operation of the equipment and, above all, the software that controls it. We are really pleased that the new generation Avalon system will be the basis for the activities of Partners Studio in this area over the next years,” says Aleksandra Sajdak.
This purchase of the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED UV inkjet large-format printer marked a milestone for us and represented another leap into the deep. Our only experience with digital large-format printing was the printing of proofs. Currently, orders carried out on the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED generate about 50% of our turnover and this share is constantly growing. Such growth dynamics would not be possible without the large involvement of our partners from Agfa, also with regard to implementation and after-sales care.
Marcin Rzeczyowski, Partners Studio
Micha liz, managing director of the Polish branch of Agfa adds: “The installation of the new CtP system at Partners Studio coincided with the celebration of our 25th anniversary in Poland. But at the background of that we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of our companies’ cooperation. We hope that both the purchase of the Jeti Tauro H2500 LED last year and the recent investment in the new, large-format CtP Avalon platemaking system will contribute to the next years of fruitful cooperation and further dynamic development of our Kielce partner.”