Digital textile printing systems are making it easier for home-textile designers and entrepreneurs to order shorter runs of customized products. For example, Catalyst Fabric Solutions, a large web-to-print manufacturer of home textiles, has installed multiple Epson SureColor F10070 dye-sublimation printers to increase productivity and fulﬁll print-on-demand orders.
Catalyst Fabric Solutions oﬀers more than10,000 customizable home textile products, including tablecloths, placemats, bean bags, backpacks, lunch totes, pillows, and custom blankets. The customized products that can either be ordered through retailers or shipped directly to customers.
“The print on-demand business has tripled in the last four years, and it continues to grow at a great rate,” said Chuck Smith, owner, Catalyst Fabric Solutions. “We’ve seen business increase over the last two years and a lot of people are searching for internet on-demand businesses. We needed more technology; we needed more printers to keep up. The SureColor F10070 was everything we wanted.”
Orders at Catalyst Fabric Solutions typically spike in October, November, and December as customers prepare for the holiday season. Catalyst sees an increase in demand for photo products, including photo blankets.
“The ﬁrst of our SureColor F10070 printers were installed in December 2020 – in the middle of our busiest season,” said Jim King, operations manager, Catalyst Fabric Solutions. “Had they not been a plug-and-play set up, we would have had some real problems, as we were counting on their capacity to meet deadlines. However, they hooked into our network easily and we were able to begin printing immediately.”
“Because of the capacity on the SureColor F10070 printers, we were able to take all our blankets that we previously put through 30 other printers onto the new Epson printers. And they were printing them in less than a minute – about four times faster than our previous machines,” said King. “There’s nothing I haven’t put through this printer yet – it’s the workhorse right now for the plant.”
“As one of the largest and most advanced facilities of its kind, Catalyst Fabric Solutions runs an impressive operation,” said Tim Check, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. “They are putting the SureColor F10070 to the ultimate test in their industrial facility and pushing a vast majority of their dye-sublimation projects onto the SureColor F10070 printers to best deliver results for clients.”
The Epson SureColor F10070 oﬀers industrial reliability and round-the-clock productivity at a low total cost of ownership. The printer features four 4.7- inch PrecisionCore® printheads to deliver roll-to-roll performance at speeds up to 2,700 sqft/hr.
Features to maximize eﬃciency and minimize downtime include user-replaceable printheads and a low-cost, high-capacity replaceable ink pack system that holds up to 20 Liters of ink per color for longer print runs with less user intervention.
For additional information on the Epson’s textile printing solutions, visit Epson’s website.
Nanography® is the enabling science behind a breakthrough digital printing method that combines the variable-data and print-on-demand features of digital printing with the throughput speed, media versatility, and quality of offset printing.
The inks used for the process were developed with nanotechnology — the science of particles that are measured in nanometers (billionths of a meter).
Nanography was invented by visionary digital-printing pioneer Benny Landa, who discovered that water-based inks formulated with nano-sized pigment particles perform differently than standard water-based inks used in production inkjet printing.
Landa Digital Printing is using the nanographic printing process to develop high-speed digital printing presses for short-to-medium run lengths for commercial printing, publishing, packaging, and direct-mail applications.
How Nanography Differsfrom Production Inkjet
Like a production inkjet press, nanographic printing uses high-speed inkjet printheads and sophisticated software to convert digital files into data that dictate how, when, and where each ink color droplet should be ejected to form the images.
But instead of ejecting wet inks directly onto paper, the printheads deposit the inks onto a specially constructed “blanket” which is then dried before it passes beneath rollers. Pressure from the rollers transfers the image from the blanket to the selected material.
Depending on how each press model is engineered, the Landa dry-ink transfer process will work with the standard off-the-shelf materials used to produce magazines, catalogs, direct mail, folding cartons, or flexible packaging.
In contrast, jobs on production-inkjet presses often require materials manufactured specifically to control the spread of the wet inks as the papers pass quickly beneath the printheads. These materials cost more than substrates already developed for high-volume production on traditional offset or flexographic printing presses.
Like other digital processes, nanographic printing doesn’t require the time and expense of creating and loading a new set of plates for each color on every job. So, the process is inherently more efficient than and cost-effective in producing an uninterrupted sequence of small to mid-sized jobs. Many of these these types of print jobs now include custom designs, localized or personalized messages, or QR codes.
Nanographic printing enables owners of existing offset, flexographic, and gravure presses to focus on running their highest volume jobs on their analog equipment.
Flexibility in run lengths makes it feasible for global brands and retailers to offer more specialty products and seasonal promotions. And, packages, promotions, and inserts can be customized to reflect the buying habits and languages of consumers within each city.
Seven-color Landa presses add orange, green, and blue inks to the standard 4-color inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) used by color offset presses. This 7-color combination can reproduce 96 percent of the Pantone colors that brands use to differentiate themselves in their logos and marketing materials. But even the 4-color Landa (CMYK) presses can hit 84 percent of Pantone colors, 30 percent more than CMYK offset.
The ability to hit a wider gamut of colors than standard offset four-color printing means that Landa press operators don’t have stop and load custom-mixed Pantone spot colors to handle a series of jobs from different clients.
Why Nanographic Printing Is A Breakthrough
The Landa presses are designed to close the “profitability gap” between digital printing presses and the offset, flexographic, or gravure presses that used to mass produce graphics for packaging, magazines, and marketing materials.
Digital presses that use electrophotographic or inkjet technologies have improved in quality, but are still slow compared to traditional offset and flexographic presses. Plus, the costs of inks, toners, and treated or coated papers add up quickly when a customer orders more than a few thousand copies.
Because the Landa presses can print at high-speeds on the same materials that big printing companies already use, owners of offset and flexographic presses can now produce short to medium-run jobs that wouldn’t be profitable on their standard presses.
