SOS supply Gibson GT-F3020 LED-UV flatbed printer for PDQ’s funfair signage

July 26, 2022

PDQ Printing Services of Morley, Leeds has installed a Gibson GT-F3020 LED-UV flatbed printer, supplied by SOS (Service Offset Supplies). Proprietor Alison Blyth says the new machine has primarily been purchased in order to meet a growing demand for the production of outdoor signs - especially for fairground clients - which the Gibson will print directly to Corex board.

“We were outsourcing this work, but the volumes became such that we saw the logic of bringing production in-house,” she says. “We underwent a major reorganisation and some structural changes to the building to accommodate the machine, but it’s already proving worthwhile, not just in meeting existing demand but in attracting new orders.”

“We knew we wanted to produce 10ft by 6ft sheets, whereas most flatbeds run 8ft by 4ft,” says Alison. “We approached some major suppliers for info, but were disappointed with the response. It was a huge contrast with SOS, who we have known for many years as our litho plate supplier. When we asked them if they sold flatbeds they immediately gave us a quote, some samples and all the information we needed. This helped us to be confident about the support we will get from them, which is important especially if you’re going for a new market.”

The Gibson machine has a maximum print area of 3.1m x 2m, Ricoh Gen6 print heads and uses LED-UV curing. The ink train runs on a magnetic linear motor for reduced friction and maintenance. “It’s fast, it’s accurate and it’s easy to use. We estimate we can produce as many as 200 boards every day.”

Alison Blyth has owned and run PDQ throughout its 30 year history. Its roots are in litho, and the company still runs a four colour SRA2 and a two colour B3 press, but also offers a full range of services including digital and wide format. “We do everything from labels and variable data through to high quality promotional work, and our customers are local, national and even international. We just got our first order from Latvia! Our new business is by word of mouth, we work hard and always focus on personal service.”

It’s a winning philosophy – PDQ has recently taken on new staff and has doubled output compared to pre-pandemic levels.

PDQ has longstanding connections to the funfair industry as a result of family connections, says Alison Blyth. “My father was an engineer with a passion for restoring antique fairground rides, most famously the ‘Moon Rocket’ which was revolutionary when first built in the 1930s and is now working at The Dingles Fairground Museum in Devon.”

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