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Abbi Signs & Designs keep it in the family!

Abbi Signs & Designs keep it in the family!
Based in Widnes, Cheshire and originally founded by John Goodfellow forty years ago, Abbi Signs has firmly adhered to the well-known principle ‘Keep it in the family’.

Now, not only has John been joined by his son Steve and his grandson Chris; following the departure of a former business partner, the company was renamed Abbi Signs & Designs in honour of Steve’s youngest daughter.

It has recently installed a Mimaki JFX200-2513EX from CMYUK, to work in tandem with its existing solvent-based Mimaki JVC 30 -160 roll-to-roll printer.

John and Steve looked at a number of flatbed options but in the end, decided to select another machine from the manufacturer it has worked with for nearly a decade.

John explained: “We looked at other printers and second user machines, but finally chose a new Mimaki, It was one of our customers that first recommended Mimaki to us and, as we have since discovered for ourselves, its printers are both robustly constructed and very reliable, so it was really a no brainer to select a flatbed from the same brand.”

The Mimaki JFX200-2513EX expands the potential for professional sign and graphics companies, by offering a choice of inks including white, that facilitate the production of a wider range of creative applications, plus the ability to print onto a wide range of substrates.

The relationship between Abbi Signs & Designs and CMYUK began at Sign and Digital nearly four years ago when Steve visited the CMYUK stand and met Sales Director, Sue Hayward.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with Sue,” said Steve. “She’s been great as she’s kept in touch with us over a long period of time, so as soon as it was time for us to invest, I knew she would be able to provide the help and advice we needed.”

The company, which initially bought the UV flatbed to improve its productivity, had been using its Mimaki roll-to-roll machine to print vinyl, but it then had to wait for the output to de-gas before laminating it onto Foamex or Dibond.

Steve continued: “We bought the Mimaki JFX200-2513EX to improve our production times and, since its arrival, we have become around 50 percent faster and 30 percent more profitable.”

However, the company is now looking to realise the printer’s full potential by developing new markets and, in particular, is currently exploring the possibility of printing customised signage, such as  Estate Agents’ boards, which can be cost-effectively produced in large volumes and offer a better return than one-off jobs.

The Mimaki JFX200 was installed at the beginning of September after Abbi Signs & Designs completely renovated its premises in order to accommodate the machine’s 2.5m x 1.3m sized-bed, which required additional working space. This was followed by three days of COVID-safe on-site training.

Steve recalled: The installation went really well – obviously we were already very familiar with the software, we just needed to see the updates, but Geoff Powell, the engineer who was assigned to train us, was really brilliant. We’ve not had any initial issues – it has all flowed very seamlessly.”

The company remained open all through Lockdown, operating a skeleton staff, as it services a number of customers in the chemicals industry, for which it prints hazchem labels, as well as the transportation sector, neither of which were adversely affected during the shutdown.

Steve went on to say: “We didn’t have the flatbed at that point and many of our customers were just working normally, so although we produced some floor graphics for existing customers, we didn’t have a massive influx of PPE work. Rather, we spent our time servicing the needs of the customers that have been loyal to us and they remained our first priority during that period,”

He concluded: “If a new client happens along whose work demands the acquisition of additional print and finishing equipment then we will certainly consider making a further investment in new kit, but for now, we are very happy with our two Mimaki machines and are looking forward to using them to their fullest extent!

For further information on Abbi Signs & Designs, visit: www.abbisigns.co.uk

For further information on CMYUK and its full product portfolio, visit: www.cmyuk.com

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