T-shirt & Sons Article – Extracts taken from Images Magazine – March 18
The new unit housing T Shirt & Son’s DTG operation, opened last year and is home to a vast, well-organised garment area that wouldn’t look out of place at a multi-brand distribution centre, 10 Kornit Avalanche printers in climate-controlled rooms, hulking Adelco dryers and numerous staff.
They moved to their current location on the west Wiltshire Trading Estate in Westbury 14 years ago. Starting out in a single unit, the business’s rapid growth over the last four years has seen it expand into five units spread across the estate, including the new 34,000sq ft DTG facility. As well as opening a second 15,000sq ft DTG facility housing a further six Kornit avalanches in the city of Venlo in the Netherlands.
The brothers first DTG printer was an Epson-based model from DTG Digital Europe. “one of our screen printing clients wanted a personalised project. It was really hard work, but it made us understand that something was going to happen here,” recalls Andy. The next purchase was a Kornit Breeze, which rapidly became three Breezes, then two Storms. Then in 2014, the big shift happened with the purchase of two Avalanches.
The current Avalanches, which were upgraded to R-series models in 2017, will be upgraded again this year to the HD-Series machines that were launched at the beginning of the year. Given that the company purchases 12 tonnes of ink a year, the 30% ink savings promised by the new HDs-one of which its currently beta testing – makes the upgrade a no-brainer.
The current line-up of 10 Avalanches in the UK and six in the Holland facility is sufficient to handle production… For now. The company knows what growth is needed in the next couple of years because its team carefully tracks the growth and prospects of its customers. And even without taking on any new customers in the next year, new machines will be required, with space already set aside in the new unit to accommodate them. The new machines will include a Kornit Vulcan, which is said to be capable of printing 250 shirts an hour. “its and expensive machine – it’s a three quarter of a million pound investment – but it does produce the numbers, and it gives you a crossover to screen print,” says Andy.
The rapid growth achieved by T-shirt & Sons isn’t for the faint hearted either. Deciding to but the two Avalanches in 2014 may have been a calculated risk but is still required sturdy nerves to get through the first few months. “it was terrifying,” admits Andy. “it was almost seven hundred grands worth of kit. And we needed a new dryer as well, so we bought an Adelco. Adelco are the best dryers by a country mile.
Mark and Leigh Smith have been in the industry a long time and are the only owner-owned manufacturer/distributors in the industry. They’ll look at what you need and will then create a solution for you, rather than trying to find a product to fit you. That makes a huge difference. We’ve got six Ecotexes now and three Duals. The Dual is amazing, you can get a huge volume of digital through a very small area. And Steve, who’s their main engineer, he’s just brilliant, he really knows these machine’s.”
Ganz has been in garments and printing business since 1986, using rubberized paint. In 1997, Ganz had been introduced to using plastisol paint, however in doing so, there was a need of an oven to cure the paint. Therefore, we bought our first electric oven. Unfortunately, the performance of the electric oven was unsatisfactory that we had to continuously look for one.
In the year 2000, there was an exhibit in Spain where I saw an oven by Adelco that met the specific criteria for the oven I needed. There, I met Leigh Smith who happened to be the engineer/salesman/owner of Adelco. Since then, we had bought 3 ovens and 16 table flash cures, which made our production efficient and faster. Furthermore, it has tremendously lessened the man power we needed during production.
In 2013, Adelco had introduced to us their oval type printing machine. Not only has it been very useful, it has also helped us produce more and more good quality prints over the years. We were so happy with the outcome that last 2016 we ordered our second oval machine from Adelco.
The great thing about working with Leigh and his Adelco is that they are very open to any suggestions. Moreover, they are very willing to adopt our ideas into their machines even if it gives them a hard time. They are very supportive especially during after sales services. Whenever we encounter technical problems, we just give them a call. Kudos to their very accommodating technicians and staffs!
Our experience with Adelco has been exemplary and we’re looking for the coming years of doing business with them!
T-shirt & Sons testimonial
T-shirt and sons are based in Wiltshire and has fast become the largest direct to garment (DTG) printer in Europe. We have over the years invested in the Kornit digital printer range alongside Adelco dryers and we have seen the investment payoff.
We first bought our Adelco dryer 27 years ago. With initially technical difficulties Adelco proved themselves to be excellent service providers as they resolved all issues without hesitation, I was very impressed with their customer service from the start.
We started off with the Kornit Breeze and have always purchased parts and ink from Adelco. We then invested in a second hand Kornit Dual Pallet Storm, this progressed to buying our first brand new Storm II from Adelco along with another 2nd hand Adelco dryer. These dryers were chosen because they go on forever and are brilliant.
3 years ago due to customer demand for the Kornit quality prints we bought 2 AVKs, at the time we didn’t have the orders making the purchase daunting. Within the year the investment had paid off and we had bought another AVK.
Things then went from strength to strength, we now have 10 AVks in total and 6 Adelco dryers in full production. With a selection of high profile e-commerce clients, the quality of print from the Kornit machines is unmatched and the speed at which it prints means we can quickly turnaround large volumes.
We are always looking at other printer manufacturers but as yet they don’t match Kornit’s superior print quality and speed of production.
I haven’t looked at any other textile dryers in the industry as I am happy with Adelco’s longevity and dependable products, their continual cutting edge development, combined with Adelco’s customer service, means I wouldn’t go anywhere else.
