POD Iberia, manufacturer of the MTEX range of dye-sub printers, has installed more than £200,000 worth of equipment at a demo facility in Glenfield, Leicestershire after setting up a UK subsidiary earlier this year.
The Portuguese firm set up MTEX Technologies in May. Managing director of the venture Stewart Bell is also managing director of its former UK distributor Digital Print Innovations (DPI). He heads up MTEX's new UK sales, service and support arm.
The new MTEX Technologies Demonstration Center has recently taken delivery of POD's two most popular machines, the MTEX 1800 (£65,000) and MTEX 5032Pro (£152,000).
More equipment including the MTEX TurboSub, MTEX 500C, the MTEX PAD, the MTEX Steamer and the MTEX Wash & Dry is due to follow.
Business support manager Rick Kwiecien said: "All the products will eventually be in there [the demonstration center] to give you the complete range."
The MTEX Technologies Demonstration Center will allow potential customers to test products by printing what they want and is expected to give MTEX the ability to expand its user base in the UK.
Kwiecien said: "The direct-to-textile market in the UK is still relatively small. There are big players like House of Flags and Hollywood Monster that are producing a lot of the textiles [but] I think it will snowball and anybody who has aqueous or solvent solution will move into the direct-to-textile market, whether it be for furnished or signage products.
"It’s the way forward: it’s soft signage; it’s a lot more environmentally friendly than printing on to plastic and banners with solvents; it’s also much cheaper to move the finished article around. There are benefits for everyone."
The center means that MTEX will no longer use DPI as its UK distributor, although DPI will continue to distribute products for manufacturers including Jetrix, Mutoh and Esko Kongsberg.
Simeon Wicks has been recruited as a new director at DPI to allow Bell to focus on his new role with MTEX Technologies.