Textile
Mimaki announced the availability of its Tiger-1800B printing system in the Americas. The Tiger-1800B is described as a high-production inkjet printer capable of direct-to-textile or transfer dye sublimation output.

It is designed to deliver both large-scale production at manufacturing sites and small-scale production at on-demand sites, explains Mimaki, making it well suited for digital textile applications.

The 74.8-inch Tiger-1800B includes an adhesive belt transport system with belt washing technology and in-line heat drying unit for what Mimaki describes as an all-in-one process for direct-to-textile printing.

For high-volume production, it features 16 print heads in a staggered array for the direct-to-textile model, or 8 print heads for the transfer dye sublimation model, resulting in print speeds of up to 4,144 square feet per hour. Usable quality can be achieved even at these high print speeds to meet volume demands, explains Mimaki, or to quickly produce shorter-run projects such as for regional or seasonal fashion requirements.

Its print speeds are supported by what the company describes as a sophisticated textile transport system, achieved through twin pressure roller shafts attached to the edge of the transportation belt. Textiles are transported onto the belt through the rollers. Wrinkle and Media Jam sensors detect textile wrinkling or creasing early in order to minimize potential damage to the print heads from collisions with raised or jammed textiles.

As previously mentioned, the Tiger’s belt washing mechanism prevents stains on fresh fabric from ink remaining on the belt. It is equipped with two squeegees to prevent splash-back, and two heaters to dry and re-activate the belt surface. A cleaning liquid is automatically applied to each wiper before and after head cleaning. This liquid enhances the head cleaning process, explains Mimaki, and reduces daily maintenance time by providing a clean wiper.

The Tiger-1800B printer features Variable Dot Printing and a standard Degassing Module reduces clogging by removing air bubbles in the ink, and an Ink Circulation ensures stable ink supply by constantly circulating the ink.

Options for the direct-to-textile model include: a Roll Media Centering Unit featuring a feeding unit with a centering device and tension bar; a Jumbo Roll Unit; a Plaited Unit; and a Drying and Take-Up Unit for high density printed fabrics. The dye sublimation model includes the Jumbo Roll Unit as a standard feature.
Introduced in January 2018, OKI explains its Pro8432WT produces HD-quality colour transfers for textile and hard substrates, up to 11 x 17 inch format, as well as promotional materials. To this end, it leverages a straight paper path for flexible media handling.

The printer features white toner technology with solid opacity and CMY colour. It can handle transfers for 100 percent cotton, cotton blends or polyester. Running at nine pages per minute for tabloid-size full-colour transfer, or 16 ppm for letter-size, reaching 1,200-dpi resolution.

OKI explains its digital transfers, unlike sublimation do not require, do not require specially coated substrates. They rransfers onto black, white or coloured textile or hard surface substrates.
Epson in January introduced its SureColor F2100 direct-to-garment system, which will be available in March 2018. Leveraging an Epson PrecisionCore TFP print head and Epson UltraChrome DG garment ink technology, the SureColor F2100 achieves up to twice the speed of the company’s previous generation DTG printer – the SureColor F2000.

The SureColor F2100 (MSRP US$17,995) offers four colour ink technology, plus White ink. Additional improvements on the new SureColor F2100 include a quick-load platen, Epson Garment Creator Software, all-new integrated self-cleaning system for less downtime, and newly developed print modes including Light Garment Mode and Highlight White. Epson explains these new modes provide for more consistent print quality.
 
“The SureColor F2000 is the number-one selling direct-to-garment printer in the market and has helped customers increase efficiency on short-run orders and expand product service offerings,” said Tim Check, senior product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America. “We listened to our customers and addressed common direct-to-garment pain points with the new SureColor F2100.”

In terms of the new integrated inline self-cleaning system, the SureColor F2100 transports cleaning solution through the printhead, allowing the printer to perform daily maintenance to reduce downtime. In addition, White ink is triple filtered before reaching the printhead, designed to help reduce White ink nozzle clogging for greater up-time and reliability.
 
