The Fluid Branding Bury St Edmunds team recently took an office outing to visit one of our main supplier partners. The aim was to learn more about the many different printing processes that we use on our products, and to try our hand at some of them! With plenty of bags of Haribo to keep us occupied on the journey, we set off from sunny Suffolk for the afternoon - with our office dog Poppy in tow.

After greeting our hosts (who provided cakes and sandwiches which were very well received by the team), we were introduced to our main points of contact within the business - it's always nice to put a face to a name! Then it was time for the fun part: the factory tour...

The Dye Sublimation Mug that Cat created on her visit...

The Dye Sublimation Mug that Cat created on her visit...

We started off with viewing some lanyards which were being screen printed. It was impressive to see the printing machinery in action, and great to further understand the work and man hours that are put into the process: creating the positive, creating the screen, printing and then washing the screen to start the process again for another job!

The main warehouse was very noisy and warm so it was a nice break for us to be able to go into the digital printing area which has to be temperature controlled due to the machinery and inks.

We were able to view some mouse mats being printed onto rolls and then transported to the laminating and cutting machines for finishing. We also saw the beginning of the process for dye sublimation (more about that later!).

Once out in the main warehouse again, we weaved our way around pallets of different products stacked high to observe different work stations and processes. There was pad printing, ink mixing and more screen printing to learn about. Laminating, cutting and finishing as well as engraving and etching on many different products. Some done all by hand, some done by machine and some by robot! Lots of information to take in but all beneficial to know when advising our customers.

Before the tour was over we got to witness the finishing process for dye sublimation that we started off earlier on in the tour. This was the exciting part as we got to finish off our own mugs to take back to the office as a memento of our trip. Although we had expert tuition from the professionals, it is safe to say that the team are better off sticking to being part of the Fluid Family than getting into dye sub mug production!