Insitu in Durst first as it homes in on opportunities

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Retail specialist Insitu Group is cementing its pre-lockdown installation of the UK and Ireland’s first Durst P5 350 hybrid with a focus on automation and a strategic sales shift to position itself for new opportunities.

Loach (left) with Durst UK MD Peter Bray
Loach (left) with Durst UK MD Peter Bray

The circa 80-staff Leicester-based group, which offers a full retail service from print and installation services to full fit outs, installed the new seven-picolitre, 1,200dpi Durst at its 10-staff Intoprint Digital operation.

The 3.5m wide LED machine, which was installed in February, is the firm’s first Durst and is an expansion of its existing print battery, which features an EFI Vutek UV running Mercury lamps for acrylics, as well as Seiko and Roland DG machines.

The P5 350, which was launched at last year's Fespa, is configured with a multi-roll track system that enables different jobs to be printed at different output settings simultaneously. Shortly after lockdown the roll-to-roll and flatbed hybrid was also updated to offer five layer printing like the P10 for jobs like window displays.

“So, we can have colour, white, full blackout, white and colour,” explained Insitu Group managing director Damian Loach, who added that the P5 has trebled the business’s print capacity up to 500sqm per hour and enabled it to bring a chunk of previously outsourced work inhouse.

Loach said that the P5s ability to run unattended and the local support from Durst engineers were equally critical factors in the investment.

To support the capacity increase Intoprint installed a fully automatic Enimac taping machine and is looking to add additional gluing capacity in the near future.

In total, it has invested almost £500,000 this year.

“What we found was that in this large-format digital market which is flooded right now, to stand out you have to be up with the quality and productivity to be able to service the client base,” said Loach.

As a result, during lockdown Loach said they analysed the businesses finishing needs.

“We’re focusing on automating everything we can, we have the print output, we’ve got the print quality and we wanted to bring finishing to the same level.”

While the business paused production at the onset of lockdown, it gradually restarted around six weeks later, initially through focusing on Covid-secure graphics, which were sold through resellers.

However, according to Loach, all staff are now back at work – although he highlighted it was still typically running at around 75% of pre-lockdown capacity levels, although last month matched the prior August.

The group, which had annual sales of around £10m pre-pandemic, serves major retail, fashion, sportswear and cosmetics brands.

Loach said that while in the current climate budgets were understandably being squeezed, he remained confident in the prospects for the business and was constantly evaluating new applications and revenue streams.

“I do believe that there are and will be opportunities in this new era, we’ve certainly seen new markets come to the table and we’ve secured new business.

“The survivors will be stronger and I think clients will open their doors to discussions to help them adapt to these challenging times.

“Print is so broad it what it achieve and what industries it can support, I think if you have the right equipment, are structured to sell at the right price and offer the right quality and service then there will be opportunities as we evolve.”

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