Steve Turner the founder of Print Tech Solutions Ltd
With an early career in engineering, building and commissioning flexographic printing presses around the world for Oldham based Cobden Chadwick, Steve took a change in direction and entered the world of Technical Sales. This led him to working for several leading UK based anilox roller manufacturers over several years.
Utilising the wide range of flexographic and engineering-based experience and knowledge gained over the years, Steve took the monumental decision to ‘go it alone.
With a name created, Print Tech Solutions was registered as a limited company in September 2003. That was the first stage of his plan completed!
The start of Print Tech Solutions
Initially the idea was to create a ‘lifestyle’ business to allow more control over the time Steve could spend with his family. Whilst setting up a business was an extreme leap into the unknown for Steve, he was always confident with the ideas he had. This along with the excellent relationships built over the years; he had some very supportive contacts in the industry (which we’re sure you will know who you are, so ‘Thank You’) who would provide the support and opportunity to make a success of the venture.
Like many businesses, the early days involved working from home. It was a hectic juggling act of arranging appointments, doing the work, visiting customer sites around the UK&I and prospecting to develop new contacts, to build an on-going stream of enquiries. This was not quite the ‘lifestyle work-business balance’ Steve envisaged. Building a business, however, especially when it’s just one of you, incorporates a lot of burning the midnight oil to keep on top of quotes, enquiries and orders to ensure the business grows.
Within six months the level of enquiries and orders meant that processing everything as a ‘one man band’ was no longer viable. This led to the second stage, gaining an office and recruiting support, leading to Steve’s first employee.
Expanding Print Tech Solutions’ product range
Over the next two years Print Tech Solutions continued to grow. The customer base grew, and through demand, specific machinery was added to the portfolio. Initially that was only anilox rollers, ink chambers, Doctor blades, end seals and mounting tapes.
Working closely with many of the customers, it soon became apparent that there was a need and gap in the market for cleaning solutions that were specifically formulated for flexographic print.
Encouraged by customers and with the momentum of growth being experienced, Steve bit the bullet and started to develop cleaning solutions. The focus was on producing cleaning solutions that were specifically suitable for the safe and effective care of anilox rollers. This next stage meant larger premises, so the third stage of growth was entered. An industrial unit was acquired, to enable the launch and management of Print Tech Solutions’ range of cleaning solutions.
The focus on cleaning solutions, specifically for flexographic print
Now focused on the development of cleaning solutions, with growing experience and knowledge, Steve soon identified the range of totally unsuitable products used in the industry at that time.
With many printers not understanding the intricates of the anilox roller and the critical function it has on the quality of print delivered, best practice or care and maintenance was severely lacking.
Realising the significant and often unseen damage being cause to critical parts of the flexographic print process, Print Tech Solutions invested a significant amount of time, resource and money into this project from the outset. The result has seen steady growth of Print Tech Solutions’ cleaning solutions over the last 20 years.
This commitment to the care and maintenance of the anilox rollers to gain consistent print quality, was and we are pleased to say even more so today, valued by customers. The business went from strength to strength and gained an excellent loyal customer base, located around the UK and beyond.
More than just cleaning solutions, excellence in service was a priority
From the initial outset, a core aspect of the service Print Tech Solution provided was regular site visits to clients. This was to ensure they were happy with the cleaning solutions provided, the usage and application was correct and the care and maintenance of the anilox rollers were being upheld.
It was from these regular site visits and continued discussions with the clients that the need for a more systematic control over the monitoring of anilox roller condition and dilution and dispensing of the cleaning solutions was highlighted.
Utilising Print Tech Solutions expertise, site assessments and scheduled audit packages were created for customers. This support was to ensure anilox rollers were maintained in optimum condition, for consistent high-quality print to be maintained. Training sessions were also developed to support flexographic print operators with the maintenance of anilox rollers.
To support customers, maintain consistent print quality, classroom and press-side training was introduced. This would help improve operator knowledge and understanding of why and how an anilox roller and print units should and could be maintained to benefit the final print quality, without impacting on press downtime.
Continued innovation to benefit customers
Further to the training sessions, and forming stage four of the planned growth, Steve realised the benefit and requirement to improve the management of AquaSol cleaning solutions. The introduction of a series of systems designed to make the dispensing of the cleaning solutions more controlled, and easier for operators to access and dispense. These dispensing systems deliver time saving and overall ‘value added’ benefits to the press maintenance process.
With the business progressing, the core value of high-quality customer service remained. The continued success and growth relied on the team upholding the primary focus of customer service, both in the office and out in the field. Steve has always been extremely proud of this.
Core market focus
Over the following years the business continued to evolve and grow, especially in the Corrugated sector where Print Tech Solutions built a strong reputation for customer service, technical support and supplying safe and effective cleaning solutions and delivering training for the majority of the larger Corrugated groups.
It was also seen that there was growing pressure on businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs, to meet group environmental commitments and targets. Through several months evaluating how Print Tech Solutions could support their customers with this, the development of AquaSolx4 was introduced. This offers several benefits to those customers who have high usage of AquaSol.
Steve’s final vision
Print Tech Solutions has transitioned over the last 20 years to become a specialist in supporting clients to achieve the best quality print through technical support and the development and supply of cleaning solutions that are uniquely formulated specifically for the Flexographic print industry.
On creating a successful business, Steve still had further visions for the business, but realised two things.
Firstly, as some point he would want to take a back-step in the business to ease into retirement and secondly, that he couldn’t take the business to the next level on his own. The options and thoughts festered for some time, but in 2021 a chance meeting between the co-owners of The Ethikos Group, Scott and Gail Davis, led to discussions regarding how Print Tech Solutions could grow further.
This was a challenging time to discuss things, as the world was still experiencing the effects of Covid but following several months of discussions between Scott and Steve, the acquisition of Print Tech Solutions, by The Ethikos Group was completed in April 2022.
With the backing of the new parent company, The Ethikos Group, Print Tech Solutions was able to move forward and continues to innovate their cleaning solutions and technical support services to meet the growing demands of the flexographic market, to support the delivery of optimum print quality.
The next chapter
Following the acquisition, Print Tech Solutions has embedded into The Ethikos Group and the team has spent time understanding the market and flexographic industry to plan the next stage of development for Print Tech Solutions.
The plans are now being forged ahead with, which has seen Scott Davis take the reins from Steve as Managing Director.
Steve, with his wealth of experience and knowledge will take the role of Head of Innovation.
To compliment and provide a mark to the next stage, the branding has had a refresh and update, and a new website was developed and launched this month. This provides the foundation to move forward.
Steve said, “Becoming part of the group has given access to a wider range of resources and support that will allow Print Tech Solutions to develop and evolve the cleaning solutions offered and technical support provided. To continue to support and maintain premium print to the world of flexographic print with an ethos that is committed and focused on customer service. I’m happy that the business I started is in experienced and safe hands under The Ethikos Group.“
It’s exciting times for Print Tech Solutions and we look forward to sharing the on-going developments.
If you need reviewing and discuss the maintenance and care of your anilox rollers, contact our team, who will be pleased to help.
T: 0161 366 6286 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org