Epson explains the new Highlight White mode achieves brighter White ink output by applying a second coat of White ink, while simultaneously printing colour ink for improved print speeds. With a new garment grip pad, the SureColor F2100 allows users to quickly load and unload garments on the printer platen to help reduce traditional hoop platen load times.
Ricoh, during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, introduced a new “ultra-affordable” Direct to Garment (DTG) printer, called the Ri 100, which the company expects to make a major impact with a variety of small businesses, municipalities and other organizations. The Ricoh Ri 100 was announced as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree, as judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media, across 28 product categories.

“Customers have been asking for an affordable, low risk entry point into the DTG market, and our team is the first in the market to deliver on that,” said John Fulena, Vice President, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh USA.

The company describes it as a great fit for souvenir shops and other businesses looking to leverage the impact of branded t-shirts, canvas bags, pillows and other fabrics. The Ri 100 features ready-to-go drivers and design software alongside what Ricoh describes as an intuitive heating unit for prepress wrinkle-smoothing and post-press ink curing. Leveraging technology from Ricoh and AnaJet, a Ricoh company, the Ri 100 prints at up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi in vivid mode using Ricoh’s print heads with modular drop-sizes.

The system is designed so users can start producing DTG applications right out of the box with minimal to no training. It can fit on counters or desks, so it can be added to a business without existing dedicated space for printing equipment. The total package (Ri 100, heating unit, software and accessories) is planned to retail for less than US$5,000, which Ricoh describes as a price that is significantly lower than that of traditional DTG printers.
At IPEX, which began today at the ExCel International Centre in London, UK, Ricoh is launching a new Direct to Garment printer and Neon Pink toner for its Pro C7110sx press. IPEX is the formal public launch event for these new product additions.

The Ri 6000 direct to garment printer, explains Ricoh, is ideally suited to commercial printers looking to expand their service with entry-level systems. Suited to garments like t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks and bags, the Ricoh Ri 6000 can print on cotton-polyester blends and ideally on 100 percent cotton fabrics. The Pro C7110sx will be displaying its fifth colour capability enhanced by the recent launch of the new neon pink colour option, which joins white or clear options.

In early October, Ricoh also unveiled a new wide-format flatbed printer called the Pro T7210. “The business model for décor printing is evolving with increased demand for shorter runs and faster delivery times for custom and small-batch wall coverings, flooring, furniture and tile,” said John Fulena, VP, Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group, Ricoh USA. “The T7210 gives printers the ability to do all of that, and it makes doing it easy, and effective.”

The T7210 supports substrates up to 4.3 inches thick with a print size of 6.9 feet by 10.5 feet. It prints at speeds of 50 square metres per hour (538.2 feet), during standard operation. Additionally, a media gap adjustment sensor automatically measures substrate thickness and adjusts print heads accordingly.
Mimaki has commercially released its TX500P-3200DS machine, described by the company as a complete digital fabric printing system. The 3.2-metre-wide direct-to-textile printer features an in-line colour fixation unit for soft signage, exhibit graphics, and décor applications. The TX500P-3200DS printer will be on display at the upcoming International Sign Expo, April 20-22, in Las Vegas.

Direct to fabric dye sublimation printing requires fixation of inks through a dry heat process, a step that is traditionally performed separately. The TX500P-3200DS printer, explains Mimaki, utilizes an inline colour fixation unit to optimize the printing and finishing process by enabling simultaneous printing and colour fixation, thereby reducing two steps to one in a single device.

Additionally, the TX500P-3200DS printer provides efficient finishing by linking the printer and the heater units. This enables synchronization, explains Mimaki, so that the printer is initiated when the heater reaches the optimum fixation temperature. Mimaki states this feature helps to control cost by reducing production time, labour, and transfer-related waste.

The TX500P-3200DS printer includes new print heads that enable printing directly onto various types of textiles. The high gap setting, explains Mimaki, gives users the ability to print on thin and thick textiles, plus woven patterns or raised fiber surfaces.

The 12 print heads are arranged in a staggered array and provide a range of printing modes from high-speed draft (1,399 square feet per hour) to high quality (538 square feet per hour).

