Print Shop Saves Hours of Labor Daily with EFI UV-LED Hybrid Wide-Format Printer

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.”

Background

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.

AlphaGraphics Portsmouth co-owners Chris Oberg (left) and Chris Carrier

“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.

EFI Pro 16h Hybrid Roll-to-Roll/Flatbed Printer
The EFI Pro 16h UV-LED hybrid wide-format printer can print 4-color graphics on rigid substrates up to 65-in. wide and 2 in. thick and rolls of material up to 65 in. wide and 9 in. in diameter. The included white ink makes it possible to print 4-color graphics on clear or colored substrates.

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.

Art E-Commerce Website to Promote Independent Artists in Billboard Campaign

Here is a great example of how an e-commerce platform is using out-of-home advertising graphics to create a big impression in the physical world. Fine Art America, the world’s largest art marketplace, is planning an billboard advertising campaign that will feature art from 20 independent artists.

Fine Art America is currently conducting an online contest for artists who would like to see their works featured in the campaign. The contest is free to join and is open to artists from all over the world.

Fine Art America billboard
Fine Art America is running an online contest to pick 20 artists to feature in a billboard campaign.

“We’ve been in business since 2006 and have built one of the largest online art communities in the world with more than one million participating artists,” noted Sean Broihier, CEO of Fine Art America. “For 15+ years, we’ve been promoting our artists and their incredible artwork almost exclusively online. It’s time to showcase them in the real world.”

He adds that “The upcoming billboard campaign gives us an opportunity to reach a new audience of art buyers, build brand awareness for Fine Art America, and introduce the incredibly talented artists who use Fine Art America to sell canvas prints, framed prints, greeting cards, and more.”

Contest Rules and Timeline

Artists may submit up to three images in any two-dimensional medium, including paintings, photographs, digital art, and mixed media.

Submissions are due by August 31 and may be uploaded online at https://fineartamerica.com/billboard

On September 15, Fine Art America will select 20 winning images to appear on twenty billboards throughout the United States.

Each billboard will be at least 24 feet wide by 12 feet tall and will prominently feature the winning image, the title of the image, and the artist’s name or preferred social media handle. The billboards will be positioned in various cities throughout the United States and will remain visible for at least one month, each, during the fall and winter of 2021.

In addition to the top billboard prizes, Fine Art America will give hundreds of canvas prints and other products to participating artists who meet certain voting thresholds in the contest.

“What’s always been exciting about Fine Art America is the community aspect of the business,” noted Broihier. “We’re not just an e-commerce company selling a product. We’re a vibrant online community featuring millions of artists who use Fine Art America’s technology, marketplace, and fulfillment network to grow their personal art businesses.”

“We’re very excited to launch our billboard contest, review the artists’ submissions, and continue to shine a spotlight on living artists all over the world.” said Broihier.

To learn more and enter the contest, visit https://fineartamerica.com/billboard

On September 15, Fine Art America will select 20 winning images to appear on 20 billboards throughout the United States.

About Fine Art America

Fine Art America allows independent artists around the world to sell their art printed on dozens of items. In addition to traditionally framed wall art, the art and designs can be converted to wood art, metal prints, apparel, posters, tapestries, and art-inspired décor and lifestyle products such as shower curtains, duvet covers, throw pillows, yoga mats, tote bags, greeting cards, stickers, and spiral notebooks.

When buyers place an online order, the customized product is digitally printed at one of 16 production facilities in five different countries and shipped within 3 to 4 days. Hundreds and thousands of artists, photographers, and national brands sell their art on Fine Art America.

New Print Finishing, Packaging, and Design Event Planned for June 2022

The print finishing value chain will be the focus of a three-day exhibition and educational program being organized by The Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) and the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA). Titled” Amplify,” the event will take place June 14-16, 2022 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minnesota.

