"As demand from the retail, exhibition and heritage sectors continues to rise, we are passionate about being able to help more clients, as quickly as we can, without any detriment to quality."
Leachs managing director James Lavin
The half a million-pound investment – the latest technological evolution since the Chargeurs acquisition – means Leach can now achieve a 500m² per hour print rate.
At 6.5m wide x 4.5m deep, this industry-leading dye sublimation innovation produces large format graphics up to 3m wide and of any roll length. Capable of printing onto an array of materials using water-based ink, it will also widen the project briefs that Leach is able to satisfy.
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.
Commenting on the investment, Leach’s managing director James Lavin said: “As demand from the retail, exhibition and heritage sectors continues to rise, we are passionate about being able to help more clients, as quickly as we can, without any detriment to quality.
“The addition of this cutting-edge equipment means that we now have 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.
James continued: “We had to be certain of the run rate and quality, and the only way to truly verify this was to see the Durst Rhotex 325 – and its rivals – in action. We were not disappointed.
“This is a dual-purpose system which can alternate between direct-to-textile and transfer printing, meaning maximum flexibility for our busy team moving forwards. 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.
The company began life as a one-man photographic studio in 1891. In April 2018, the 100-strong business was acquired by French-owned global manufacturing and services group Chargeurs, to fuel the next chapter of this centuries old story.