An Auto Media Feeder (AMF) and a pulling roller provide consistent feeding of fabric by automatically applying the appropriate tension to the fabric during conveyance.

The system also includes waveform control, whereby each ink colour has its own specific gravity and viscosity. To achieve placement of the ink droplets onto the media, Mimaki designed a waveform control that enables the printhead to jet each ink colour at the appropriate jetting angle while maintaining ink droplet circularity.

The system provides variable ink droplet sizes – small, medium and large – and Mimaki Advanced Pass System 4 (MAPS4). This technology incorporates an advanced algorithm that reduces banding, uneven ink drying and bi-directional.
Agfa Graphics is introducing the new Avinci DX3200 dye sublimation printer for soft signage printing at ISA International Sign Expo 2017 (Las Vegas, April 20 to 22). The company explains this dedicated signage engine is designed to provide high print quality on polyester-based fabrics.

The Avinci DX3200 engine allows users to create soft signage prints of up to 3.2 metres wide, at a resolution of up to 1,440 x 540 dpi. “The engine features six colours (CMYKLcLm) at a droplet size of 14 picoliter,” said Reinhilde Alaert, Product Manager at Agfa Graphics. “This guarantees a vibrant colour gamut, outstanding tonal rendering and fine detail reproduction.”

The Avinci DX3200 offers different quality modes, with a speed of up to 173m2/h depending on the application. “Avinci can handle a wide variety of polyester-based applications, such as banners, point-of-sale displays, indoor wall graphics, outdoor advertising, trade show displays and flags,” said Alaert. “On top of that, the Avinci DX3200 has smart algorithms on board that enable very low ink consumption – another important benefit for our customers.”

Avinci DX3200 comes with Agfa Graphics’ Asanti software designed to automate all preparation, production and finishing steps of signage products. The core includes automation, colour management, job pre-flighting, and templates. Asanti also includes features for soft signage printers like Integration with Storefront (Agfa’s tools for the automated management of Web-to-print and Web shops) automated positioning of grommets on banners, and the design of canvas extensions (like air pockets) for flags.

Asanti also recently introduced integrated tiling so that oversized banners or billboards that extend beyond the maximum printing width can be produced on Avinci DX3200. Asanti creates mounting instructions and adds the necessary marks to the tiled prints to help the operator mount them.

With a textile-dedicated media transport system and is also compatible with most off-line calendering solutions on the market, explains Agfa, which fix the colours deeply into the structure of polyester-based fabrics.
SPGPrints has introduced a 914mm version of its rotaLEN direct laser engraver.

Features:
  • A sealed CO2 laser that ablates the printed areas without film, chemicals or water;
  • Images SPGPrints’ non-woven nickel re-engravable RotaMesh rotary screens with resolutions of up to 5,080 dpi;
  • A narrow-web version accommodates screens up to 660 mm wide;
  • RotaMesh rotary screens with a seamless hexagonal hole-structure;
  • Printing speeds up to 150m per minute (490fpm), depending on the application;
  • Fine positive and negative prints created with SPGPrints’ software;
  • Capable of applying ink or varnishes of up to 250µm thickness;
  • Capable of imaging two reusable RotaPlate screens simultaneously, exclusively for label printing, when applied to a drum of 1,300 mm circumference;
  • Compatible with the complete rotary screen range, such as SPGPrints’ RotaMesh 405 and RotaPlate 355F screens, to RotaMesh 75 for 250µm-thick Braille dot reproduction;
  • Examples include raised, coarse and textured varnishes, rich and opaque colours, metallic finishes, warning triangles and Braille.
Mimaki has released the new TS500P-3200 super wide dye sublimation printer in North America. This 129-inch (3.2 metre) wide dedicated transfer printer enables production runs for producing extra-wide textile applications such as home furnishing and hospitality fabrics.

The company explains typical home furnishing fabrics – curtains, upholstery, and bed linens – are extra wide, which makes the TS500P-3200 printer well suited for these applications. Mimaki also points to the growing demand for large indoor fabric signage and decorative point-of-purchase environments, while noting dye-sublimated fabrics can be folded, stretched and cleaned without damaging the prints.

