Interview with David Buxton

David Buxton
David Buxton
Sales Director

Performance testing equipment market is missing imagination
Roaches International is a UK based manufacturer of equipment used for the manufacture and quality control of textiles – known and respected worldwide for its suite of laboratory dyeing and testing equipment. David Buxton, Sales Director, Roaches, spoke to Fibre2Fashion about the company’s positioning and reach in the world market, its best-selling textile performance testing equipments, and the growth expected in the next 5 years.

Give us a background of Roaches. Where is the company positioned in the domestic and international market today?

Roaches International is a globally recognised manufacturer and supplier of laboratory dyeing/finishing equipment and textile performance testing instruments. The brand has been operating on the world stage for more than 40 years and under the current ownership from 2008.

How does your supply chain network work? What regions of the world are part of your supply chain?

As a UK based manufacturer, we feel it is vital to, wherever possible, ensure our supply chains remain within the UK so we can offer equipment under the “made in UK” banner. The majority of our core supply chain can be found within a short distance from the Roaches manufacturing plant near Leeds in West Yorkshire.

Which brands & retailers are you currently associated with?

Historically and currently we have always maintained strong relationships with UK based retailers and brands including (but not limited to) M&S, Next and Burberry. International brands include Adidas and Decathlon. Our equipment offering, whenever technically possible, will have the correct specification to conform to many other UK and International retailer testing expectations.

Who are your competitors in the international market?

There are many businesses around the world that manufacture products that will fit under the “textile performance testing” umbrella. We could class each of them as a competitor, but we do not make that link as we believe our products are best in class.

Where is the manufacturing/ production done? What is your installed capacity? How is the demand and supply worked out?

All equipment is designed and built in the Roaches premises near Leeds in the UK. To offer the best prices to our customers we only build to order. In general, we do not make to stock, although on rare occasions and for some core products, stock has been raised. Roaches is well positioned with a small but very adaptable, versatile and skilled team of engineers and technicians; capacity planning and upholding promises to customers can be achieved by the ability of our team to operate in any manufacturing section. This allows us to operate on a necessity rather than a ridged production line mentality.

What is the USP of your products?

Roaches equipment in general has the advantage of being manufactured in the UK, this in itself is a major “plus” but much of our equipment has specific sales advantages, from the Martindale machine with its totally unique storage drawer to the ability of the Pyrotec4 lab-dip machine to use 9 different size dye pots (not at the same time) in the same machine. As a general USP, we have a depth of knowledge and experience built up over 40 years in this fabulous industry. To know the industry as we do, gives Roaches an enviable and un-equalled foundation on which to build customer trust and relationships.

What is happening on the R&D side?

R&D is an integral programme in the Roaches International plan for growth and further exposure in the marketplace. We have currently a number of initiatives in an advanced state of manufacture with imminent release. We have strong relationships with several university research programmes taking pure research to a commercial instrument and a global dye machine manufacturer to develop laboratory-based lab-dip (colour recipe generation) equipment.

Which are your best-selling products, and which have the largest market-share?

In a purely quantity-based analysis, our range of textile performance testing equipment is by far the best-selling range of products. Within this offering the Martindale, Washtec and Opti-dry are probably all around even in terms of highest unit sales.
Published on: 20/09/2021

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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