In recent years, textile and fabric print have emerged as among the key growth areas for print and related companies. With customers becoming ever more ambitious and adventurous with their ideas, it is up to print companies to meet their requirements.
Despite having only been founded in July 2015, WPAPS Ltd has been able to take full advantage of this trend, expanding its workforce from a team of three founders and one employee to 35 members of staff and revenue of £3.5m.
Based in Andover in southern England, a key part of the company’s success over the past two-and-a-half years has been down to a dedicated workforce and an ongoing commitment to invest in the kit that will help win repeat business.
Soon after its foundation, WPAPS formed a partnership with Colourbyte, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of large-format and RIP solutions. The company has purchased a number of machines from Colourbyte, with the most recent being an Epson F9300 – the first of its kind in the UK.
The 64-inch, high-volume dye sublimation textile printer is a relative newcomer to the market, having only launched in October last year. The printer has a top speed of 108.6sq m/hr and can produce print in qualities of up to 720dpi x 1440dpi.
According to Tom Withers, chief executive of WPAPS, the new Epson F9300 has already had a big impact on production at the company, revealing that the firm has been able to begin offering customers a range of new fabric-based printed products.
“This purchase was to increase the capacity in our fabric department,” Withers said. “Currently, we run an Epson P6000 and Epson F9200, and now the new F9300. Our soft goods department has grown considerably over the past year in volume and product range; our range now includes cushions, towels, wash bags, tote bags and blankets.
“The F9300 has extended our wide-format print capacity and increased redundancy to insure production, which is key for our customers.”
Focusing more on the ongoing partnership between WPAPS and Colourbyte, Withers picked up on his working relationship with Colourbyte’s Andreas Tangemann, who has helped to guide WPAPS with its purchases over the last couple of years.
“Andreas has been great with us over the years; he is very knowledgeable and so helpful,” Withers said.
“At the beginning, I used to get two quotes on a new piece of machinery. Now, with Colourbyte, I am safe in the knowledge that both the price and customer service is unbeatable. The tech support has been fantastic when launching new product.”
Looking ahead to the coming months, Withers said that plans are in place for further expansion at WPAPS, and this will require investment in new machinery.
“We have a large product road map for 2018 and this will certainly require new kit,” Withers said.