Landa Digital Printing introduced the Nanography process at the drupa global print technology exhibition in 2012 and displayed the first press, the sheetfed S10, at drupa 2016. The first Landa press was installed in 2017. In 2019, Landa Digital Printing began installing a second model: the S10P. Here are a few details about each model.
The Landa S10is a single-side sheetfed press for mainstream packaging applications such as folding cartons and point-of-purchase/point-of-sale graphics. The S10 prints 6,500 B1 sheets per hour on substrates in thicknesses 2.4 to 32 pts. An inline coating system can enhance or protect the printed materials with UV or aqueous coatings.
The S10 can run seven colors and be profitable on jobs of about 30,000 boxes or even higher when ganging jobs or adding variable barcodes. The S10 provides a digital production solution for more than 50% of all folding carton jobs.
The Landa S10PNanographic Printing Press is for general commercial print jobs that require printing on both sides of the substrate. For example, the S10P can handle advertising pieces, catalogs, direct-mail, and high-end magazines.
Landa Digital Printing is currently developing web-fed presses for flexible packaging and high-end publishing.
Workflow and Quality Control
The data required to print each job is processed through a digital front end (DFE) that is tightly integrated with each press. Based on EFI Fiery technology, the Landa DFE enables to press to fit into any printing environment, regardless of what mix of digital, offset, or flexo printing processes the company uses.
The Landa DFE not only communicates with prepress automation applications and business-management software, but also with finishing equipment.
All Landa presses are equipped with an active quality management system that fully scans each printed sheets, identifies defects, and initiates corrective actions. Operator intervention isn’t required.
Comments from Users of Landa Presses
Some of the companies using Landa presses in the U.S. include:
K-1 Packaging Group provides custom packaging solutions for consumer products. K-1 uses the Landa S10 for jobs use 5,000 sheets or less. The work includes folding cartons, countertop displays, labels, and litho-lam corrugated boxes.
K-1 President Mike Tsai said a key factor in the decision to buy the press was how fast the Landa press could produce back-to-back short-to-medium-run jobs. A press run that would have required eight make-readies on a conventional press were achieved in just 70 minutes on the Landa S10.
Because the Landa press handles sophisticated jobs with ease, Tsai said K-1 will be able to bring a more holistic, integrated approach to their clients. For example, K-1 can process and print a client’s 1-to-1 variable product codes, support traceability of products, and meet other supply chain requirements.
Duggal Visual Solutions is an award-winning global supplier of exceptional printed visuals, custom displays, and multi-media solutions for global retailers, Fortune 500 corporations, museums, galleries, non-profit organizations, photographers, and visual artists.
Duggal installed a 7-color S10 Nanographic Printing Press at their New York production facilities to better serve their clients, which include 16 of the top 25 brands in the Interbrand Top 100.
“We are blessed to work with so many of the world’s leading brands and creative minds,” said Mike Duggal, CEO of Duggal Visual Solutions. He said the Landa S10 enables Duggal to help their customers break new ground in what is possible with print.
Duggal sees nanongraphic printing technology as the logical next step in the company’s evolution from their heritage in high-end imaging for professional photographers. Since moving into high-impact corporate work, Duggal now produces a wide range of applications for in-store marketing.
The Marketing Alliance Group is one of the largest retail design and manufacturing companies in the U.S. The company makes visual merchandising displays and fixtures for grocery stores, convenience stores, and manufacturers of health and beauty, apparel, home improvement, and flooring products. Clients include some of the leading retailers and brands in North America.
The Marketing Alliance Group is using their Landa S10 Nanographic Printing Press to deliver faster, higher-quality digital printing of short-to-medium runs of retail signs and displays.
“We already had a considerable print operation with a mix of analog and digital printing capabilities, and they all have their place,” explained Bryan Hair, CEO of Marketing Alliance Group. “But the Landa S10 fills a different gap. It’s not only substantially faster than any other digital press, but it also has an offset format. Thanks to its seven colors, the color vibrancy and high print quality satisfy our world-leading brand customers, too.”
Hair said the S10 enables enables retail customers to reduce costs, stock, and waste while getting promotions into stores much faster. “We consider Nanography to be the new era in printing technology.”
Virtual Packaging is an all-digital company founded in 1996. They provide full-service production of packaging prototypes and folding cartons to a variety of U.S. and international brands. The company can provide everything from a single mock-up for a presentation to a few thousand prototypes for market testing.
During a WhatTheyThink! webinar, Virtual Packaging Vice President Jordan Patterson said the Landa S10 press complements their existing fleet of digital printers. Over the past 2 years, the Landa has enabled them to expand their revenue streams to include sustainable packaging and corrugated boxes. The have also used the Landa to print 8,000 posters with different quantities of 127 poster designs. Making plates required to run such a job on an offset press would have been extremely costly.
One of the biggest jobs VIrtual Packaging has handled on the Landa involved printing 100,000 variable-data sheets on a plastic packaging substrate. Problems with ink adhesion made it difficult to print the job with offset and/or Indigo presses. Virtual Packaging completed the job on the Landa in two days.
Virtual Packaging also serves trade printing companies and smaller start-up brands. For example, if a company sells only 6,000 products per month, the client can order folding cartons on a subscription basis. Instead of printing 72,000 cartons for a year’s supply of cartons, the client receives just the number of packages they need each month. The client doesn’t have to warehouse boxes and the brand manager to ttweak the package design each month. One Virtual Packaging client that orders packaging on a subscription basis advertises a related product on an interior panel of the carton and includes a different coupon code each month.
