Acorn jumps to cloud based workflow solution

March 1, 2019

Print Solutions


Acorn Web Offset has created a new pre-press department in time for the arrival of its new 32 page Lithoman press. It has turned to its long standing partner, Agfa Graphics, to provide a turn key solution, with cloud based workflow, to meet its future pre-press needs. 


The new pre-press solution, consisting of two Agfa Avalon N16 90s platesetters, two Elantrix 125DX high speed plate processors and a Nela in line automated vision punch, bending and sortation solution, provides press ready plates for its growing print capacity. The project, which was installed in December after 18 months in planning, has also seen the move of the company’s Apogee pre-press workflow system to the Cloud, making Acorn Web the first UK web printer that has moved to this cloud based workflow solution.



Agfa worked hard to come up with a dual stream pre-press hardware solution for Acorn Web, that gave it increased automation, yet could fit in the newly built area and keep within budget. Agfa provided a turn key solution in partnership with third party supplier Nela so that the new 32 page Lithoman plates could be produced with in line automation of plate handling, imaging, registration, punching, bending and section sortation on to multiple stackers. Overall the new system provides the business with a fully automated solution with substantial growth capacity, whilst maintaining existing staffing levels. 


Moving to the Cloud has enabled Acorn Web to run its Apogee 11 suite of workflow products off site on the same private and secure Cloud that the Agfa Group also uses for the Arkitex workflow software for newspapers as well as for its healthcare business unit.


Mark Roberts from Acorn Web is really pleased with the results: ‘Moving to the Cloud has been seamless so far, it means our server has less traffic to handle and whilst at first I was concerned about losing our internet connection, if we lost it before it affected the jobs received anyway.” 


When talking of the new pre-press solution overall, Mark commented: ‘The system has been running for a month and whilst we have yet to use it for the larger Lithoman plates, the early signs are good and we have already seen improvements in productivity.’


Acorn Web specialises in short to medium run, A4 and A5 multi-page magazine, catalogue and brochure work. 


‘Continually improving our efficiencies as a business is key and the pre-press system plays a critical part,’ said Mark. ‘We are an IS0 14001 accredited business, so tools like the Agfa PressTune and InkTune software ensuring colour consistency, ink optimisation and print quality help deliver environmental benefits through reduced ink consumption and paper waste.  Our printers are already seeing the benefits of using the software as it helps them achieve better consistent results. The Agfa software has assisted here in providing a winning solution.’


He concluded, ‘Acorn is a business in growth mode, we already turnover £18.5 million per year and we are targeting growth over the next three years. Agfa has been a partner to the business since 2009 and its products are integrated in everything we do. The business has experienced much change over the past two years with this new press project and having the support of Agfa has been a great constant for us. Our spend will increase with Agfa as we grow and we will look to further integrate Apogee into our MIS system for the front end of our business.’


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