At “Amplify,” print and packaging designers, commercial printers, print finishers, binders, mailers, and creatives can learn more about post-press processes such as metallic decorating techniques, folding and gluing, UV coating, laminates, laser cutting, perfect and mechanical binding, folding, and direct mail processing and software

From the exhibit hall to the educational program and beyond, attendees will network with all the key players in the finishing cycle, learn best practices, discover emerging technologies, and hear real-world success stories.

Other association partners supporting Amplify include: AICC, the Independent Packaging Association, and RadTech, the Association for UV&EB Technology.

Amplify will feature an interactive learning experience through technology demonstrations, product spotlights, and classroom educational experiences. .

“After more than a year of virtual interactions and events, we’re proud to announce the launch of Amplify,” said Jeff Peterson, Executive Director of FSEA. “Amplify will connect and inspire all—from design to the final finished product.”

Kevin Abergel, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at MGI Digital Technology, looks forward to Amplify, stating, “Finally, someone decided to connect all the different levels in the print finishing ecosystem, with manufacturers, designers, and brands working together and learning from one another.”
He expects the event to be more about community building than selling machines: “Amplify will be the new standard-bearer for what trade shows can be in the future.”

“I am truly excited about the opportunity the new Amplify event and conference will provide. It will be an excellent way for printers, finishers, and designers to gain critical insights into the ever-changing and evolving world of digital print, digital finishing, and techniques for designing with these new possibilities,” affirmed Myron Werner, Director of Sales, Packaging and Print, at NC-based KURZ Transfer Products.
“This event will allow many to explore these new processes “hands on” during the Technology Center demonstrations and discover new techniques to deliver designs to the market faster than ever. These evolving technologies are providing new concepts and opportunities never possible before and it’s time to see them all under one platform in one place. Amplify fits the need.”

“Print and packaging designers strive to catch the eye of the consumer, and commercial printers need their customers’ printed products to excel,” said Thayer Long, President of APTech. “Amplify will be the venue to showcase the accomplishments, best practices, and innovation happening in the print finishing industry.”

APTech’s dedicated exhibit team is committed to helping exhibitors and sponsors reach their customers, build awareness, and generate new leads. They will also be able to connect with key players in the print finishing value chain from designers, creative and art directors, printers, finishers, and mailers. Exhibitors will be able to demonstrate their creative products and services through technology demonstrations and product spotlights. Attendee registration for Amplify will launch in early 2022.

To learn more about Amplify, visit amplifyprint.org or contact the organizers at info@amplifyprint.org.

Registration is Open for Label Congress 2021 in Chicago Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Registration is now open for Label Congress 2021, the first in-person networking and educational event for the US label industry since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organized by Labelexpo Global Series, Label Congress 2021 will be held Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Chicago, IL. Early bird discounts are available at www.labelexpo.com/congress/

Label Congress Logo

Lisa Milburn, managing director of the Tarsus Labels, Packaging and Brand Print Group, said: ‘Label Congress is a smaller, carefully curated event, different from Labelexpo Americas. This is to adhere to the strict guidelines of COVID-19 protocols, which will include wider aisles, reduced visitor traffic and a strict deep cleaning regime. We are working in partnership with local Illinois authorities, event partners and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to meet and exceed local safety standards.’

Label Congress 2021 will be built around two days of conference sessions featuring leading-edge presentations and discussion panel sessions. A Label Academy master class on self-adhesive materials will be held on the third day.

Running alongside the congress sessions and masterclass will be an exhibition hall packed with the latest technologies from leading industry suppliers including Xeikon, Accraply, Mactac, Durst, Fujifilm, Colordyne, Labeltraxx and Cartes.

The Congress conference sessions are broadly divided into Technology and Global Market overviews on day 1 (Wednesday, Sept. 29) and Future Proofing Your Business streams on day 2 (Thursday, Sept. 30).

Day 1 features an overview of the global label market, followed by a session on exciting new developments in digital embellishment technology. Panel discussions will look at how to optimize hybrid printing and strategies for diversifying into flexible packaging. The first day concludes with a session on how the Internet of Things will impact the future of smart labels and packaging.

