Recent installation of an EFI Vutek FabriVu 340i by Hollywood Monster has brought the number of Vutek printers at the operation to 11, in a total investment approaching £5m. MD Simon McKenzie expects to add another FabriVu within the next 12 months.
This new printer - which like the others were bought from CMYUK - is expected to enable Hollywood Monster to take full advantage of the growth in appetite for digital textile printing.
“Every time we purchase a new printer we don’t just look at the increased capacity for us, we look at what other commercial opportunities this can provide the company,” said managing director Simon McKenzie. “These are big investments for us and not decisions we take lightly. We have already switched some of our marketing focus into retail and outdoor events, where we know the dye-sub market is growing year on year.”
A recent survey by Smithers Pira forecasts that the growth rate for digital textile printing will reach 17.5% per annum over the next six years, and within this time period the total available global market for digital textile printing will more than double from $1.73bn in 2018 to $3.bn in 2023.
Not only has the FabriVu opened up new revenue streams into the business, it has also increased capacity for the busier months.
“We haven’t just invested in capex, we have invested in people to make this work,” added McKenzie. “We have taken on some fantastic and proven commercial people that will really drive this product within their portfolio of clients, and I am very confident that within the next 12 months we will be looking at a second FabriVu.”
Mat Jephcott, operations director at Hollywood Monster, said of the latest printer investment: “The FabriVu 340i is not just another printer, but a specialist machine. One of the things that we particularly liked was the output quality of the FabriVu to the Pongs range of textile materials, which is very impressive.”
The FabriVU 340i, is a 3.4m wide, four-colour, dye-sub machine printing direct-to-textile or transfer paper and with a top speed of 160m2/hr. An inline calendar turns textile printing and fixing into a single, uninterrupted process.
At present, the machine at Hollywood Monster runs alongside a Vutek GS5000R, 5R, two HS125 Pro’s and two digital cutting tables.
“A lot of our clients purchase dye-sub and then give us their UV production,” said McKenzie. “This is a great position for us as we can really be a true one-stop-shop, and give our customers the belief that we can deliver a complete event or retail campaign. This is a major USP for us as our customers don’t like to split campaigns, due to inconsistency in colours, extra delivery costs and so on.”
The company is constantly looking at ways of becoming more efficient in its factory, and the fact that it now has a designated printer for fabrics means far less roll changes and a smoother workflow as it operates alongside three sewing machines which are in use 24 hours a day.
This productivity has a knock-on effect with the other roll-to-roll printers, which now focus on non-textile materials, improving turnaround time on these products. “It gives our guys more opportunity to nest work on these materials and reduce waste,” said Jephcott.
Hollywood Monster is already seeing results from the investment in staff and the new FabriVu with record June sales being logged, and a very strong pipeline for the rest of the summer.
“We expect the company to grow by 15% this financial year and a further 15-20% next year, which is really encouraging and in line with our business plan to reach £13m for next year,” said McKenzie. “We will continue to explore new technical advances to enable us to be at the forefront of the latest technology.”