Richmond, Virginia-based Drytac, an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products and finishing equipment, with locations throughout North America and Europe, has hired Gareth Newman to head up its new Drytac Academy.
Drytac is designed to be a fully interactive training center in Fishponds, Bristol. Newman has been appointed the academy’s manager and, supported by Drytac’s global product manager Shaun Holdom, is developing an extensive curriculum of training courses for display graphics professionals.
The company explains that the Drytac Academy is a showcase of Drytac products and how they can be used with the newest and most popular wide-format printing technology on the market today, provided by the manufacturers themselves. This technology includes: a Roland TrueVIS VG-540 with Roland VersaWorks 6 RIP software; a Fujifilm Acuity LED 1600 II using Caldera RIP software; and an HP Latex 365 and an Epson SureColor SC-S80600, both powered by Onyx Thrive RIP—with more to be installed soon.
The Drytac Academy also houses profiling equipment, the i-1 Pro 2 provided by X-rite, which allows custom profiles to be built. In addition to the above, the space includes a complete finishing area with a laminator and Hot Press vacuum press.
“Naturally we have the entire Drytac product range at our disposal so having a full variety of machines allows our customers to learn how to get optimum results from Drytac materials using different systems and technologies,” says Newman. “We’ll also be working closely with the printer hardware manufacturers themselves by providing training to their employees using their own systems and Drytac materials.”
This collaboration with print brands is also contributing to the course development, the company says.
“We’re asking manufacturers what their customers need: what do they want to know, what are they struggling with, how would they like to be more creative with our products?” Newman says. “By drawing on this wealth of experience from both within and outside Drytac we’re approaching training in a fresh, new way.”
The Drytac Academy will also serve as an exhibition space, showcasing how Drytac’s products can be used in real-world display applications, such as retail store fronts.
The course titles will be announced shortly but topics will include: an introduction to digital media; business development; practical application skills; and creative design.
Newman is a product specialist with more than six years’ experience in the industry, moving to Drytac from Roland. Prior to Roland, he was an experienced sign-maker, having worked in the sign industry since he was a teenager.