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Selectequip rises to the challenge

Selectequip rises to the challenge
Following a dramatic upsurge in the demand for signage and COVID-19 related products, Selectequip has acquired a Mimaki UCJV150-160UV roll-to-roll printer/cutter, plus a Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX flatbed printer from CMYUK.

Selectequip’s Managing Director, Henry Spence, explained: “In week one of Lockdown I was making my furlough lists, but in fact, by week three, I was looking for more staff!”

Founded in 1989, Selectequip’s core business was focussed around the servicing of rail infrastructure and the provision of specialist engineering products together with a wide range of signage solutions. Amongst its clients is a UK Train Operating Company (TOC) for which it is responsible for producing signage for close to 250 stations.

However, while this and other on-going clients and the work that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly helped Selectequip to deliver this year’s forecasted turnover in just five months, according to Henry Spence it was the company’s canny investment in printing and finishing equipment that has really enabled it to respond to the recent demand so quickly and effectively.

In 2013, the company purchased two Mimaki -JV300 printers and a laminator to expand its signage offering, installing them in new premises in Wakefield, but Henry realised that in order to take the company to the next level, further investment was required.

Accordingly, he turned to industry expert Sue Hayward, Senior Digital Sales Consultant at CMYUK. He confided: “Whenever I’m in the market for printers or anything to do with printing, I go to Sue. She is really nice, trustworthy and very knowledgeable.”

So much so that following Sue’s advice, Selectequip installed a Mimaki JFX200-2513, a high-performance LED UV flatbed and an ESKO Kongsberg X24 digital cutting table at the end of 2017.

Henry continued: “This took us to a totally different realm in terms of both enhancing our capabilities and the kind of signage we could produce.”

The Mimaki JFX200-2513 gave the company added versatility, providing it with the opportunity to print a wide variety of different substrates, as well as outputting directly on to board, while the Kongsberg cutter helped to increase its productivity, enabling it to complete jobs that had previously taken several hours to be finished within one hour.

Taking up the story, Henry enthused: “In turn, this also enabled us to deliver a much more cost-effective offering to our customers. Once an order was received we could produce, pack and deliver it so much more quickly than before.”

This enhanced productivity is further underlined by the corresponding improvement in the company’s finances. In the three and half years since the installation of the Mimaki JFX200-2513 and the ESKO X24, Selectequip has doubled its turnover, which will increase from £3.9m at the end of 2016 to £11m by the end of this year.

At the start of lockdown, Selectequip produced a 16-page brochure of COVID safety products, including PPE items. As a long-term supplier to the railways, it had historically always offered a wide range of PPE solutions, but in addition, it quickly developed a new range of magnetic, freestanding, and wall-mounted sanitising stations, the graphics for which were printed on the JFX200-2513 flatbed and finished on the ESKO 24.

The demand for these products was immense. Henry recalled: “We had three shifts running at the time and even though the Mimaki JFX200-2513 was running at full capacity and the Kongsberg was also at full tilt, we simply couldn’t cope with the amount of business we were bringing in, hence the purchase of the Mimaki UCJV150-160 printer/cutter and the Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX, the newest version of our existing flatbed.”

And, with the installation of the new printers serving as a catalyst, Henry also used the opportunity to completely overhaul the company’s operations to ensure greater workflow efficiency.

He said: “With help from the team at CMYUK, We have been able to completely re-engineer our production workflow and, as a result, the business has become very efficient. Due to the recent increased demand, we’ve multiplied our output by around about eight times now. It has been an incredibly busy time!”

Now, with two sites, one based in Litchfield, which covers the company’s sales, consumables, engineering and innovations, plus the Wakefield site, which features an impressive demonstration suite as well as a production facility, plus a 37-strong staff, Henry is feeling confident about the future.

He concluded: “We’re in a strong position because come what may, we know that we can handle it. Our output capabilities are far greater than we’d ever thought possible and we ready to take up the challenge of any new opportunity that comes our way!”

For further information on Selectequip, visit: 

For further information on CMYUK, visit:

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