BIDBI Staff Blog - Paul Withers - May 2013

  • Paul Withers
  • 24th May 2013

This month our guest blog comes courtesy of our production team. Paul is our chief screen maker, and recently moved into his brand new screen room at our Sheffield eco-factory. Here's what he had to say about the improvements.

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I've been working at BIDBI for three years, so I've seen the business go through loads of changes as it's grown. About 18 months ago I became BIDBI's primary screen maker, which is my main skill alongside actual printing.

For each print job we create a different screen for each colour. It's like a mesh that we push the ink through, which I make from black 'positives' that our artwork team create. Here's an example of us screen printing onto a bag:

My favourite thing about my job is seeing the range of designs that we print, and playing a vital role in setting them up for production. Until last month I was working from my own section of our print room, which was sufficient but not ideal for the high quantities that we can now print. At the end of last year I found out that we'd received funding from Santander to build a new state of the art room for my screen making.

Four months later, here's a photo of me, our CEO Julia, and Liz from Santander, at the official screen room opening:

After using the room for almost a month now, it's a big improvement on my old one. I've got new equipment that lets me make screens more quickly, so the process is very efficient. It's also easier to stay organised. Everything has its place and a cleaner room is much easier to work in. It's also warmer than our old screen-making area, which will be useful in the winter.

Here's the room and brand new equipment the day I started using it:

I'm really glad Santander decided to invest in this project. It makes my life at BIDBI a lot easier, and I think it'll save us money and increase profits in time. I'm also looking forward to learning about the new screen printing methods that we can try out with this new equipment. We can now do CMYK screen printing, which lets us print full colour edge-to-edge designs, so that's something I'm excited to learn very soon.