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The mat makers

The mat makers

Lancashire-based Babywise has been manufacturing high quality mattresses for babies and children for the past 25 years and is reputedly the UK’s largest manufacturer of baby changing mats, play mats and high chair liners.  

The company has recently completed an order for 40,000 printed PVC changing mats for the supermarket giant, Aldi, using Roland wide format printers, equipped with Lightbar solvent-UV ink technology.

Babywise prides itself on manufacturing all of its products within the UK, producing over 300,000 items every year, all of which adhere to the very highest safety standards associated with the nursery bedding industry.  In order to offer both custom printed designs in low volumes and larger production runs, the business boasts an in-house design and print production facility and has recently replaced two older wide format inkjet printers with high performance Lightbar printers in order to meet an increasing demand for its range of colourful PVC changing mats and nursery products.

Printing custom designs on a soft PVC material, which is then filled with foam inserts and heat welded together, has become big business for Babywise, which numbers many well-known High Street names and designer brands amongst its long and impressive customer list.

The introduction of digital inkjet printing revolutionisedits production of PVC changing mats,as it has enabled the company to accept low volume orders, even personalised one-off prints, and to do so profitably.  Unsurprisingly, this service has proved particularly appealing to the designer outlets and small nursery shops that Babywise supplies, but, at the same time, the popularity of the custom printed designs has also resulted in requests for increasingly larger quantities that require longer print runs, persuading Managing Director, Kathy Cunliffe, to replace the company’s existing printers with faster and more efficient print technology in order to meet this growing demand.

Having received print samples from printer manufacturers offering a range of different inkjet technologies, including solvent, Latex and UV Kathy was impressed by the exceptional print quality and low investment cost of the Lightbar solvent-UV technology, She expalined:  “The Lightbar samples really stood out, as thecolours were incredibly vibrant and the print itself was practically impossible to remove from the PVC.”

Lightbar printers exploit the latest solvent-UV ink chemistry, cured by a stationary, low energy UV light, to produce bright, durable print that’s ready to use the moment it leaves the machine.  Babywise purchased its first 1625mm wide, Lightbar printer shortly before receiving the order for 40,000 changing mats from Aldi.  This prompted an immediate requirement for a second Lightbar printer to service the additional workload.  Both printers were configured with dual CMYK inksets to deliver intense, colour saturated print at high speeds and automatic material take up systems to facilitate long print runs.  Over a four month period, the two Lightbar printers worked side by side, printing around the clock, to supply the day and night shifts at Babywise with thousands of metres of printed PVC to convert into changing mats.

Although working to a very tight deadline, thanks to its two Lightbar printers and team of hardworking employees, Babywise was able to complete the Aldi order on time and, as a result, Kathy and her team were rewarded with a further order for 40,000 mats.

For further information on Babywise products, visit:  visit: www.babywise.co.uk

For more information about Lightbar, visit www.partner-solutions.co.uk

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