About the Inventor
The Nanographic Printing® process was invented by Benny Landa, the same visionary who created the Indigo liquid electrographic digital printing process for the high-speed production of high-quality color images.
Landa established the Indigo company In 1977 and sold it Hewlett-Packard in 2002. Then, he immersed himself in studying ways nanotechnology could be used to save the planet.
Today, Benny Landa holds more than 800 patents worldwide. He is the Chairman and CEO of the Landa Group in Rehovot, Israel. The Landa Group includes Landa Digital Printing, Landa Labs, Landa Ventures, Lusix, and the Landa Fund.
The owners of the AlphaGraphics® franchise in Portsmouth, New Hampshire have achieved some impressive results after investing in an EFI™ Pro 16h UV LED hybrid wide format printer.
AlphaGraphics Portsmouth provides marketing and printing services to clients in vertical markets such as food, medical manufacturing, real estate, government and education. They purchased EFI’s hybrid roll-to-roll/flatbed printer from EFI dealer Nazdar SourceOne® to grow its large-format graphics business in the post-COVID economy.
“We’re seeing growth as our customers recover from COVID,” said Carrier. “We couldn’t quite justify hiring an entire new team member, but the time and labor that the Pro 16h has saved us essentially equates to half of a person.”
“Our customer-facing folks have become more confident in committing to job fulfillment,” he added. “That’s a benefit you can’t necessarily measure, but you can feel it and it makes a real impact.”
Co-owners Chris Carrier and Chris Oberg purchased the business in October 2019 and brought the AlphaGraphics franchise brand to the previously independent shop. To grow the business, they decided to invest in a hybrid large-format printer that could bring more efficiency and capabilities than the shop’s existing roll-to-roll printers offered.
“We have a philosophy of continuous improvement when it comes to sales and operations,” said Oberg.
Working closely with their Nazdar sales contact, Carrier and Oberg researched the EFI printer and were impressed with its performance. With features to assure the lowest total cost of ownership, superior image quality, and the ability to handle a wide range of substrates, the Pro 16h printer promised the growth in possibilities that Carrier and Oberg were looking for.
“We try and push our customers toward creative thinking, but people equate creativity with higher costs,” said Oberg. “The Pro 16h gives us the ability to push creative boundaries at a lower cost.”
The availability of local service from the EFI display graphics operations located a short distance from AlphaGraphics Portsmouth – and valuable input and feedback from a network of other AlphaGraphics owners – helped convince Oberg and Carrier of their decision.
“We are active in our network of other AlphaGraphics owners who use a lot of different flatbeds,” said Carrier. “There was a large contingency of owners who were glad they went with EFI and said they would make the same choice if they had to go back.”
The duo is also able to bounce ideas off their AlphaGraphics colleagues who are experienced with the same printer and handle similar customer projects. “Having that additional network of support goes a long way,” Carrier said.
Leveraging efficiencies and lowering TCO
Prior to installing the Pro 16h printer, printing rigid-substrate jobs was a multi-step process at AlphaGraphics Portsmouth. The process involved printing adhesive vinyl on a roll-to-roll printer and manually mounting the printed sheets to boards.
“Every rigid material job involved cutting, applying vinyl, rolling through twice, and trimming everything,” said Oberg. “That multistep process is no longer needed for a majority of our orders, simplifying around 90% of our orders.”
The Pro 16h printer’s powerful UV LED technology is capable of printing directly on a wide range of substrates that cannot withstand high heat required for curing or drying with traditional UV or latex printers.
AlphaGraphics Portsmouth’s new prin ter features an EFI Fiery® proServer Core digital front end with FAST RIP acceleration technology that helps get work prepped and printed faster than before. The team was familiar with Fiery, having used it on its cut-sheet digital printers. Training helped the team adapt quickly to the new hybrid large-format device. “After install and training our staff really took to it,” said Carrier. “They saw the efficiencies and elimination of extra steps.”
Four hours of labor savings daily
The shop has already started to benefit from higher throughput and more reliable production turnaround. Printing at resolutions up to 1,200 dots per inch, the EFI Pro16h prints at a production speed of up to 311 square feet per hour in four colors, It also includes a high-quality, highly opaque white ink that gives AlphaGraphics Portsmouth more options to produce vibrant, full-color work on projects printed on clear or colored substrates.
Between the printer’s technical capabilities and the shop’s new ability to print direct to substrate, AlphaGraphics Portsmouth has saved about four hours in labor every day and eliminated the need for reprinted jobs that resulted from human error.
For more information about EFI’s advanced technologies for digital printing, visit www.efi.com.
Here’s a surprising statistic: As of June 2021, the current installed base of EFI™ Reggiani BOLT industrial digital textile printers have printed more than 50 million linear meters of fabric worldwide. The printer made its worldwide debut in November, 2018.
With recent enhancements to the BOLT’s hardware and software, EFI Reggiani executives believe the Reggiani BOLT is well-positioned to make an even greater impact on the textile manufacturing industry.
Rationale for Upgrade
The enhancements will help advance the adoption of digital printing as a sustainable replacement for analog textile dyeing procedures that make textile manufacturing the second-largest polluting industry in the world.
“With the industry’s top speed and now the delivery of even higher print quality, the EFI Reggiani BOLT can help spur a revolution in textile printing,” explained EFI Reggiani Senior Vice President and General Manager Adele Genoni. Thanks to the printer’s superior throughput, reliability, and uptime, she believe the Reggiani BOLT can help migrate more production to digital technology while ensuring the fastest return on investment on high-volume work.
