O’Neills has it all sewn up with YES Ltd embroidery equipment

The O’Neills team
The O’Neills team

O’Neills is known as the largest sportswear company in Ireland. It has been reaping the benefits of using SWF embroidery machinery; backed up with YES Ltd’s service and support.

O’Neills is Ireland’s largest sportswear company with a difference. Founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic footballs, the company has grown rapidly to employ over 500 staff in premises spanning over 160,000sq ft. Champions wear their garments in rugby, soccer, Gaelic games, athletics and much more; teams such as St Helens RFC and London Irish RFC can be seen donning their attractive and well made shirts, and their products are exported across the globe.

O’Neills prides itself on quality, heritage, and importantly, taking control of as many processes in house as it can so that it can cater for its customer base flexibly and quickly.

Kieran Kennedy, managing director, has been with the company since 1979. He said: “We’re a vertically integrated company. This means we buy in the raw materials (yarn), knit, dye, print, sew and finish each garment from start to finish, right up to the embroidery level, which can also include personalisation. Part of the success of our business is that we can react quickly, and in order to react quickly we need a supply chain that is smart, covering people, processes and of course technology.”

Your Embroidery Services Ltd specialises in bringing technology to market in the garment decoration arena. Their success has been built on specifying quality embroidery and printing machinery that is fit for purpose, scalable and cost-effective, backed up by top class customer service and support. The team behind the supplier met with O’Neills around 10 years ago as Kieran had a problem.

Kieran explained: “Our existing equipment of a different brand from another provider was performing well, but it was slow, inflexible and unscalable. This simply wasn’t going to assist our rapidly growing business so we looked elsewhere. When we saw the capabilities that YES Ltd demonstrated to us with their SWF range, we knew it was the right direction to go in and we haven’t  looked back since. The SWF embroidery machines are phenomenally faster, and they have the added bonus of dual functionality, meaning we can embroider two different designs simultaneously – for example on a 12 head dual machine we can embroider two different designs at once using one machine.

He continued: “The team at YES Ltd are responsive, and their technical support is excellent. We can be confident that our production runs smoothly, accurately and efficiently. In addition the SWF machinery is very easy to use, meaning the operators (we currently have a team of 50 people in our embroidery department) can enjoy this functionality. The touch screen user interface is high-end and also offers a great deal of integration capabilities; for example we’re currently looking at a system that matches the design to the garment using scanning technology, which will eliminates the possibility of operator error.”

A machinist at work
A machinist at work

John-Paul Burton, YES Ltd’s co-director said: “O’Neills are the proud owners of over 53 new embroidery machines supplied from YES Ltd totalling up to 281 embroidery heads making O’Neill’s possibly the largest embroidery plant in the United Kingdom.

“What’s also interesting is that they have 17x SWF dual function (6×6) 12-head machines and 2x special 1,200spm high speed 12 heads, not forgetting the other dual function multi-head machines and various single heads from SWF and Ricoma embroidery machines for the O’Neills online business which is growing year on year.

“We’re delighted to be supplying a self-sufficient company that want to take control in-house, as empowerment is what we are about. Our client’s success is our success and I am delighted that the machinery and support we provide plays a part in the quality products they manufacture.”

Key benefits:

  • SWF technology offers O’Neills dual functionality with its dual head.
  • SWF products are fast, accurate and the range suits every need, whether growing rapidly like O’Neills or a first time embroiderer.
  • In house embroidery means O’Neills can offer fast personalisation.
  • YES Ltd specialises in offering only the best quality embroidery machinery. Over 20 years in business means the company knows the market and its products well.
  • YES Ltd specifies the correct products that suit your business aspirations and budget. The company prides itself on long term relationships.
  • YES Ltd offers customer support and service that is second to none.

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