Inkjet Printing Technology is not new to the industry, but so far it has been exploited only for sampling purposes and short-runs. This is majorly due to its low speed and limited media compatibility. The Exhibitors in the GTE-’09 had some very innovative printers to make this technique suitable for mass printing. The Expo saw some of the finest and fastest digital printing machines, for both direct fabric printing as well as transfer printing. While the basic underlying technology of these machines remain the same, Team StitchWorld finds out what is new in the basket for direct digital printing and transfer printing.
Texsoco Unveils Revolutionary Mimaki TS5
Compared to earlier versions of Digital Printing Machines in the market, the new Mimaki TS5 Digital Printing Machine is fast. The speed of the machine is up to 40 metres per hour. “Earlier, there used to be problems in the machine. Ink had to be regularly refilled due to its small cartridge package size of 450 ml of ink. Now Mimaki runs with a mammoth two litres original ink cartridge capacity, which means larger durability and more number of prints,” informed Vinod Krishnamurthy, the young and enthusiastic CEO & CTO of Texsoco Inc. Even after that, the cartridges can be refilled; thus, a two litre bulk refill purchase makes the ink cost-effective, he added confidently.
The larger ink cartridge size would mean longer durability of original ink. Also implies that the customer may choose the original refilled ink instead of local ink, due to discounts available in bulk purchase of two litres.
The machine is first of its kind in India and exclusively launched by Texsoco Inc. “The launch is supplemented by showcasing of new Automatic Print Transfer Machine from Monti Antonio, which can be controlled by a push-button system,” concluded Vinod.
Spintex Corporation: Piezo-inkjet Technology Brings Accurate Results
Spintex Corporation showcased Joy Jet 4600 Machine which is 60” wide. The machine is compatible with dye ink and sublimation ink. It also showcased Japanese Cool Jet Machines which are equipped with Drop-on demand Micro-piezo inkjet technology which can print more accurately with point precision. The machine is suitable for printing on all fabric provided suitable dye is used in accordance with the fabric type. Besides, it has also introduced Coat Tex 1600 which is a fabric preparation and drying machine. “It can be used for inkjet fabric printing as well as traditional screen printing,” states P.K. Mishra, Product Development Manager, Spintex Corporation.
The machine can even be used as a post-treatment machine or even for colourization of fabric. “Coat tex is actually two machines incorporated into one unit. Due to its unique design it is capable of coating and drying almost any kind of fabric,” Mishra states further. The amount of coating emulsion can be adjusted to suit all types of inks including reactive, acid and disperse inks. It has a storage tank with level adjuster and in-built mixer to avoid clogging.
Negi Showcases High Speed ‘Blizzard’ Printers
To keep pace with the advancements in the digital printing industry, Negi Sign Systems displayed their latest products, which are fast, effective and deliver the best print quality.
Their Viper TX, for example, is a 90” wide machine, the widest available in the market with a draft speed of 40 metres per hour. The machine prints exceedingly vibrant and clear graphics in a colour combination of 16 million colours using a total of 8 ink cartridges. It can print directly on cotton and other delicate fabrics even on knits without using Blanket System. However, if required, the machine is available with a Blanket module as well.
The 64” wide Valvejet Machine can print on paper. The print is then transferred to a polyester fabric via sublimation. The machine can print at a competitive speed of 39 metres per hour. The machine is available in 52” and 42” width making it more flexible.
The high speed Blizzard Machine can print at an astonishing draft speed of 80 square metres per hour. The design is first printed on paper, which is later transferred to polyester.
All the above machines are controlled by Vasatch SoftRP software.
Apsom Technologies: Flexible Printers for Varying Needs
Apsom Technologies India Private Limited, Mumbai-based Digital Printing machinery suppliers have to their name the credit of making printing job more flexible and convenient by playing with some of the contemporary technologies.
The Mimaki Printing Machines have been used in the industry for last 12 years. The company has come up with additional Heat Curing System and Dye Curing Facility which basically implies adding of an Infra Red Dryer.
The machines can be used for sublimation printing or paper printing. Also, Reactive, Acidic and Pigment colours can be printed using these machines. For printing with reactive and acidic inks, pre-process of Bleaching and Padding are performed first on the fabric followed by printing using the machine. After printing, the fabric is treated with steam, washed and a finishing treatment such as softening or simply pressing is done. For Pigment ink printing, Hot air curing is often done to make the pigment colours more vibrant.
“But, the uniqueness lies in the way Mimaki JV5 Machine is able to handle knitted as well as woven fabric printing,” says Asis Roy Choudhury, General Manager – Textile. “The Italian Blanket System for synchronization of media after every stroke makes sure that the printing is smooth and undistorted.” For woven fabric however there is no need for such a system, “after all it adds to the cost!” he comments.