Vivad works around the clock for Australian Open

Melbourne wide format specialists, Vivad, has succeeded in helping make a locked down Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park seem a little less empty after owner, Ewen Donaldson, answered the phone last Saturday afternoon.

The caller, Ben Morris of Peak Installations – a subcontractor to Tennis Australia – was needing to find a way to cover all of the empty seats with graphics after a COVID outbreak caused a snap lockdown in Melbourne.

The options of whether to use vinyl or fabric were discussed and due to stringent fire requirements, ease of installation and overall look, it was fabric which won on the day.

The request was last-minute in nature and huge in scale and required Donaldson to make some calls of his own to ensure his staff were available to work across the weekend to get the job done and also make sure he had enough ink and fabric in stock.

A few phone calls later, Donaldson worked out that with the support of his team and suppliers, and his Durst Rhotex 325 dye-sublimation printer, he was able to commit to getting the job done on time.

Ewen Donaldson (third from left) with the Vivad team at PrintEx19

After this Vivad’s Campbellfield factory – which is equipped with a full pattern making and stitching production line – went into overdrive for the next 48 hours non-stop. The printing itself took 26 hours, but the whole job needed 48 hours to be completed.

Donaldson had two teams working 12-hour shifts to get the job done.

This involved printing, sublimating, trimming and sewing continuously around the clock to produce a whopping 4,656 square metres of fabric that is now covering the lower seating bays at Rod Laver Arena.

The installation of the fabric at Rod Laver Arena was completed by Peak Installations with the process beginning on Sunday night and going through until Monday night.

“This has been the biggest single installation in terms of square metres that we have done and in the shortest time,” Donaldson told Sprinter.

“But we did the sums and worked it out and decided we could do it, so we did.

“I’ve got such an amazing group of people who all just wanted to be involved in it, so we started printing through the night on Saturday night, all through Sunday and Sunday night and we split into two teams and did 12 hour shifts to get it all done.”

Durst Oceania managing director Matt Ashman pulled out all stops to make sure Vivad had the ink necessary to get the job done.

Matt Ashman, Managing Director of Durst Oceania

“We supported him with ink out of hours which is what we do for all of our customers,” Ashman told Sprinter.

“Ewen has just done an amazing job. It is amazing to see that sort of work come through especially in these times.”

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