Using new print heads, 12 arrayed in three staggered lines, the TS500P-3200 printer produces speeds of up to 1,937 square feet (180 square meters) per hour. The print heads also feature a high head gap, enabling high quality printing on thin transfer paper.
In January at the Heimtextil exposition in Germany, HP Inc. introduced its next generation HP WallArt Suite as a Web-to-print tool designed to help small- to medium-sized printing companies involved in the decoration space.

The WallArt technology was created exclusively for HP’s line of Latex printers. It features what HP describes as an improved interface, updated dashboard design to better manage customer orders, easier Web integration, four free HP Wall decoration Web apps, and access to different content sources like Fotolia, Pattern Design, Instagram and Dropbox.

The HP Latex 310 and Latex 360 printers include third-generation HP Latex technology for proofing interior decoration applications like home textiles, while the recently introduced HP Latex 3500 Printer allows for unattended operation with heavy-duty roll-handling and 10-liter ink cartridges.

“Our PSP customers have told us they want easy-to-use, affordable, intuitive software that makes printing and communication with their customers easier,” said Joan Perez Pericot, Worldwide Marketing Director, HP Inc. “With the new HP WallArt Suite, PSPs and their customers can manage everything from design to order information in real-time online.”
EFI, at the first dedicated textile exhibition since the mid-2015 acquisition to form EFI Reggiani, will showcase new technological solutions and processes for what the company describes as the new era of green textile factory production.

At ITMA 2015, running from November 12-19 in Milan, Italy, EFI Reggiani will highlight textile manufacturing with reduced energy and water consumption for greater efficiency and a lower environmental impact. The TOP printer, available in both 1.8- and 2.88-metre widths, is a heavy-duty, flexible machine to be demonstrated with reactive dyes printing direct to cottons. The machine can also be used with acid, disperse, sublimation and pigmented inks, providing versatility and speed.

The Essetex 2-metre-wide washing box is a system suited for knitted and light fabrics, particularly where print washing is beneficial for delicate textiles and for post-dyeing of printed cloth.

The new entry-level ReNOIR NEXT printer is described as a versatile product that prints onto fabrics and papers using the same ink set with a 1.8-metre beltless printing system. It joins the Reggiani line-up of textile printing solutions and offers what EFI describes as simplified material handling, a compact footprint and lower acquisition cost.

All of these inkjet digital textile systems are based on new eco-chemistry, using water-based inks that, together with automation, provide what EFI Reggiani describes as a total solution for textile businesses. The water-based inks are developed to be eco-friendly by significantly reducing pollution without compromising quality and speed.
 
Also making their debut at the show are new Artistri PK2600 inks developed by DuPont for cotton textile roll-to-roll printing on EFI Reggiani printers.
Roland DG Corporation received OEKO-TEX Standard 100, product class I certification, for its Texart SBL3 dye-sublimation inks. This Nissenken Quality Evaluation Center certification provides assurance that these inks, made for use with the company’s new Texart RT-640 dye-sublimation printer, are safe for inkjet printing on polyester fabric to create sublimated items, including products for babies and toddlers.

OEKO-TEX is an independent certification system for testing the safety of textile materials and chemicals at every stage of production, from raw materials to end products. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is divided into four classes based on human ecological requirements, with class I (which ensures that printed textile items are safe for babies and toddlers) being the most difficult to achieve.

“Receiving OEKO-TEX certification is significant because it opens up a world of opportunities for our users looking to make and sell products for this market segment,” said Lily Hunter, Roland DGA’s Product Manager, Textiles and Consumables.

Roland’s Texart SBL3 ink and the RT-640 dye-sublimation printer were both launched in October 2014. This was followed by the introduction of Texart Transfer Paper in March. Roland’s new SBL3 inks are available in both four-colour (CMYK) and eight-colour (Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Orange and Violet) sets.

Mutoh America launched its new 74-inch ValueJet 1938WX printer designed for high-production, dye-sublimation printing.

