LFP - Large-Format-Printing

SDPS seeks ambitious new perspectives with Onset Grizzly X2 HS flatbed inkjet printer

Friday 28. June 2024 - Founded by Philippe Poinon, SDPS began with screen printing at a time when production lines were common throughout France. Screen printing was the primary printing method for posters until the years 19961997 when offset took the lead due to more attractive production costs.

SDPS is a French screen printing company. Its history began over 50 years ago, specializing in poster printing. It has experienced market transformations and mastered technological evolution to now position itself as a significant French player in large-format printing with the help of its new inkjet printing solutions supplier Agfa.
The company has recently welcomed a new Onset Grizzly X2 HS flatbed inkjet printer from Agfa. We met with the two directors, Richard Charrier and Régis Broussin.
A history geared toward the future
The company then shifted towards multi-material large format POS (Point of Sale) displays. The idea was to retain the existing machinery park by using it for printing on materials other than paper, and also to make strategic investments to meet changing customer needs and maintain its position as a major player in POS displays in France.
However, silkscreen printing remained dynamic by adding offset complements laminated onto it. It wasn’t until around 2009/2010 that digital machines came to disrupt the established order. Today, SDPS is able to offer printing and transformation of POS displays. The company is still equipped with a 4-color inline press with a size of 205 x 155 cm and two single-color machines of 100 x 140 cm and 140 x 180 cm.
In 2020, SDPS continued to innovate by renewing its digital park. The acquisition of the latest generation of machines increased productivity and maintained high quality standards, essential when dealing with the luxury sector.
Closer ties with the Santerre Group: a creative collaboration
The year 2022 was a pivotal year for SDPS. It marked a strategic alliance with the Santerre Group, a renowned offset printing specialist. Richard Charrier explains: “We had two solutions for diversification: external growth or joining a group to ensure the company’s future. The choice of the Santerre Group was due to the complementarity of our offerings. Offset on one side, and screen printing and digital on the other. Today, 100% of our activity is based on POS. This is a potentially dangerous situation. We did not want to experience the decline of posters in 2008 again, and being exposed to only one activity seemed unenviable to us.” This consolidation has allowed combining the complementary expertise of both companies to offer customers an even broader range of printing solutions.
The merger with the Santerre group also encouraged creative collaboration between the teams of both companies. The synergy between offset printing experts and multi-material POS specialists has opened up new possibilities for developing innovative products for advertising campaigns that combine the advantages of offset printing with POS benefits. A promising union!
Investing in an Onset Grizzly to meet customer quality expectations
The POS market is experiencing varying levels of activity depending on the sector, Richard Charrier confides. “Nevertheless, we can feel a decline in investments from clients. The series of store closures in 2023 in the ready-to-wear sector is a bad sign.” This trend tends to continue at the beginning of this year with the judicial liquidations of large retailers. The POS activity has felt the impact and foreshadows tensions in 2024 in this market related to stores in the clothing sector. Retailers that resist the closure wave naturally tend to reduce volumes. This is a phenomenon observed nationwide. However, it does not diminish Richard Charrier’s willingness and ability to invest in the future. Thus, since November, the company has welcomed a second Onset Grizzly X2 HS with ABB unloading robot. An addition since SDPS already had two other Onset Grizzly printers. The oldest one will be taken back by Agfa upon the placement of the new one!
“The new Onset Grizzly we welcomed is the sixth since 2012. We renew the machines every 3 to 4 years. They run in 3×8 shifts. We are really pleased with the technological continuity.”
Quality and printing speed are key
This is the second machine with an unloading robot. It’s a considerable time saver for the operator who benefits from higher pallet heights. There is much more automation on the HS version, so the operator saves time on job preparation. SDPS Poinçon’s specificity is the use of 6 colors, 4 colors + light cyan and light magenta. This was an initial choice made to meet an absolute imperative of printing quality for the work carried out. The light colors allow for sharper halftones and greater printing definition, especially for cosmetics.
“We have always had 6 colors on the machines, which sets us apart from the competition. There are automatic processes that allow for extending the life of the printheads, notably the UV lamp shutters. This improves the overall productivity of the machine. Being able to quickly switch materials depending on the jobs, and the flexibility to switch to manual or automatic mode has been a crucial factor in the decision to acquire the HS version,” notes Régis Broussin.
“The format of 322 x 160 cm and their printing capacity on various types of supports with a maximum thickness of 50 mm guarantee true versatility for all types of projects,” adds Richard Charrier.
Closer ties with Agfa
The latest Onset Grizzly marks a new collaboration between the brand and the company. “We are very happy with Agfa’s technical service,” assures Régis Broussin, “and we are very pleasantly surprised by the decrease in ink consumption. The machine’s color profile already indicates a significant decrease in ink requirements to achieve the same result as before. The ink pigmentation plays a big role, as does the file ripping.” Thanks to the multitude of Tauros placed on the market in recent years, Agfa has expertise in ink usage that allows substantial savings in machine operation. A good point for SDPS, which foresees an increase in customer orders and optimized processing.
And now?
“We must continue to grow. The next machine renewal will necessarily involve the incorporation of new technology,” concludes Richard Charrier. From our visit, we can see that SDPS Serigraphy Poinçon is a story of innovation, strategic investments, and commitments to customer quality.

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