Mount Stuart Trust in Trotec Laser.

Laser engraved labels for each plant at Mount Stuart Trust
Laser engraved labels for each plant at Mount Stuart Trust

Historical Landscape.

Mount Stuart Trust is a registered charity that was formed back in 1989 by the 6th Marquess of Bute. It was introduced to help preserve the house, gardens and estate of the Island of Bute. Mount Stuart is now considered to be one of Scotland's finest heritage assets and places to visit.

The grounds of the house are one of Britain's most historical landscapes. What makes this spot even more special is that over the years, the staff have been introducing plants from all over the world within the gardens, including exotic and rare species.

The Challenge.

As a popular tourist attraction, Mount Stuart offers guided tours in and around the gardens. This lets visitors get an up close and personal look at some of the rare, exotic plants. Naturally, as a living collection, the grounds are constantly featuring new exhibits. This was resulting in the team needing a cost-effective way to create ID labels for each plant. They had to ensure that large quantities of labels could be created to match each new exhibit as it came and went. They had previously been creating each label with a mini drill-engraver, and this was beginning to get increasingly difficult.

The problem with the manual production method they had been dealing with was the quality of the finished product always depending solely on the user. Using the manual engraver was also a physically demanding task, leaving most people with hand cramps after a while of using it. They needed a better solution to help the labels and to help the staff!

Additionally, the Mount Stuart team had very limited experience in label making - only ever for internal use and with very little detail. Due to the limited background and demand that was being placed upon them, the Mount Stuart Trust team required a faster, ergonomic and accurate solution to replace their old one.

Trotec Speedy100 at Mount Stuart Trust

Trotec - Fast, Accurate & Easy.

Graham Alcorn, the Living Collections Manager, along with the Mount Stuart team thought that laser technology would be a great solution to their labelling problem. Graham attended a meeting with the Plant Network Group where he saw a staff member of Cambridge Botanicas give a talk on how their new Speedy 100 laser machine was being used in the production of plant labels. He followed up after this event by visiting Cambridge to see the machine for himself, and he certainly wasn't disappointed. He was very impressed with the capabilities of the Trotec Speedy 100, along with its throughput. He knew he had to book in for a demonstration at the Stirling Trotec showroom.

Featuring a working area of 610 x 305mm, the Speedy 100 was the ideal machine for processing Grahams plant labels. Once he had a machine of his own, Graham and the team produced over 700 labels with their laser immediately. They all agreed that it was a vast improvement in speed, especially compared with their old manual process. They could now accurately reproduce data, like ascension numbers and QR codes. The team also don't have to worry about the physical strain of creating labels any more, as the laser machine does it all for them. 

Mount Stuart Trust also utilise Trotec materials for the plant labels, and they haven’t been disappointed. Graham stated:

"For our exhibit labels we use Trotec's TroLase 3 Ply black and white material, which gives our labels a very professional finished appearance." 

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