26 August 2019 Events

SwissQPrint to go it alone in the UK

SwissQPrint is striking out with a direct subsidiary in the UK, ending a long-standing relationship with Spandex.

Large format supplier SwissQPrint is starting its own UK facility, severing a relationship with Spandex UK which stretches back eight years.

Now SwissQprint has taken on space in Bracknell as UK head quarters where it will have a showroom, spares, ink consumables and offices. Erskine Stewart will be managing director of the subsidiary.

When Spandex first connected as exclusive UK distributor for SwissQPrint, the product ranges were aligned and focused on the sign and graphics market. Now SwissQPrint has expanded and is looking at adjacent markets such as packaging and textile where Spandex has little experience.

The Swiss company launch Karibu as its first roll to roll printer at Fespa this year and this will be part of the demonstration facilities in Bracknell along with a Nyala flatbed printer. This will be up and running within the next few weeks ahead of a hand over period which begins in October.

Leon Watson, general manager of Spandex UK, says: “Being the exclusive distributor of such an innovative product range has really helped Spandex expand into new markets but all good things must come to an end and we wish SwissQPrint continued success in the UK.”

The company’s products are at the top end of the market, and offer high accuracy. It works with a number of supplier to provide matched UV inks and while it does not manufacture these, it runs an ink lab for quality control.

The UK subsidiary will be the second this year for SwissQPrint. In March it opened a subsidiary in Barcelona to expand presence in the Spanish market. In this country Durst, Fujifilm and Canon sell flatbed printers through their own network, EFI works with CMYUK, while Inktec, Mimaki and HP work through distributors.

The Karibu is a 3.4 metre wide roll to roll printer with nine colour channels running an odour free LED UV ink. It includes a light box before the take up reel to monitor quality on backlit films.

UK customers include Fine Cut in Lancing, Sussex. It runs two Impala flatbed printers, the latest installed at the end of 2017 and is used in the main for industrial signage. Fineprint, Witney, is a user of the Impala 2 flatbed printer.

By Gareth Ward

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Impala print head

Impala print head

SwissQPrint will gain greater control over its own success in the UK with a directly owned subsidiary to handle sales and support. It brings an end to its relationship with Spandex.

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