From its Nottinghamshire base, Badgemaster employs over 100 people and turns over £5 million, manufacturing the name badges that are sported by millions of staff at tens of thousands of companies around the world.
With customers in practically every business sector, Badgemaster is widely regarded as the market leader, with an enviable client list of blue-chip brands operating in the service, retail, hospitality and healthcare industries. A full gamut of production processes spans its premises; with screen printing, hot foiling, laser engraving, routing, resin doming and digital printing forming an unparalleled array of capabilities as the company enjoys a sustained period of growth.
In recent years, Badgemaster has transitioned to take advantage of the latest digital print technology and a suite of Mimaki printers sits at the heart of its production.
According to managing director Ian Bradbeer, the technology that has transformed his business came from a visit to Sign & Digital UK. “We spotted the original Mimaki flatbed LED UV printer on Hybrid’s stand at Sign & Digital UK a few years back, tested the printer with a range of substrates at their showroom in Cheshire and saw immediate advantage over alternatives,” recalls Mr Bradbeer. “The opacity and brightness of the white, the detail of the imagery and the adhesion of the ink were all beneficial to our business and made choosing Mimaki easy.”
The company now sports eight Mimaki printers including roll-to-roll print and cut, grand format flatbed and several of its core small format UJF models.
A significant recent project involved supplying John Lewis and Waitrose with around 85,000 badges that were incorporated into their widely publicised rebrand. The addition of two new Mimaki UJF MkII printers through Mimaki Authorised Partner, Sabur Ink Systems, that coincided with the John Lewis and Waitrose job gave much needed capacity to the business. “We were astute enough at the time to make the investment,” says Scott Warren, Badgemaster’s manufacturing manager. “The new Mimaki printers almost trebled the throughput we could achieve, with their latest generation print heads, larger bed size and ‘logical seek’ function that reduces the time the head carriage takes to move between print areas.”
Headline jobs such as the one for John Lewis / Waitrose are not the only throughput at Badgemaster; the company recently introduced a web-to-print system to handle its online ‘Badge Designer’ tool that caters for customers who require much smaller runs, even for one-off designs.
“The new Mimaki UJF MkII printers have ensured that print has ceased to be the bottleneck in the business,” concludes Mr Bradbeer. “We’re printing four to five times faster than previously and our delivery times and customer satisfaction have improved as well.”