“The time for single-pass technology is now with this best-in-class, sustainable, high-quality and high-throughput digital textile print solution.” Genoni adds, “With the BOLT’s new enhancements, the economic cross-over point between analog and digital printing of fabrics is lower than ever before,”
Upgrade Feature in Reggiani BOLT
Below are some of the enhancements that are the industrial digital textile printer’s overall performance, printing quality, uniformity, and increased user friendliness
Dedicated color profile creation on the newest EFI Fiery BT-1000 digital front end (DFE) that drives the printer. This feature delivers more intense tones and improves the capabilities for matching existing color profiles commonly used in digital textile printing.
Increased file processing speed of up to 200% for large, complex files will improve overall productivity.
Technology to compensate for missing nozzles that may occur over time will minimize artifacts, enhance uniformity, and deliver smoother solid colors.
Integration of a new digital camera provides precise, consistent print results and shortens the time for printhead replacement and alignment
An enhanced user interface (based on EFI Fiery Command WorkStation® 6.0) makes it easier for operators to manage print jobs.
A Fiery Smart Ink Estimator can affect job profitability by accurately calculating ink costs prior to printing the job.
About EFI Regianni
In 2021, EFI Reggiani celebrates 75 years of heritage, innovation and glamour in the textile world. Since the creation of the first Reggiani Textile Printer in 1946, the company has become the trusted partner for integrated, scalable solutions for the entire textile process – from yarn treatment to fabric printing and finishing.
“Textile has been in our DNA since the beginning,” said EFI Reggiani General Manager Adele Genoni. “We are always moving to the next level, thinking ahead and developing high-tech, quality and reliable products as well as new textile industry solutions and processes. We are proud of achieving this 75 years of innovation milestone.”
“We are also pleased to be a part of the success of so many global textile manufacturers and apparel brands over the past seven decades and into the future,” she added. “We have very close relationships with our customers, and the collaboration we have together allow us to develop groundbreaking new technologies. The three new printers we are launching this year speak to the legacy and expertise for solutions that have made our technologies a benchmark of productivity and quality.”
Reggiani Tessile – which was one of the largest fabric manufacturing companies in Italy – created the Reggiani Macchine company to meet its needs in machinery development.
The company started a new chapter in the early 2000s with the introduction of digital printing technology to their product range.
In 2015, Reggiani Macchine joined the Electronics For Imaging (EFI) family. Since then, the company, based in Bergamo, Italy, has accelerated its mission in driving the transformation of analog to digital imaging in the textile segment.
EFI Reggiani’s product portfolio has continued to expand. In addition to the single-pass Reggiani BOLT, EFI Reggiani products include rotary and flatbed printing machines as well as scanning/multi-pass digital textile printers.
The company has also substantially advanced its ink offerings, becoming a recognized leader as one of the only manufacturers of a full range of inks used in industrial textile manufacturing.
For more information the EFI Reggiani portfolio of digital textile printing solutions, visit www.efi.com/reggiani.
EFI announced global availability of Reggiani BOLT upgrades June 24, 2021
The printer features inline fixation (inline sublimation) for an efficient 1-step direct-to-fabric printing process.
When the inks are fused directly into the fabric, producers of decorated textiles maintain the soft feel of the printed fabric without the extra time, costs, and floor space of using a rotary heat press (sublimation calendar) to transfer the inks printed on specialized paper to the fabric rolls.
Andrea Riccardi, head of product management, Durst Group AG, notes that “The Durst P5 TEX iSUB is operated by only one operator, and the process acceleration increases our customers’ ability to deliver.”
The P5 TEX iSUB printer can print onto transfer papers if a specific job requires it. The combination of direct-to-fabric and dye-sub transfer processes in one system gives users enormous flexibility.
Soft Signage Market is Growing
The P5 TEX iSUB printer can help print-service providers meet the growing demand for digitally printed polyester fabrics in multiple markets, including visual communications, decor, and apparel.
Sublimated fabrics are commonly used to make photographic backlit and front-lit displays for stores, museums, and trade shows as well as theatre backdrops, and custom upholstery, pillows, drapes, and tablecloths for restaurants, hotels, offices, homes, and event venues.
“Durst has been active in the soft signage market since 2010,” says Christian Harder, Vice President Sales, Durst Group AG. The company has placed more than 250 Durst Rhotex textile printing systems in the market worldwide.
“The P5 TEX iSUB combines efficiency, quality and productivity at the highest level,” Harder adds. “We are convinced our solution will give a significant boost to the soft signage market.”
Contactless Fixing Technology
Durst RIP software and Durst Sublifix dye sublimation ink delivers vivid colors, even on difficult media such as blackback materials for frontlit displays or backlit fabrics for lightboxes.
The innovative contactless fusing on the Durst P5 TEX iSUB printer ensures excellent color consistency as well as extreme sharpness of detail in images and text. Blurring or bleeding colors are virtually eliminated.
This means users can produce decorative fabrics with strong, brilliant colors and exact reproduction of details. The two-step print-and-transfer process isn’t required to produce flags that show bold colors on both sides of the material.
Other features include an integrated finishing unit that can be used to sew and stitch the printed fabric and an optional Dual Roll system that allow two 1.6 meter-wide rolls to be printed simultaneously.
The maximum print speed is 383 m2/hour when the 330 cm print format is fully utilized.
Field Tested at ABS Group
The Durst P5 TEX iSUB is being field testing at the ABS Group in Treviso, Italy. The ABS Group has a long-standing partnership with Durst and has worked with Durst Rhotex 500 and Durst Rhotex 325 textile-printing systems years.
At the ABS Group, “The Durst P5 TEX iSUB is proving its reliability in 24/7 operation,” said Andrea Riccardi.
With the Durst Analytics tool, ABS Group managers can flow production data from the P5 TEX iSUB into their company’s ERP software to optimize production planning and individual processes.
