By Rhys Handley, Friday 12 January 2018
Standfast & Barracks has invested £650,000 in a third Durst Alpha 190 digital textile press and has been named as a centre of excellence by the manufacturer.
Based in Lancaster, the firm is now two years on from a flood that forced it to close the factory for four months. Operations have now been running again for 18 months and business has returned to similar pre-flood levels.
The new Durst was installed at the tail end of last year, largely off the back of the success of the previous two multi-pass presses Standfast has run since reopening after the flood.
“Before the factory was shut we were running three Durst Kappa textile presses,” said managing director Stephen Thomas. “They were replaced during our recovery with the first two Alphas and they have been very good machines for us, very reliable and robust.
“Though there was a brief toss-up of options before we landed on buying another Alpha, we are drawn to Durst because of the pedigree of their business and how serious they are.
“We will be using this third machine to push the limits of what people think is possible in digital textile printing, trying to use substrates such as silk, polyester, and velvet, to see what can work.”
Standfast is trialling Durst’s specially developed One-Step Pigment ink, a process which Thomas said had been “extremely successful” so far.
The Alpha 190 can be configured with up to eight colours, depending on ink type, and 64 Alpha-S printheads that achieve a native resolution of 600dpi and a linear print speed of 610m/hr.
As part of the Alpha series, the new machine also features different configurations and print widths, with an intelligent feed system that allows the machinery to adapt automatically to different roll diameters.
Standfast uses the machines to serve a variety of global customers, on both short-run and large bulk orders. It has also invested in a newly refurbished design studio with up-to-date computer systems, CAD software, and high-spec scanning equipment.
Through its work as a centre of excellence for Durst, the 90-year-old firm will also be beta testing an inline spray application system.
Standfast & Barracks has a team of 170 staff and works out of a factory first established in 1924. It offers fabric printing services, as well as rotary and flatbed screen printing using vat, reactive, pigment, disperse, discharge, and acid dyes on inkjet technology.