Agfa and Thunderbolt Strategic alliance

Agfa Graphics and Thunderbolt Solutions have announced that they have reached a strategic agreement for the distribution, service and support of the Agfa Graphics range of products in Southern Africa. The agreement, which will take effect from 1 October 2014, will include the full range of products from Agfa including plates and pressroom chemistry, computer-to-plate solutions and front-end systems and, the wide-format industrial inkjet printer offering. ‘Agfa Graphics has a strong user base in Southern Africa,’ said Dave Reynolds, General Manager South Africa for Agfa Graphics. ‘By joining forces with Thunderbolt, we believe that our customers will enjoy the best technical and after sales support in the industry. We have opted for a partner that has a wide range of complimentary products. We recognise Thunderbolt’s strong presence in our market, as well as its technical abilities and top-class customer service levels.’ Thunderbolt Solutions has built a strong reputation for supplying equipment and solutions in the printing and post-press sector of the market. Five years ago it entered the prepress sector with a range of solutions aimed at the commercial and packaging printing sectors. The agreement with Thunderbolt will strengthen Agfa Graphics’ sales and service infrastructure in the South African Newspaper, Commercial and Wide Format Inkjet market alongside its current long-standing international partnership with Heidelberg. Thunderbolt has been active in the graphic arts market for 15 years as a major supplier of equipment and consumables. Peter van der Walt, chairman of Thunderbolt Solutions said, ‘Thunderbolt Solutions is a leading supplier of presses and post-press equipment to the South African market. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have been selected by international leading companies to represent their product ranges in this market. Adding Agfa Graphics, as the world’s leading prepress supplier, to our product portfolio will enable us to offer our clients a fully integrated solution. It also gives us access to the wide-format inkjet market with, what is arguably, the leading range of equipment.’ Thunderbolt Solutions has offices in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town ensuring that it is conveniently situated within easy reach of all its customers around the country. Its staff complement of almost 50 people around the country have an unrivalled depth of experience in the sectors it is active in. It also has a dedicated and experienced technical team capable of assisting customers with all manner of servicing, maintenance and repairs on all the equipment in its product range. Reynolds added, ‘After a five-year relationship with Kemtek Imaging Solutions we believe that, in the rapidly-changing printing environment, we need to be closer to our customers in order to better understand their needs, and we can only do this by being more actively involved with the end users of our products. We see this close relationship with Thunderbolt and Heidelberg, as well as our direct to market sales strategy as offering the ideal combination of access to Agfa’s full solution, and dynamic product portfolio, and at the same time ensuring the best after sales support to our valued end user customers.’ Van der Walt concluded, ‘With this addition of Agfa’s range of prepress equipment and consumables and the wide-format range of inkjet solutions and consumables, we will now be able to offer our clients a full solution for their every need in all sectors of the market. We look forward to working closely with Dave and his team and to bringing the Agfa range of systems and solutions to the market. Many of our existing customers are also Agfa customers and we will do everything we can to ensure that we provide them with a seamless chain of supply and support.’ Thunderbolt staff will receive all necessary training for both sales and technical personnel to ensure that they are fully up-to-date on the Agfa range of equipment.