About the P5 Series
Introduced in 2018, Durst’s P5 generation of printers are engineered for high-speed, high-volume offset-quality production with ultra-precise drop placement and industrial-level reliability. P5-series printers share five core attributes: productivity, reliability, workflow, versatility and print quality.
The Durst P5 printers include: Durst-developed software and workflow solutions; state-of-the-art, touchscreen user-interfaces, and leading-edge remote service capabilities. Everything is designed to maximize performance and uptime of the printer and giver users high levels of flexibility in media and job handling.
Durst is a manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies. Durst is a family company with an 80-year history, where values are focused on innovation, customer orientation, sustainability, and quality. For more information about the Durst Group visit: www.durst-group.com
Durst announced the P5 TEX iSUB printer on April 29, 2021
Kornit, a worldwide market leader in digital textile printing technology, has announced its new MAX technology for on-demand fashion and apparel production. The first printer equipped with Kornit MAX technology is the Kornit Atlas Max industrial DTG printing system.
MAX technology was developed to surpass industry norms for retail quality on multiple fabric types and break new ground in terms of versatility. By enabling previously unattainable print applications, Kornit MAX can expand the reach of digital on-demand textile production into the center of mainstream fashion and apparel.
A key feature of Kornit’s MAX technology is XDi, which delivers revolutionary 3D capabilities for new, high-density graphic decoration. XDi, which is based on Kornit’s patents, can simulate embroidery, vinyl, and heat transfer in a single, waste-free digital process. This allows fulfillers and brands to expand their offerings to include a wider range of garment decorations without the inefficiencies and cost of operating analog technologies.
Kornit also debuted ActiveLoad Automation technology, a new robotic system to significantly ease the burden of manual and labor-intensive media handling in the textile decoration industry. This increases total output per shift while ensuring minimal downtime and exceptional reliability. The new patent- pending ActiveLoad Automation technology ensures continuous production and consistency, while decreasing human error and fatigue. It can achieve optimal results and operational efficiency regardless of the experience and training of the equipment operator.
Kornit Atlas MAX
The Kornit Atlas MAX, a carbon-neutral, industrial-scale DTG production system. The system provides superb retail quality, exceptional color-matching capabilities, and a wide, vivid color gamut, with exceptional durability.
It can print images up to 23.5 x 35 inches on garments such as T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and children’s wear, as well as tote bags, clutch purses, and other accessories. It can image to products made from cotton, polyester, cotton-polyester blends, Lycra, viscose, silk, leather, denim, linen, wool, and more.
Extending the HD technology by Kornit, the Atlas offers the ultimate printing experience for high volume production environments. The Atlas MAX is delivered with the new XDi technology for dimensional printing capabilities built in.
Inks: The printer uses 6 colors (cyan, yellow, magenta, black, red, and green) Neo-Pigment Eco-Rapid water-based ink plus a white ink for printing bright colors on dark garments. The Eco-Rapid inks are available in easy-to-replace 4-liter (135 oz.) bottles for efficient production and lower ink costs.
Other Features: The user-friendly workstation supports intuitive, independent control over every part of the printing process. The Atlas MAX printer also provides workflow consistency, remote service capabilities, automatic wrinkle detection, and faster, easier and safer pallet replacement.
“Kornit’s new MAX capabilities bring sustainable on-demand production to the mainstream,” said Omer Kulka, Kornit Digital CMO. “We plan to roll out the MAX technology to additional lucrative market segments such as team sports, athleisure, diverse categories of fashion, and home décor applications,”
He added that“ Kornit innovation arrives at just the right moment to match supply to demand – demand that requires freedom of design for self-expression, quality, and sustainable practices; and supply that expands on-demand capabilities enabling the direct-to-consumer vision.”
Current users of Kornit Atlas systems will be available to upgrade their equipment with XDi technology during the first quarter of 2022.
“There’s a growing realization and acceptance that on-demand production is the answer to meet the demands of today’s consumer,” said Ronen Samuel, Kornit Digital CEO. “Kornit’s MAX technology defines the future of on-demand, sustainable textile production, and the future is here now. MAX offers a rare sustainable symbiosis, more creativity, less waste. I am excited to experience what’s possible once the collective brilliance of our industry begins to create digitally, without limits. A world of opportunity awaits us.”
“Our customers have a strong, growing need for retail quality and additional applications, and we are confident the Kornit Atlas MAX will equip us to meet that demand,” added Scott Valancy, COO, Monster Digital, which beta-tested the new system.
About Kornit Digital
Kornit Digital develops, manufactures and markets industrial digital printing technologies for the garment, apparel and textile industries. Kornit delivers complete solutions, including digital printing systems, inks, consumables, software and after-sales support. With its exclusive eco-friendly NeoPigment direct-to-garment printing process, Kornit technology enables innovative business models based on web-to-print, on-demand and mass customization concepts. Founded in 2002, Kornit Digital is a global company, headquartered in Israel with offices in the USA, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit the Kornit Digital website: https://www.kornit.com/about-us/
MCC is also utilizing Digimarc non-serialized digital watermarking identities with its client Orkla to improve the sortation of plastic and promote a circular economy.
Traceability for Food Packaging
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recalls in the food industry cost approximately $29 million per occurrence. To help mitigate the impact of these recalls, MCC and Digimarc have co-developed a hybrid printing method in which Digimarc Barcode can be printed in large volumes.
Plastic clamshells containing berries, for example, can be serialized with a Digimarc-enhanced label produced by MCC’s hybrid printing process. Quality control procedures ensure Digimarc is scannable throughout the supply chain. And when consumer brands combine serialized products with an IoT management platform, individual packages can easily be traced back to their origin at a specific farm, as well as across the entire supply chain.
