FLOODS: Budgie back as insurer pays out

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Flood ravaged Imagination Graphics will be back up and running, with chuffed owner Emmanuel 'Budgie' Buhagiar successful in an insurance claim, which will see all new kit reinstalled.

OwnerALLEmmanuel Buhagiar and his wife Colleen (accounts) at Imagination Graphics.
Back up and running: owner Emmanuel Buhagiar and his wife Colleen at Imagination Graphics have seen their insurance claim succeed and will be printing again soon

Buhagiar said, "The insurance has come good and we are ordering all new equipment, including a new KM-1."

Imagination will install a new Konica Minilta AccurioPress 6100 next week, with a new high-volume AccurioPress C14000 – one of the first in the country – due shortly. The B2 digital inkjet Konica Minolta AccurioPress KM-1 will be arriving at a later date.

In the period after the devastating bushfires and before the coronavirus, the country was going through the minor matter of the floods, which succeeded in turning many businesses in Sydney's inner west suburb Marrickville into swimming pools, including Imagination Graphics.

The knee-deep waters, which poured in on a Sunday evening six weeks ago, wrecked a host of equipment at the award-winning printer, including the new B2 AccurioPress KM-1, affectionally dubbed Kimmie by Budgie and his staff, which was the first in NSW.

Buhagiar took a call from one of his staffers at 5am on the Monday morning telling him to get in quick, but by then it was too late, floodwater was 2' (60cm) deep through the whole factory.

Buhagiar said, "Everything has been wiped out including the KM-1. Monday was one of the saddest days of my life. To walk in and see everything underwater was devastating."

"We were in on Saturday and the KM-1 was flying, we put a dozen jobs through it. I came in on Sunday to catch up on paperwork, went home about 3pm. Then I got the call the next morning. When I got in, there was garbage floating everywhere, we were knee deep in water."

The whole street in Marrickville was impacted by the floods, which saw cars and skip bins floating down the street.

Wrecked by the floods were the KM-1 – the first of its type in NSW – along with two Konica Minolta digital colour printers, two Heidelberg GTOs, a CTP unit, a Polar guillotine, a Heidelberg Platen and a Cylinder, and finishing equipment, including a laminator. Much of the paper in the factory was also rendered useless by the water.

In the weeks since the local print trade rallied round the embattled Buhagiar – a popular and respected print identity who has been in the trade for 40 years (the last 22 as owner of Imagination) – and his wife Colleen, with all jobs they had outsourced to local printers. Buhagiar said, "we have had four or five printers who are doing the work for us. My concern is to serve the clients."

Flooded out: Emmanuel Buhagiar with the KM-1 at Imaginaiton Graphics
Bouncing back: Emmanuel Buhagiar with the original KM-1 at Imagination Graphics
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