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Thu, Oct

Selectequip buys Mimaki printers to cope with lockdown demand

Selectequip has bought a Mimaki UCJV150-160UV roll-to-roll print-and-cut machine, and a Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX flatbed printer, in response to a dramatic upsurge in demand for Covid-related products and signage.

“In week one of lockdown I was making my furlough lists but by week three I was looking for more staff,” said Selectequip managing director Henry Spence. The company’s proactive early response to Covid-19 helped to deliver this year’s forecasted turnover in five months, and the firm is now expecting to see an £11m turnover by the end of 2020.

To help cope with the uptick in work Spence ordered the new machines - from CMYUK - on the back of a Mimaki JFX 2531 and an Esko Kongsberg X24 digital cutting table installed at the end of 2017, and having in 2013 bought two Mimaki JV300 printers and a laminator.  

Selectequip was quick out of the traps at the start of lockdown, producing a 16-page brochure of Covid safety products including PPE items. As a supplier to the railways, it had always offered a wide range of PPE solutions, but quickly developed a new range of sanitising stations printed on the JFX200-2513 flatbed and finished on the Kongsberg X24.

“We had three shifts on at the time and we knew that the Mimaki JFX200-2513 was at full capacity and the work was mounting up, the Kongsberg is really quick but we were experiencing bottlenecks with the printing. We just couldn’t cope with the amount of business we were bringing in,” said Spence, who used the opportunity to overhaul the company’s working processes to ensure greater workflow efficiency.

“With help from the team at CMYUK, We have been able to completely re-engineer our production workflow. The business has become very efficient and because of recent demand, we’ve multiplied our output somewhere in the region of about eight times now. It has been an incredibly busy time,” he said.

Founded in 1989 and with a staff of 37 based across two sites - Litchfield for sales, consumables, engineering, innovations, and a demonstration suite and production site in Wakefield -  Selectequip is now “in a strong position because no matter what comes in across our desks in terms of an opportunity, we can handle it. Our output capabilities are far greater than we’d ever thought they’d be,” said Spence.

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