With a staggered dual-head design, the VJ 1938WX is rated to produce 1,440 dpi resolution, while printing at speeds of up to 1,327 square feet per hour. The system holds up to eight colours and also provides automatic sheet off, which means it cuts off the material when the print is done.

The printing system also includes Intelligent Interweave printing to help eliminate banding, DropMaster ink technology, and ValueJet Status Monitor app for mobile printer monitoring. It holds a suggested retail price of around US$31,995.

 



Kornit Digital, which focuses on the development of textile printing technology, has launched a new-generation discharge ink for the Kornit Avalanche DC Pro direct-to-garment printing system.

The technology creates what Kornit describes as unique digitally printed garments that have a natural feel. The company believes this technology allows garment decorators to expand into new fashion markets and achieve higher revenues and margins.

“Textile printing businesses seeking to enter the fashion industry can now print on dark garments without a white layer base, thereby creating a soft, natural feel on the garment,” said Kobi Mann, Director of Application and Consumables Products, Kornit Digital. The company leveraged more than 10 years experience in developing hardware, software and NeoPigment inks for garment decorators to arrive at its new solution. “By drastically reducing the amount of white ink and eliminating the need for pre-treatment fluids, the Avalanche DC Pro expands printing capabilities and creates a competitive advantage in today’s demanding fashion-oriented market.”

The new discharge ink is described by Kornit as an improved, ready-to-use version that does not require special handling or mixing, and remains stable in print-heads for up to a year. The Kornit Avalanche DC Pro has two additional print-heads by which the new discharge ink is applied to bleach the dye molecules of the dark garment, providing a base for CMYK printing, creating a great natural feel for the finished product.

In combination with the discharge ink, the system can apply flexible amounts of white ink for full opacity control. Support for the new ink will also be available as an upgrade kit for Kornit Avalanche systems with Spectra Nova heads.

Kornit states its Avalanche DC Pro is the only industrial textile system that provides an array of discharge and white options: it can print CMYK over discharge, CMYK over white, or CMYK over a discharge and white combination.

SPGPrints demonstrated a prototype of its new single-pass textile printer, called Pike, scheduled for launch at ITMA 2015 in Milan, this coming November. The company showcased Pike over a 2-week period at its headquarters in Boxmeer, Netherlands.

Pike is based on a full-width array of Fujifilm Samba print heads, which have been modified for textile printing. The heads are incorporated in what SPGPrints describes as a user-friendly print-bar technology, called Archer.

SPGPrints explains one key advantage of Archer technology is that it can accurately jet inks across a distance greater than print heads used in most current textile-printing systems. The head plates in the Archer array are typically 4-mm away from the surface of the substrate, compared with the traditional 1.5-mm distance of other print heads. SPGPrints has also developed Pike Reactive inks as a formula that helps to eliminate misting problems that might have arisen with Archer’s greater firing distance.

The first Pike printer will be a 6-colour machine in which each colour is represented by an Archer print bar containing 43 print heads, resulting in a printing width of 1,850 mm. The print bar has a native resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, variable drop sizes from two to 10 picolitres and a jetting frequency of 32 kHz.

These firing specifications together deliver typical productivity of 40 linear metres per minute (mpm), with a maximum of around 75 mpm. The modular construction of Pike will allow models with up to nine colours. Wider versions of Pike, up to 3,200 mm, are also planned.

The Archer print bar, explains SPGPrints, has been designed to retract fully for easy maintenance, whereby heads can be purged in narrow segments and a faulty head can be replaced by users in less than an hour – with no need for manual alignment. SPGPrints initially plans to provide customers with a number of spare heads and any faulty heads returned will be replaced free of charge.

“We researched what users want in the next generation of digital textile printing technology and discovered that the essentials include solid blotches, fine geometrics and – above all – a robust industrial solution,” said Jos Notermans, SPGPrints’ commercial manager for digital textiles. “That’s what the Pike delivers, at high speed and with low, predictable costs.”

Pike’s fabric-infeed system is by Erhardt + Leimer and the transport blanket has been designed in conjunction with Habasit. The in-line dryer has extra capacity to handle disperse inks, which – along with acid inks – are in development and scheduled for launch in 2016.

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