Graphic display specialist Leach has invested in a Durst Rhotex 325 dual purpose digital textile printer that has doubled the production capacity of the company’s Huddersfield factory. The half a million-pound investment means Leach can now achieve a 500m² per hour print rate.
At 6.5m wide x 4.5m deep, the Durst Rhotex 325 is a dual purpose printing system that combines direct-to-textile printing with dye sublimation transfer printing technology. Depending on the application and fabric, this printing system can alternate between paper transfer and direct printing onto polyester-based materials and will significantly widen the project briefs that Leach is able to satisfy, particularly for frontlit graphics applications.
With a suite of printers within the 30,000sqm factory, Leach can now manufacture both indoor and outdoor graphics, solutions ideal for both warmer and colder climates, reusable products, as well as graphics for technologically challenging shapes, structures and specifications.
According to Leach’s managing director James Lavin, the addition of the Rhotex 325 means the company now has technology capable of satisfying virtually any print brief, regardless of budget, environmental agendas, lighting specification and material preferences.
The printer procurement process began six months ago. With other Durst machines already in-situ within Leach’s factory, this manufacturer was perhaps an obvious choice. But rigorous due diligence including a site visit to the manufacturer’s production facility in Brixen, North Italy, was required before the final decision was made.
“We had to be certain of the run rate and quality, and the only way to truly verify this was to see the the Durst - and its rivals - in action,” says Lavin. “ We were not disappointed. When the printer and sublimating technology arrived at our Huddersfield HQ, it took a full week to install and configure, but we were ready to accommodate the machine without any disruption. We’d also revised some of our wider factory layout in readiness and have achieved further operational efficiencies as a result – this is crucial as we prepare for additional growth.”
Leach hit the headlines in March 2016 when the team invested in the UK’s first Durst Rho 512R for UV ink printing on superwide graphics up to 5m. Last April, the 100-employee business was acquired by French-owned global manufacturing and services group Chargeurs with a plan to double turnover to £20million within five years.
“We are extremely optimistic about the potential for international growth going forward,” concludes James Lavin.