Drytac, an international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the print, label and industrial markets, is preparing to open a fully interactive training centre in Fishponds, Bristol: the Drytac Academy.
Gareth Newman has been appointed Academy Manager and, supported by Drytac's Global Product Manager Shaun Holdom, is developing an extensive curriculum of training courses for display graphics professionals to begin later this month.
The Drytac Academy is a showcase of Drytac products and how they can be used with the newest and most popular wide-format printing technology on the market today, provided by the manufacturers themselves. This includes: a Roland TrueVIS VG-540 with Roland VersaWorks 6 RIP software; a Fujifilm Acuity LED 1600 II using Caldera RIP software; and an HP Latex 365 and an Epson SureColor SC-S80600, both powered by Onyx Thrive RIP - with more to be installed soon.
The Drytac Academy also houses profiling equipment, the i-1 Pro 2 provided by X-rite, which allows custom profiles to be built. In addition to the above, the space includes a complete finishing area with a laminator and Hot Press vacuum press.
Gareth Newman explains: "Naturally we have the entire Drytac product range at our disposal so having a full variety of machines allows our customers to learn how to get optimum results from Drytac materials using different systems and technologies.
"We'll also be working closely with the printer hardware manufacturers themselves by providing training to their employees using their own systems and Drytac materials."
This collaboration with print brands is also contributing to the course development.
"We're asking manufacturers what their customers need: what do they want to know, what are they struggling with, how would they like to be more creative with our products?" says Gareth. "By drawing on this wealth of experience from both within and outside Drytac we're approaching training in a fresh, new way."
The Drytac Academy will also serve as an exhibition space, showcasing how Drytac's products can be used in real-world display applications, such as retail store fronts. The company's innovations in adhesive-coated products include graphic films, window films, double-sided tapes, self-adhesive print media, label stock, industrial adhesives and heat-activated and pressure-sensitive laminates and mounting adhesives - all of which will have an eye-catching place in the Academy.
"The space itself will form part of the training courses," says Gareth. "For example, at Drytac we have several different types of wallpaper products. By showcasing them in the training facility we will help demonstrate the difference between them, and how they work with different printing technologies."
The course titles will be announced shortly, but topics will include: an introduction to digital media; business development; practical application skills; and creative design.
In addition, the Drytac Academy will play a role in Drytac's R&D; with so many different technologies on hand, the development team can run tests and create samples quickly and easily in-house.
Gareth Newman is a product specialist with over six years' experience in the industry, moving to Drytac from Roland. Prior to Roland, he was an experienced sign-maker, having worked in the sign industry since he was a teenager.
"We're delighted to welcome Gareth Newman to Drytac and are looking forward to opening the new Drytac Academy with Gareth leading the training," says Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac. "He has the experience, knowledge and energy to drive a new approach in professional training - from newcomers to veterans."
For more information on Drytac, please visit www.drytac.com.