Global Wallcoverings brand, Seltex, has invested in a new Agfa Anapurna wide format H3200i LED hybrid print engine to help them flex to the growing demand for shorter runs and interior design personalisation.
Seltex is a highly sought-after wallcoverings brand, known for its classic timeless design, that specialises in the commercial & high-end residential markets. They mostly supply the hospitality sector including hotels, cruise ships and restaurants across the world, and work directly with architects and interior designers. They are a family business, based in north London, that have been designing and manufacturing high end wallcoverings for almost 40 years.
The wallpaper market has long been dominated by the Gravure printing process that allows high-quality print on a broad selection of textured substrates, and the long print runs result in affordable prices. But like other print markets the vast developments and improvements that have been made in digital print technology over the past few years have meant that the output is now acceptable to wallcovering producers too. Print engines like the Agfa Anapurna inkjet system have revolutionised the supply chain, allowing for short print runs at acceptable prices that have never been achievable before.
When Seltex was formed back in 1985, they started by supplying off the shelf products from other Gravure houses and to a certain extent with volume contracts, that still happens today, except many more designs are created by the Seltex in-house designers. Gravure can print easily on robust, fire-rated materials that are required in the contract wallcoverings sector. But the initial set up of cylinders is expensive, and there are restrictions using this process. So digital has opened up a lot more opportunities for faster sampling.
“The extra benefit of the new Agfa wide format Anapurna for Seltex is the design flexibility it offers. We can produce one off wallcoverings that are fully personalised for a feature wall in a project and we can produce longer runs too at an affordable price. The flexibility also allows us to provide sample swatches for a project with ease, to the size that the designer requires, and with a really quick turnaround time, which was not possible before.” Said Aksel Fenman, MD of Seltex.
Seltex has been a customer of Agfa for more than 10 years. They were running both an Anapurna M2 and MW print engines, which they explained were great machines that have performed well. The Anapurna H3200i LED has replaced both these machines and can cope with that workload and more. The brothers at Seltex confirmed that they had reviewed the market before ordering and the Agfa machine had ticked the most boxes for them.
The hybrid Anapurna LED Series produces a high speed 4/6 colour + white, UV LED-curable inkjet system, with printing widths from 1.65 to 3.2m. Perfect for printers that want to combine board and roll-to-roll print for outdoor and indoor, rigid and flexible jobs. The engines are fitted with air-cooled UV LED lights with minimum energy output so saving costs and time. The Anapurna series is powered by the Asanti workflow software.
“We only had the Anapurna installed in the middle of October, but so far we are impressed with the results. The installation went really smoothly and our operators are happy with the speed and quality.” Said Aktan Fenman, Director at Seltex. “We have been testing both the machine and the Asanti workflow, and we’ve had some great results with Ombre wallcoverings in a selection of colours and metallic like patterns using print ink layering. We’ve also been practicing with the seamless step and repeat function in Asanti which is a great feature for wall covering pattern design. The new Agfa engine brings some great energy saving features with its Thin Ink Layer technology, and the use of environmentally friendly GREENGUARD certified inks. We definitely see our relationship growing with Agfa, once this engine is bedded in we’ll be looking at a dedicated roll to roll machine with Agfa too.”
Agfa develops, produces and distributes an extensive range of imaging systems and workflow solutions for the printing industry, the healthcare sector, as well as for specific hi-tech industries such as printed electronics & renewable energy solutions. The headquarters are located in Belgium. The largest production and research centres are located in Belgium, the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, China and Brazil. Agfa is commercially active worldwide through wholly owned sales organizations in more than 40 countries.