My experience with Adelco has been fantastic and I would recommend Adelco and their products to anyone. I have known Mark a long time and consider him a friend more than just a business contact. He is someone we can trust, honest to his word, and if he says he is going to do something he does.
Things Fashion, London, UK
My first dealings with Adelco were in 1984, when I purchased 4 Precision Oval machines. I was dealing with the founder Alan Smith who started the company and saw the opening in this new industry – T–Shirt printing. Alan was technically excellent and had the key salesman skills, namely customer service and back-up. Since then I have purchased various print machines, dryers and packing equipment from Adelco.
I watched Mark and Leigh push through and take over the business. Mark had the salesman and service vision, whilst Leigh had the engineering education and background. Business is not always black and white, not always easy, but even if things have not been as I wanted we have always found the win-win solutions and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
I purchased a Kornit DTG Printer from Adelco when the digital revolution arrived, and in 2017 I will purchase two more Adelco dryers. I totted up that I have purchased over 30 machines from them during my years in the industry.
Luke is the new blood, highly technical, level headed and sales orientated, the company is in good hands.
Managing Director Graham Ridley – www.things.co.uk
Vortex Clothing Clothing – South Yorkshire, UK
Vortex Clothing Company Ltd, based in Barnsley South Yorkshire are a printing and Embroidery Company specializing in school and work wear. Liam from Vortex Clothing Company, bought an Adelco dryer about 12 years ago. The company wanted to expand its range of inks used for printing, and increase production. “Adelco dryers have improved the quality of our prints, due to the dryer’s versatility.”
The service and technical support I have received from Adelco over the years has been excellent. Always helpful and available on the phone or on the rare occasion the dryer has needed a service. Our dryer is very robust and pretty faultless, other than general wear and tear. I would recommend Adelco and definitely would buy from them in the future.
Liam Stewart – Vortex Clothing Company Ltd. UK
Rexx Screen & Digital Supplies – South Africa
“We have been working with Adelco for the past 7 years and have found them to be the most reliable and efficient solution to all of our Dryer requirements. The products are all superbly constructed and perform optimally in even the most testing environments. We have installed their products all over Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean and can honestly say that their reliability is exceptional!
When we have on odd occasions, had small issues, the support and after-sales service of the Adelco Team is fast and very efficient. We would have no hesitation in recommending and selling any of their products to any of our valued Clients.”
Steve Harcourt-Wood, MD Rexx Screen and Digital Supplies (PTY) Ltd.
Hirsch International – USA
As a Distributor of high-end equipment to the decorated apparel industry where the equipment manufacturers are located on different continents and time zones, Hirsch needs to work with Companies who have fast support and delivery time as well as quality, reliable, state-of-the-art equipment. Adelco fills all these requirements. Their line of re-circulated air dryers have evolved over the years into the best in the Industry.
All the features needed in today’s dryers are found in the Ecotex and Duplex dryers. Such as: economic operation, even temperature and air distribution, high velocity air, efficient insulation, modular oven sections and Adelco are continuously adding innovative features to their product line. Our Customers buy several different types of equipment from us for their business. We can’t afford to let them down. That is why we work with Adelco.
Working with a Family business like Adelco, that has third generation Family members in the Company brings us a lot of pleasure and confidence.
Gavin Kidd, Hirsch International. USA.
SPSI Inc. Maple Grove, Mn, USA.
We work with Adelco because it is very simply the BEST Dryer with the BEST support in the Industry! Adelco Dryers are the most energy efficient and the most reliable which in turn makes our Customers more money with less worries! We have been an Adelco distributor for almost 10 years now and they continue to be on the cutting edge of curing technology and are developing drying systems that will keep us ahead of the newest digital and screen technologies that keep coming.
Adelco also make other products that we carry including their quartz flash units and their Ellipse Oval automatic printer that incorporates the latest in digital add-on (Kornit Paradigm) along with other auxiliary products that help in efficiency and productivity.
Overall, we align ourselves with Adelco because of their exceptional products and their great service that is second to none!
Thomas Codute, C.E.O
SSI – Storm Lake, USA.
The reason SSI/DPS uses Adelco gas dryers for our 2 digital print production facilities is three fold:
1 The Adelco Ecotex gas dryer is the most economical gas dryer in the industry today in terms of overall operating costs.
2. Virtually no down time. We run our 11 Ecotex dryers in excess of 10 hour her day. We cannot afford to have a dryer malfunction. With minimal preventative maintenance and cleaning the Adelco dryer has performed flawlessly.
3. The service support from Adleco and our US based Supplier, SPSI is unmatched in the Industry. Our in-house Techs know that excellent Technical support from SPSI or Adelco is just a phone call away.
Kevin Esselman, VP of Sales and Marketing
Dubow Textile Inc. St. Cloud, Minnesota USA
Dubow Textile’s success in growing our business is directly attributable to partnering with the right manufacturers and suppliers. Fortunately for us, Tom Codute from SPSI in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA, introduced us to the Adelco team when we first made the decision to add digital print to our embroidery plant in 2007. Since then we have added 3 more Adelco dryers in both our digital print operation and our screen print operation, with the latest addition being the new Duplex dryer. The key behind any relationship is not what the promises are, but what the actions are when action is needed. Whenever we have needed assistance, and we all know equipment needs assistance from time-to-time, Adelco has been there for us to make sure our production continues to run.
I would recommend any of the Adelco products to anyone, not only for the quality, but definitely for the support offered after the sale.
Rob Dubow – CEO