Day 2 (Sept. 30) starts with Lifetime Achievement winner Federico d’Annunzio examining how converters should respond to brands’ increasing demands for data transparency. This is followed by panel discussions on practical sustainability strategies and how to recruit and retain talent, concluding with a session from regular L&L contributor Paul Brauss on lean manufacturing strategies.

Day 3 Masterclass (Oct 1). This optional half-day Label Academy Masterclass will be led by Tarsus Labels & Packaging group Strategic Director Andy Thomas-Emans. It is targeted at brand owners and designers who specify pressure-sensitive materials, as well as label converters and industry suppliers.

Deep-dive sessions will cover the nature, construction, and manufacturing of self-adhesive laminates, the importance of materials, and the need for different adhesives. Attendees will also learn how to use, identify, and test different laminate constructions and correct methods for handling and storage of unprinted and printed laminates,

Post-Conference Broadcast. The machine demonstrations and conference sessions will be made available to the rest of the global industry the day following the event itself, broadcast on Labelexpo’s secure online platform. This will allow a global audience to benefit from the technology demonstrations and expert-led sessions available to Congress visitors during the week Labelexpo Europe would usually be running.

‘Label Congress 2021 has been specifically tailored to the current climate and will give a much-needed chance for the industry to meet in person,’ said Label Congress 2021 Event Director Tasha Ventimiglia. ‘Label Congress 2021 is situated at the heart of the US print industry, within driving distance of most of the key converting states. The Congress will include a VIP program engaging directly with the key converters from the Midwest.’

From a leading converter’s perspective, Mark Glendenning, CEO & Owner of Inland Printing, said he is looking forward to Label Congress 2021 : ‘I want to be one of those first people reconnecting to the industry because I think we’ll get leverage like we’ve never gotten before. I encourage you to go to Label Congress. It’s a one-time opportunity that will never happen again. You’re going to want to be there.’

Commenting on the benefits of the Label Congress conference sessions, Glendenning added, ‘Education is so much more valuable when it co-exists with networking. Live conferences far exceed going it alone watching a Youtube video. Further down the road, if you come across a challenge, you’ve got people you can call to run it by. That’s the power of connecting education with networking. It’s invaluable.’

The next edition of Labelexpo Americas will take place on September 13-15, 2022, also at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

EFI Enhances Reggiani BOLT Single-Pass Industrial Digital Textile Printer

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.

EFI Reggiani Bolt printer
The EFI Reggiani BOLT is a 1.8 meter-wide (70.8 inches) single-pass industrial digital textile printer that uses water-based inks to print high-quality designs on a variety of fabric types at record-breaking speeds of up to 295 feet per minute (90 meters per minute). It is the first digital textile printer to receive the Printing United Alliance InterTech™ Award for advanced print technology innovations.

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

Sales of Printing and Finishing Equipment to Rebound in 2021

Data from the new Smithers report – The Future of Print Equipment to 2026 – show that the value of global sales of printing and finishing equipment fell from $17.3 billion in 2019 to $13.2 billion in 2020. It is expected to rebound to $15.9 billion in 2021.

Smithers’ expert forecasting finds that sales value will struggle to recover to this pre-pandemic level after
this initial rebound in 2021. Their analysts believe the market for printing and finishing equipment will be essentially flat, with a -0.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2021-2026 at constant prices.

This challenging outlook will place a premium on new technologies, value-adding systems and services plus greater automation as print-equipment manufacturers seek to maintain profitability.

To see the complete infographic with data about specific types of printing, visit: https://www.smithers.com/resources/2021/june/infographic-overview-of-print-equipment-markets

Geographic and Segment Differences

From 2021-2026 the largest growth market for equipment sales will be in Asia, especially
India and China.

Demand will decline in both Western and Eastern Europe.

North and Latin America will also see moderate rises in equipment sales by value over the period, of close to 1.0% CAGR.

The seismic impact of 2020 is being felt in all printing and finishing technology sectors and geographic markets, but not equally. Smithers’ analysis shows that a few segments will continue to expand through the 2020s as the buyers and print service suppliers adjust to a business environment reshaped by the experience of the pandemic.