“Traceability is essential for consumer brands and food manufacturers to promote consumer safety, mitigate risk and gain real-time insight into raw materials and product locations in farms, warehouses, logistics and distribution centers,” said Matthew Thomas, Business Development Manager, MCC. “MCC’s rich expertise in the area of digital and hybrid printing brings Digimarc’s serialized identities to life and at scale. It’s a partnership that is perfectly positioned to impact the food supply chain of today and the future.”
Improving Plastic Sorting During Recycling
MCC Verstraete IML is working with Orkla, a leading supplier of branded consumer goods, to introduce Digimarc’s digital watermarking identities into packaging for one of its product lines. The interactive IML (Injection Moulding Labels) with Digimarc, can enable accurate and reliable scanning to improve plastic sorting, and return more plastics back into the recovery stream.
“With Digimarc digital watermarking, we can alter how people view waste. For example, when a bottle is empty, it becomes unwanted—something to be discarded. Now imagine if, instead of just throwing this away, the consumer could scan the bottle with their smartphone and be shown new possibilities,” said Pavel Komurka, Packaging Innovation and Sustainability Coordinator, Orkla. “We could present ideas and provide examples, from reuse options to new products created at the end of a recycling stream. With Digimarc, we’re able to explore an exciting new world of opportunities.”
“Our partnership with MCC provides a tangible way for consumer brands to get started on their traceability and recycling initiatives,” said Scott Wilcox, VP, Client Services, Digimarc. “By partnering with the intelligent labeling experts at MCC and MCC Verstraete IML, we can improve sortation and the re-use of plastic materials, an issue of paramount importance to the world we all share. Our solution starts with the action of the consumer and extends into better identification in material recovery facilities, eliminating more of the waste that ends up in our environment.”
Intelligent Food Labelling White Paper
MCC published an original white paper, “Intelligent Food Labelling” for product tracing and supply-chain management. The white paper highlights the challenge of food safety, outlines the benefits of Digimarc Barcode and details how MCC is working with Orkla to support its sustainability goals.
Takedown Inc., a custom merchandise manufacturer in Lawrenceville, Georgia, is implementing the Kornit Avalanche HD6 and Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro direct-to-garment (DTG) systems for on-demand fulfilment of garment orders placed through e-commerce sites.
Founded in 2005, Takedown Inc. began as a supplier to the wrestling market. Since then, it has grown to offer uniforms and training apparel for soccer, lacrosse, track, baseball, and softball teams.
Through the company’s TKDN Vault service, Takedown makes it easy for influencers, corporations, and sports organizations to create customized brands, design branded apparel and products, and manage production, inventory, and fulfillment.
To meet the wide range of needs of its broad base of customers, Takedown offers a combination of screen printing, sublimation, embroidery, cut-and-sew, technologies, and e-commerce fulfilment services.
Kornit’s industrial Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printers are ideal for e-commerce businesses because the printers make it possible and profitable to accept, quickly produce, and ship orders for quantities ranging from 1 to 500.
Kornit Avalanche Printers
The Kornit Avalanche HD6 provides businesses like Takedown Inc. with an efficient, eco-friendly, single-step process to imprint garments and promotional products.
Users can print graphics on fabrics such as cotton, cotton-polyester blends, Lycra, viscose, silk, leather, denim, leather, and wool at the push of a button. The six colors of ink (plus white) deliver extraordinary wash-fastness and lightfastness, color gamut, and photorealistic imagery.
The Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro industrial DTG printer was developed specifically to print graphics and images on garments made from dark polyester and polyester blends. This makes it an ideal fit for decorating performance sportswear and athleisure apparel.
Why Takedown Chose Kornit
Takedown Inc. turned to Kornit Digital to maximize the growth of their on-demand web business long-term.
“We are very excited to have this new Kornit system up and running,” said Dustin Kawa, CEO and Founder of Takedown Inc. “At Takedown, it’s always our highest priority to provide our clients with exceptional service utilizing the latest printing technology.”
“Kornit is synonymous with the best of the best in fast, clean, profitable, on-demand production, and we’re prepared to go to the mat with any supplier that thinks they have what it takes,” said Chuck Meyo, President of Kornit Digital Americas. “We welcome Takedown Inc. to the Kornit customer family, are proud to offer the capabilities around which they’ll grow their business. We look forward to tag-teaming the challenges and opportunities of the booming sportswear market in the digital age.”
About Kornit Digital
Kornit Digital develops, manufactures and markets industrial digital printing technologies for the garment, apparel and textile industries. Kornit’s complete solutions include digital printing systems, inks, consumables, software, and after-sales support. Leading the digital direct-to-garment printing market with its exclusive eco-friendly NeoPigment printing process, Kornit caters directly to the changing needs of the textile printing value chain. Kornit’s technology enables innovative business models based on web-to-print, on-demand and mass customization concepts.
Kornit also offers a revolutionary approach to roll-to-roll digital textile printing. They have engineered digital textile printing machines and inks that reduce the number of different ink sets and additional finishing processes that were traditionally required to print on different types of fabric.
Founded in 2002, Kornit Digital is a global company, headquartered in Israel with offices in the USA, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit Kornit Digital at www.kornit.com.
In February 2021, HP announced the HP Latex 700 and 800 series of wide-format roll-to-roll printers for print-service providers who want to diversify their offerings, sharpen their sustainability edge, and meet more challenging customer needs.
After a year of business disruption across the large-format industry, the HP Latex 700 and 800 series bring features that enable print-service providers to be more agile, tackle ambitious projects, and take on higher value work. Two models the 700W and 800W include white ink for applications such as window graphics and day/night backlit graphics. All four machines in the series can produce vehicle graphics, canvas, polyester and cotton fabrics, and wallcoverings for full room installation.
