Bex Designs – Metallic Solutions Using Autotex S

Greater productivity and print quality for Bex Design Services with screen and digital films from MacDermid Autotype

The latest range of hardcoated screen and digital film materials, developed and manufactured by MacDermid Autotype, are helping Bex Design Services improve still further the productivity of its print operation, while delivering enhanced product quality, consistency and reliability. In addition, the latest films are enabling Bex Design Services to explore new and innovative methods of production, especially for high value membrane and fascia components, helping the company add even greater value to the services it offers its customers.

Bex Design Services was established in 1998 and has rapidly grown to become one of the leading specialist designers and producers of high quality screen and digitally printed electronics, fascia, nameplate, point of sale and display graphics products and components. Based in a purpose built factory in Calne, Wiltshire, the company produces parts for many leading brands in the fields of telecommunications, white goods, instrumentation and industrial products, with a major proportion of its business now being exported to other countries in Europe, plus Asia and North America.

Company Director, Ian Board, explains that, “Our success is based on a number of factors. These include an ongoing commitment to ISO standards, a determination to minimise the impact our operations have on the environment, continuous staff training and development, plus constant innovation, with the goal of always improving the quality, performance and value of the products that we produce. In turn, this depends on the relationship that we have with our suppliers, especially machinery, inks and films.”

Bex Design Services now sources all its screen and many of its digital films exclusively from MacDermid Autotype. This is especially important for high value products, such as membrane keyboards and fascia panels, as the company’s customers expect the highest quality with, for example, exceptional mechanical, optical and chemical resistance properties.

In the past, Bex Design Services has trialled materials from other suppliers. “However, we have always found these to be inferior to those produced by MacDermid Autotype”, explains Ian Board. “For example, competing materials can be difficult to handle, can mark or scratch easily in production and do not offer the same combination of hard surface finish and chemical resistance, so we end up having a significant proportion of reworked or rejected parts. Even something as simple as interleaving the films with protective sheets, which is standard with MacDermid Autotype materials, but not generally done by other suppliers, can make a huge difference in production, as it ensures that every box of film is in perfect condition when it arrives at our factory”.

Perhaps as importantly, by working closely with key suppliers such as MacDermid Autotype, Bex Design Services is able to pioneer new and often innovative techniques that add additional value to the services provided to customers. These have included the ability to produce large area, high definition glass panels for vending machines, investment in LED, cold cure, UV print systems that reduce production stages and, most recently, the use of MacDermid Autotype’s Autotex Steel film materials.

“Combining screen, digital and flexible inks with Autotex Steel is allowing us to create flexible membrane and graphics overlays that look like they have been manufactured from stainless steel. In addition, we’re able to carry out all the normal production techniques, including embossing for tactile keys, while still retaining the traditional combination of hardcoat mechanical and chemical properties, with a typical flex life of over 5 million actuations”.

Ian Board concludes, “We’ve now worked with MacDermid Autotype for many years. Their film materials have always performed exactly to specification, indeed, we’ve never had cause to return a batch, while their technical and customer support has consistently been second to none. All in all, when it comes to advanced, high quality films for screen and digital print we will choose MacDermid Autotype every time”.


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