“We’d like to be the number one supplier of dye sublimation flags and sports clothing in the UK, and if we can get close to that, then happy days,” says Ryan Shelton, Director of Chesterfield-based Banner Box.
To help drive this ambition, the company has just installed a Mimaki TS55 -1800 sublimation transfer inkjet printer from CMYUK, the UK’s largest independent supplier of wide format digital printers, cutters and materials.
The TS55 1800 offers optional accessories to aid long-term continuous operation. These include a Mini Jumbo Roll Feed and a 10 kg Bulk Ink Supply upgrade, both of which reduce running costs due to shortened downtime. An additional extended heater, when installed to the lower part of the standard heater, speeds up ink drying, ensuring stable output for top digital printing speeds.
“The Mimaki TS55-1800 is really good in terms of quality, speed and ease of use, and it gives us the opportunity to add various functionality in the future to ensure long-term 24/7 operation at highly economical running costs,” says Ryan.
From flags to sports gear
Banner Box purchased the new TS55-1800 to meet increased demand, adding to its arsenal of an EFI VUTEk FabriVU 340, three existing Mimaki printers, of which two are solvent and one transfer.
For 50% of the time, the Mimaki TS55-1800 will be used for soft signage requirements such as the production of high-end flags. For the rest, it will be printing sportswear.
Two years ago, Banner Box set-up a dedicated sportswear company, Young Guns Sports, specialising in on-demand, fast turnaround production of dye sublimated, customised sportswear and accessories, aimed at recreational right through to professional teams.
“It’s a division that we set-up to complement the Banner Box side of things. It’s owned by us, operated by us and run by us but under a different name. We staff it purely from the Banner Box side, so depending on where the influx of work is, our staff move around accordingly,” says Ryan.
So far this satellite brand has quadrupled year-on-year and continues this momentum.
“It works seamlessly with the infrastructure that we already have available to us,” continues Ryan. “We saw that there was an opportunity in the existing market to set-up an additional business and compete that way.”
Banner Box is looking to possibly replicate this satellite business model and is now looking closely at décor and interiors as a possible next move.
Migrating to Beaver Paper dye-sublimation media
Banner Box buys 95% of all its materials from CMYUK and is a dedicated user of PONGS for all its digital textiles. It has also recently been introduced to Beaver Paper dye-sublimation media, as CMYUK has recently become a strategic UK and Ireland distribution partner for this premium brand.
Banner Box has now entirely migrated to Beaver Paper 25gsm ProTexTM Protection Tissue, a high yield protective tissue specifically manufactured for grand format, dye-sublimation and rotary heat calenders at 3.2m wide.
Made from high-density, highly formed natural eucalyptus fibre, it provides highly robust barrier properties. Its recyclable and formaldehyde-free formulation prevents yellowing of white synthetic textiles.
“It’s a process waste material that we have to use. It does exactly what it promises. It is recyclable, comes in at the right price and the correct width. We use it for every textile print we produce and we use it all the time. Its heat-resistance helps to prevent tear-outs, extending the life of the calendar belt. Longer roll lengths push productivity further by reducing the amount of time needed to change the roll,” says Ryan.
CMYUK SAF customer loyalty programme
Banner Box is a long time sign-up to CMYUK’s CSAF finance loyalty scheme. This is is a very simple purchasing solution that CMYUK has developed in conjunction with Sheppex Limited, offering highly competitive lending rates.
By customers switching some, or all of their roll-to-roll consumable spend to CMYUK, the latter contributes a monthly amount directly into a customer’s finance agreement, thereby reducing the monthly repayment.
In a year Banner Box, has earned a substantial amount back on its materials spend and has used this against the purchase of its new Mimaki printer.
“It’s a great scheme with many advantages,” says Ryan. “This year through our materials spend we’ve amassed a large pot of money which we were able to use against the purchase of the new printer. The more we spend with CMYUK, the bigger the pot. The new Beaver Paper protection media that we’re now using for our Monti calendar press now also contributes to CSAF."
The company is already using 2-3 1,000m rolls of the ProTexTM Protection Tissue per month, and looking at the expansion rate of its dye sublimation sports business and the continued growth of Banner Box itself, it seems this usage is set to increase.
Says Ryan, “We’ve got a good relationship with CMYUK because they offer so much, and looking ahead at our potential future spend, it made total sense for us to go down the CSAF route. It’s been a win/win situation ever since."
For more information, please visit https://www.bannerbox.co.uk/