PDQ breaks into new market with Gibson install

Nick Mansley
Tuesday, August 2, 2022

PDQ Printing services has invested in a Gibson GT-F3020 LED-UV flatbed printer, enabling the company to break into a new market. Installation of the new machine at PDQ’s premises in Morley on the outskirts of Leeds was completed last month.

Blyth: The print is "the best it can be”
Blyth: The print is "the best it can be”

The China-manufactured flatbed printer has been bought primarily to fulfil an increase in custom for outdoor signage, largely for fairground clients, on Correx board.

PDQ owner Alison Blyth said: “We were outsourcing this work, but the volumes became such that we saw the logic of bringing production in-house.

“We knew we wanted to produce 10ft by 6ft sheets, whereas most flatbeds run 8ft by 4ft.”

The Gibson machine has a maximum print area of 3.1x2m, Ricoh Gen6 printheads and uses LED-UV curing. The ink train runs on a magnetic linear motor for reduced friction and maintenance. “It’s fast, it’s accurate and it’s easy to use. We estimate we can produce as many as 200 boards every day,” said Blyth. “The print is exceptional. There are no rough edges – it’s the best it can be.”

The standard machine (2,540x1,220mm or 8x4ft) costs from £62,000, while its bigger stablemate (3,100x1,220mm or 10x6ft), as chosen by PDQ, starts from £73,000.

Installing the machine at the company’s site was a challenge. Blyth said: “We underwent a major reorganisation and some structural changes to the building to accommodate the machine, but it’s already proving worthwhile, not just in meeting existing demand but in attracting new orders.”

PDQ runs a range of litho and digital printing kit and offers a full range of services, according to Blyth.

“We do everything from labels and variable data through to high-quality promotional work, and our customers are local, national and even international – we just had our first order from Latvia. Our new business is by word of mouth, we work hard and always focus on personal service.”

PDQ has longstanding connections with the funfair industry as a result of family connections, said Blyth.

“My father was an engineer with a passion for restoring antique fairground rides, most famously the ‘Moon Rocket’ which was revolutionary when first built in the 1930s and is now working at The Dingles Fairground Museum in Devon.”

Gibson, sold through Service Offset Supplies (SOS), is a relatively new brand in the UK with around 10 installs across the country, although its associate company Yotta is better known. According to the manufacturer it is aiming for the premium end of the flatbed and hybrid LED-UV market, with a range of machines that meet “exacting standards”.

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