SwissQprint is up and running in the UK despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company has opened offices and a showroom in Bracknell, though managing director Erskine Stewart says it will be some time before visitors can be welcomed. “We wanted to be staging a series of open days as well as to celebrate the opening, but that will have to wait until business gets back to normal,” he says.
The official transition from Spandex to the direct operation was completed on Thursday with SwissQprint UK shipping its first parts to the UK users and taking its first calls on 1 May. The company will manage sales and service from the office.
The large demonstration area houses a Nyala 3 flatbed printer and the new Karibu roll to roll printer. This will be a focus of the new operation.
Stewart heads a team that has sales led by Ian Maxfield in the north and Stephen Pridham in the south. Simon Averell is service manager and Keith Apps as service technician. They are being joined by Jenny Williams as operations coordinator and Annamaria Horvath as applications engineer responsible for the training centre, application support and the sampling service.
These comprise the core team, says Stewart. All have been trained in Switzerland to hit the ground running. “SwissQprint will provide direct, comprehensive and fast service to the UK market while development and production remain in Switzerland.
“The UK is a very important market for SwissQprint. Our mission is to continue to provide our customers with an ongoing expert service for them to get the best out of their equipment while at the same time growing our market share in the commercial printing arena. We will also be increasing our focus on the packaging, specialist print and industrial sectors where I believe we can be extremely successful.”
The SwissQprint flatbed machines are not the cheapest, but are among the most thought out and best engineered available. It was this Swiss engineering and design that appealed to Stewart. “I worked with SwissQprint in a previous business. Their team, product and innovation is excellent, with a high degree of transparency and integrity in the way they operate. I have always had great trust and admiration for what they bring to the market. This is a great opportunity for SwissQprint.”
Existing customers have welcomed the move to serving the market through a direct subsidiary. The users will be dealing with people that have a focus on a single product, says Stewart. “That means we can offer a level of expertise and, through the application manager, help train our customers to capitalise on their investment.”
The Nyala 3 heads a family of flatbed printers with its format of 3.2x2m and maximum throughput of 206m2/hr and up to five additional colour channels beyond CMYK. The Nyala 3S variant takes this to 370m2/hr though with only one additional colour. The Impala and entry level Oryx complete the flatbed range. The Karibu is a roll to roll printer with five addition colour channels possible and throughput of 212 m2/hour.
The SwissQPrint team earlier this year (Erskine Stewart is far tight) before recruitment was complete and before lockdown took effect and scuppered plans for open days at the new showroom and offices in Bracknell.