After a year of almost 50% growth, large-format specialist Your Print Partner (YPP) is eyeing a move to new purpose-built premises and has boosted its textiles capacity with a new Mimaki JV5-320DS dye-sublimation printer.
The Lincoln-based business, which was founded in October 2011 by managing director Stuart Maclaren, bought the direct-to-textile device, which was installed last month, from Macclesfield-based reseller RA Smart.
The £160,000 investment also included a 3.2m Transmatic heat-sealer, which has been installed at the firm’s 604sqm premises this week.
The JV5-320DS is capable of printing on 3.2m-wide rolls of fabric using water-based inks. The machine, which produces up to 60sqm/hr at 540x720dpi and for close-viewed work at 540x1,080dpi, will bring the firm’s annual textile print capacity up to 250,000sqm.
Like-for-like sales at the business have increased this year by 46% on the previous year and it is this increasing demand that prompted the company to invest in the new machine.
“This is a really exciting development for Your Print Printer. One of our most popular products is feather flags, which you might typically see at sporting events or car forecourts,” said Maclaren.
“With this new printer, we have the potential to print an additional 1,269 flags a week. This opens the door for us to new markets and competing for much larger tenders.”
The business runs a range of wide-format kit, including PVC printers and CAD cutters, and its product range has grown to over 200 different products.
It has been developing a new range of indoor fabric display products for exhibitions, due for release in the new year, which will all be produced using the new printer.
“Securing the new wider print machinery was an essential part of our growth strategy for the next five years,” said Maclaren.
“We’ve worked with Mimaki since almost day one of the company; it delivers on the products that we need it to deliver on and RA Smart tends to be quite good with supporting that when we’re changing different things and trying to push the boundaries of what we can produce on print.
“As well as enabling us to launch a new product range, the machinery will also increase efficiency, decrease set-up times and reduce fabric wastage. It also helps bring down the manufacturing cost because we’re producing more an hour and this machine is four times quicker than what we had before.”
The company, which primarily serves trade customers such as signage firms, currently employs 14 permanent members of staff and has a turnover of around £1m.
It is planning to create five new jobs over the winter period, with new employees joining the pre-print, sales and customer service departments of the business. The firm is also currently in talks with architects about a new custom-built 2,600sqm headquarters, work on which it hopes will be started early next year.