“The new Latex 700 and 800 portfolio will allow PSPs to win big by navigating customer challenges in the next normal and embracing more ambitious projects — safe in the knowledge their work will deliver,” said Guayante Sanmartin, General Manager, Large Format Business, HP. “When you think about HP Latex, imagine the unique ability to say yes to every customer request, regardless of fast-changing schedule or application demands. Help meet deadlines with undisputable operator and environmental safety. With HP Latex, every signage and decor decision becomes a sustainable one.”
All four models can handle media rolls from 10 to 64 inches wide, including indoor and outdoor banner materials, self-adhesive vinyls, films, fabrics, papers, wall coverings, canvas, synthetic papers, mesh, and textiles (with the textile kit accessory).
The four models in the latex 700/800 series are differentiated by the size of the ink cartridges they hold, the ability to print white ink, and higher productivity levels.
HP Latex 700: One-liter ink cartridges, High-Speed (4-pass) Print Mode for Outdoor Graphics: 334 sq ft/hr.
HP Latex 700W: One-liter ink cartridges, plus White ink. Additional print modes include: White Spot (60%), White Overflood (60%), White Underflood (100%) and 3-layer Day/Night backlit graphics
The 800 series printers include updated printheads with more nozzles and larger curing units. The 800-series printers offer up to 50% higher productivity levels compared to previous HP Latex roll-to-roll printers.
HP Latex 800: Three-liter ink cartridges, High-Speed (4-pass) Print Mode for Outdoor Graphics: 388 sq. ft./hr.
HP Latex 800W: Three-liter ink cartridges, plus White Ink. Additional print modes include: White Spot (60%), White Overflood (60%), White Underflood (100%) and 3-layer Day/Night backlit graphics
Each HP Latex printing system is designed for sustainable impact through printer and cartridge materials, ink chemistry, printer operation, the print itself, the print display, and the product end of life.
According to an HP technical white paper, the HP Latex 700 and 800 printers use fourth-generation Latex inks that contain up to 65% water and provide advantages across the lifecycle compared to eco-solvent, solvent, UV-curable, and UV-gel inks.
HP Latex Inks provide outdoor durability and versatility across all common media types used in sign and display applications. The inks produce odorless prints, with low maintenance requirements, and reduced environmental impact compared to solvent or UV-curable inks.
No special ventilation is required with HP inks and they contain no Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). Printing with HP Latex inks avoids problematic reactive monomer chemistry and and ozone generation associated with UV printing.
With each new generation of HP Latex printing system, HP is committed to addressing current — and anticipated — environmental requirements. The HP Inks are UL GREENGUARD GOLD certified for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage. HP Latex inks are certified at the highest level, meaning the wallpaper print with HP Latex inks can be applied to all four walls in a typical office or classroom setting.
The newest HP Latex inks also are UL ECOLOGO certified for reduced environmental impact.
The HP Latex 700 and 800 printers use 8 printheads to deliver six colors of ink (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Light Cyan, and Light Magenta) plus a Latex Optimizer and a Clear Overcoat.
HP Latex 700W and Latex 800W printers use 10 printheads with the same six colors. optimizer, and clearcoat and two printheads with White ink. The white ink offers a 91% opacity level and doesn’t yellow over time.
Standardized tests conducted in May 2020 on black opaque self-adhesive vinyl revealed that the HP 839 White latex ink cartridge achieved the whitest white compared to the white inks on competitive solvent and UV printers in the under $50,000 price range.
The inks for these four printers are supplied in the HP Eco Carton, a cartridge made with a cardboard material that reduces the use of plastic by 80%. The HP Eco-Carton cardboard container can be recycled through local recycling streams. The ink bag and printhead can be recycled through the free HP Planet Partners program.
Smart front panel includes a built-in job queue that can store up to 100 jobs. This makes it faster and easier to process reprints of previous jobs.
Raiseable curing module makes it easier to load new rolls of media onto the printer.
Compatible with HP’s updated Latex Print and Cut Devices. The Latex 700 and 700W printers can be directly connected to the newest models of the HP Latex Print and Cut solutions. The HP 800 and 800W will require a RIP upgrade for direct connectivity. HP Latex printer/cutters solutions combine an HP Latex printer with a Graphtec vinyl cutter for the quick production of contour-cut stickers, labels, wall decals, floor graphics, window graphics, and other adhesive-backed materials.
The HP Print OS app enables you to control your print operations from wherever you happen to be. You can access and download job information, receive notifications of issues that prevent the equipment from operating, and monitor ink levels.
HP Inc. was recognized as one of the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies in the world. By working closely with partners and customers, HP manages each component in the printing system (printer, inks, printheads, and media) to provide end-to-end large-format printing systems that enable more comfortable and welcoming operations and strive to achieve a world without waste.
On February 11, 2021 HP Inc. unveiled HP Amplify™ Impact, an industry-first partner assessment, resource and training program aimed at driving meaningful change across its three Sustainable Impact pillars: Planet, People, and Community.Partners that pledge to join the HP Amplify Impact program will work with HP to assess their own practices while tapping into the company’s extensive investments and initiatives.
The EFI VUTEk Q series of superwide roll-to-roll printers were developed to deliver the highest image quality at the highest rated speeds in the industrial roll-to-roll printer market.
The EFI VUTEk Q3r and VUTEk Q5r printers can provide full-system solutions, from file submission to finished prints that are cut to size, rolled, taped, and marked for the designated display solution.
The VUTEk Q3r can print up to 138 in. wide on one superwide roll of flexible material or on two side-by-side rolls of 63-in. wide media. It runs at speeds of up to 6,006 sq. ft. per hour.
The VUTEK Q5r can print up to 198 in. wide on one superwide roll. It can be loaded with 3 rolls of 63 in. media. It runs at speeds up to 7,233 sq. ft. per hour.
