Company History & Milestones

Our journey

North West Roller Services Ltd has a long and storied history in the world of printing rollers. We have been pioneers in the industry for many years and are known for taking innovative steps. We are very proud of our achievements and all the people who led us here.

The company was established in 1990 in a small mechanic’s garage in Warrington, Cheshire. Within 7 years, due to the combined factors of growth and the introduction of our laser engraving facilities, we built our own purpose-built factory here in the Cheshire countryside.  The continued successful growth of the business and the introduction of additional Lasers and Sleeve manufacturing led to us further extending our current facilities in 2012.

  • 1990

    Humble beginnings

    From the start Ian Antrobus and two fellow directors Alan Blackwell and Alan Howell got together to form Northwest Roller Services Ltd in a small run down factory unit in Warrington Cheshire. With a small team of employees roller production began using one Autoclave two Lathes and one Grinder.

  • 1992

    We begin Laser Engraving

    At this point the idea of producing laser engraved rollers came into fruition with the addition of the adjoining building making way for a CO2 Laser engraving machine and a small art studio producing various ITR laser engraved rollers for the flexographic printing industry

  • 1998

    Growth & the need to expand.

    It became obvious at this point the business was growing year on year and realising its potential a larger factory was needed. Two acres of land was purchased in Runcorn Cheshire and the development of the new North West Roller Services Ltd factory began

  • 1999

    We move to our new factory!

    The new purpose built factory is complete, with a shopfloor space five times the size of the original factory in Warrington. With the addition of more lathes and grinding machines the workforce doubled and so did production.

  • 2000

    Production of fibreglass sleeves begins.

    This was the year we started the production of the Fibreglass Sleeve. North West Roller Services Ltd was now able to produce Conical & Parallel Sleeves and sleeve systems opening up a large customer base worldwide. The Easysleeve production was up and running.

  • 2012

    The factory is expanded to allow further growth.

    Twelve very successful years on and with the growth of North West Roller Services Ltd exceeding all expectations more shop floor space was needed. The factory was extended by a third of its size and this created two large departments, dust-free and clean for laser engraving and sleeve production.

  • 2014

    We add two modern CO2 laser engraving machines

    With more space created in the laser department along came the addition of two modern CO2 laser engraving machines to add to the original one we began with, we were now capable of producing rollers to a much higher definition keeping up with the demands of the flexographic print industry.

  • 2019

    We add a new smaller CO2 Laser engraving machine designed specifically to engrave wallpaper designs.

    The most recent addition was new smaller CO2 Laser engraving machine designed specifically to engrave wallpaper designs, the laser department now boast an impressive four CO2 lasers.

  • 2020

    After 30 years, Managing Director & founder Ian Antrobus retires.

    Thirty plus years down the line and with North West Rollers Services Ltd now being the leading UK manufacturer for the Flexographic, Gravure and Lamination industries and employing thirty staff, Managing Director Ian Antrobus realised he had achieved his ambitions and decided to retire to a more relaxing, quieter life in the sun.

  • 2021

    Management buyout and moving forward

    North West Roller Services Ltd is now into its next phase following a managment buyout, the company remains in very healthy position, with little change and growing constantly. Barry Dodgson has replaced Ian as Managing Director and with his vast experience in the industry we continue to move forward.

  • 2022

    Introduction of the new two tonne overhead crane

    A year has passed since the management buyout and business is going from strength to strength, with an increased turnover rate and more work coming in we decided to improve the workflow on the shop floor and install our third overhead crane. With a lift capability of 2 Tonnes and a span of 20 meters, it will improve safety and speed up the production process.

  • 2024

    Growing the Distribution Fleet

    With the constant increase in supply and demand, a new addition to our transport fleet was essential to keep our customer's collections and deliveries on time. This brand new curtain-sided 3.5-tonne load truck will help us to provide a very reliable service that our customers have grown to rely on.

how can we help you?

Have a general enquiry or are not sure who to speak to? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

We have worked with NWRS Ltd for several years and found the quality service and communication to be excellent. Recent creasing problems have been resolved with one of their tailor-made spreader rollers which removed all the earlier issues, well done to all at NWRS Ltd.

John Critchlow
Maintenance Manager, Spandex Ltd

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