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UK printer targets darts

July 20, 2005

Narrow web presses are used for production of many products, but one of the most unusual has to be in the plant of Retriever Sports, in Slough, England. The company is the largest manufacturer of darts and accessories worldwide, and uses its two Mark Andy presses solely for the purpose of printing and converting dart flights. (For the uninitiated, the dart’s flight is what used to be the feathered section.)
Retriever Sports works out of a 30,000 square foot plant, and produces 30,000 darts — and up to 1 million dart flights — each week. “Ninety-five percent of everything we sell is produced in-house,” says Tom Pope, who founded the company with his wife, Katie, in 1978. Pope, now 75 and not considering retirement, had been a top amateur darts player.
The two Mark Andy Scout flexo lines are both six-color with full UV curing, corona treaters, cold foil, and web inspection cameras. They print on 75 and 100 micron polyester. Flight designs run into thousands, says Pope, who has customers in
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