The printers can handle the wide range of flexible materials used in sign and display graphics, wallcoverings, window and floor graphics, vehicle wraps, and manufactured decor products such as luxury vinyl tile.
“We designed the EFI VUTEk Q3r and VUTEk Q5r to go beyond printing to provide a complete print-to-finished graphic workflow (from RIP to finished product) on the same platform,” said Ken Hanulec, EFI vice president, worldwide marketing. “This new printer series brings unprecedented speed to our portfolio and a host of valuable features and options that take profitable roll-to-roll production to a new, higher level.”
Below is more information about the inks, printhead technology, optional power tools, print management systems, color controls, and cloud connectivity. Together, these features help improve the efficient, accurate production of many different types of jobs with minimal waste.
Both printers use nine UV LED-curable inks.
The four standard colors include: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
The five optional colors include: light cyan, light magenta, light black, white, and clear.
The configuration and type of inks you choose will depend on the type of applications you plan to do most often. For example, if you routinely print high-quality photos and graphics for museum exhibits and premium point-of-purchase displays, you will have different requirements than a shop that plans to print woodgrain patterns on the decor films used to make luxury vinyl tile.
Shops that create high-resolution photographic images will use the light magenta, light cyan, and light black inks to produce a wide range of colors with smooth transitions in the skin tones and greater detail in the shadows and highlight areas.
Companies that print on clear or translucent films for window graphics or backlit graphics will use a white ink to create a base layer for the color inks. And shops that want to produce wallcoverings and decor films with interesting textures will include a clear ink.
The clear ink either as flood coat to add protection to the print or surface. Or, the clear ink can be applied in layers to selected areas of the print to create textured or glossy highlight areas.
Graphic shops that will use VUTEk Q3r and Q5r machines to produce outdoor-durable vehicle wraps and fleet markings can choose 3M SuperFlex XF ink. Vehicle graphics produced with these inks and specific 3M wrapping films qualify for 3M’s Matched Component System warranty for vehicle-graphic performance.
The LED technology used to cure the inks on the surface of the substrate consumes less energy than other forms of UV ink curing. LED curing also improves control over the gloss and matte surface finishes, and expands the range of materials you can print to, including lower cost and specialty materials.
EFI UltraDrop Technology
Both printers use EFI’s UltraDrop technology with printheads that can deliver ink droplets as small as 7 picoliters and true resolution up to 1200 dpi.
The droplet size can be varied to produce high-definition image quality with smooth shadows and gradients and superb font quality even as small as three-point text.
EFI’s “power tool” options help improve overall throughput by removing the amount of manual processes involved in setting up, running the print job, or preparing the finished rolls of materials for delivery. Some of the optional Power Tools include:
X-Cutter: This tool cuts the prints to the desired length without the slowing down the printing.
Y-Slitter: This device cuts prints to the desired width, making it easy to produce multiple widths of prints on wide or superwide roll. This eliminates wasted media and includes collectors to hold the materials trimmed from the edges of the prints.
InSpec: This in-line print-quality monitoring system alerts the operator when print imperfections are spotted. The operator can take corrective action before imperfections on reproduced on multiple prints.
Roll & Tape: This automated device takes printed cut sheets directly from the printer, rolls them into scrolls, and tapes the edges with labels that include printed job information.
ID Backprint: This features enables you to print customer information on the backside of the printed media.
Automatic Backlit: This print control makes it possible to print each side of a media with a different print mode.
Super Duty Winder: This equipment is used for loading heavy media rolls.
Fiery proServer RIP Premium Digital Front End
Print jobs are set up and managed through a mobile operator touch screen connected to the Fiery ProServer Premium digital front end (DFE). This high-powered DFE combines Fiery XF software with EFI’s cutting-edge server hardware and Fiery FAST RIP for accelerated processing of the large file sizes associated with grand-format printing. In addition for tools for managing job layouts, print modes, and color quality, Fiery DFE Systems include options such as Fiery Spot Color, Fiery Color Profiler Suite, and Fiery Color Verifier.
Fiery Spot Color automates the process of matching spot colors and brand colors used on the many different substrates in advertising, promotional, and display graphics.
Fiery Color Profiler Suite is comprehensive toolset for creating custom color profiles for the precise and repeatable production of colors on both the monitor used to soft proof jobs and the printer and media you plan for use.
Fiery Color Verifier can measure, compare, verify, and correct the color values of prints. It can be used to enable remote proofing, matching prints to standards, or verifying that colors printed in one run are consistent with the colors produced earlier or on a different printer. The Fiery Color Verifier works with internal and external spectrophotometers
Operators of the EFI VUTEk Q3r and Q5r printers can use the mobile touchscreen stations to connect to new EFI IQ cloud-based applications. With EFI IQ applications, users can track ink and media usage for each job, and monitor job queues and production downtime.
Comments from Users
The world’s first VUTEk Q5r installation side was Yahav Digital Print, a large-format print production company in Israel that currently uses four EFI roll-to-roll printers.
“Our new VUTEk Q5f was installed in October 2020, and we have been running it in full production ever since,” said Zevik Nur, CEO of Yahav Digital Print. “It has exceeded our expectations in terms of reliability, production speeds, print quality, ink consumption, media utilization, and ease of use. We can shift a lot of jobs to the new Q5r and our customers are highly satisfied with our ability to shorten lead times and produce even higher quality prints at faster speeds.”
David Aloni, CEO of Xtreme dpi, said, “As part of our due diligence in selecting a new roll-to-roll printer, we ran the EFI VUTEk Q5r through its paces, including full production. It is the fastest printer in its class, achieving a record production speed. We found its print quality second to none, even for the most challenging files and media types.”