The most severe effect will be in sales of analog platforms used in commercial print and publications, with some smaller print service providers pushed out of business. These applications were already in decline with falling print volumes across the 2010s. Now exacerbated by Covid. Smithers forecasts a -1.9% decline year-to-year for analog equipment over the next 5 years.

Overall increased demand for packaging presses and digital technology will largely balance out
this decline in demand for analog publishing presses, however.

Across the Smithers forecast period, the installed base of digital presses will grow overall, with electrophotographic presses adding particularly to the installed base.

The installed base of inkjet presses is forecast to be essentially static between 2021 and 2026, as the removal of wide-format presses compensates for greater use of single-pass and sheet-fed units in packaging and other alternative applications.

A leading trend that has seen a marked acceleration in 2020 is the shift to shorter print runs,
which is shifting the per unit print costs in favor of digital (inkjet and electrophotography)
presses.

Digital equipment is easier to integrate with e-commerce, web-to-print and print-on-demand service models, which are increasingly popular. Digital equipment can also deliver value-adding variable
data print.

In the short-term. many technology leaders are more focused on incremental improvements to existing platforms, until revenues recover. Tighter budgets mean there will also be more pressure on printing equipment manufacturers to revise their ink pricing strategies.

Traditional analog press builders are innovating in this space. Automation in prepress, on-press plate making and automated wash up will be priorities for analog press manufacturers to boost
operational effectiveness and maintain margins and profitability.

The cancellation of drupa 2020, and a reduced attendance at virtual drupa 2021, has broken
the industry’s reliance on this key event in the print calendar. This is leading firms to
investigate new online sales and marketing channels to engage with a global customer base
and demonstrate their latest equipment.

This matches with the imperative to offer more direct remote service and support online as Covid restricted on-site visits. Direct remote service and more online support will remain highly effective and low-cost means for both problem-solving and preventive maintenance, with conventional technology now supplemented by mobile and augmented reality systems.

About the Report

The Smithers “Future of Print Equipment Markets to 2026” report looks at the growth of the print equipment market across all key segments and geographic regions. It also examines the downturn in 2020 and reviews the extent and rate of recovery.

The focus of this report is on the print equipment used for commercial, packaging and production printing by print service providers (PSPs) and by packaging converters.

This report is based on extensive primary and secondary research. Primary research consisted of targeted interviews with printing material suppliers, converters and experts from key markets. This was supported by secondary research in the form of extensive literature analysis of published data, official government statistics, domestic and international trade organization data, company websites, industry reports, trade press articles, presentations, and attendance at trade events.

The primary author is Jon Harper Smith. His 15+ years of printing industry experience includes working with Fujifilm and industrial and package-printing businesses.

For more information about the Smithers report and the types of charts it contains, visit: https://www.smithers.com/services/market-reports/printing/future-of-print-equipment-markets-to-2026

For more information about Smithers, visit: https://www.smithers.com/about-us

Augmented Reality Graphics Installation Honors Community College Grads

In the spring of 2020, schools and colleges printed yard signs, pole banners, and other wide-format graphics to publicly honor home-bound graduating seniors. This spring, the tradition of finding creative ways to recognize graduating student continues, even as some socially distanced graduation ceremonies were streamed online or held live in front of limited numbers of attendees.

In honor of Lorain County Community College’s graduating class of 2021, LCCC created the “Doors of Opportunity” interactive graphics installation to celebrate each student’s resilient journey to become a college graduate.

Twenty-one full sized doors lined a grassy median stretching nearly 450 feet in the college’s parking area. Each door graphic linked to an augmented reality video that shared the personal story of a graduate from each of the college’s academic programs. These 21 custom videos featured 25 members of the class of 2021 who appear to enter their door in unique ways when viewers scan a QR code on every door.

The large-format AR installation “The Doors of Opportunity” featured 21 doors with QR codes that linked to
videos about graduates from different areas of specialization. (Photos: Lorain County Community College)

The Doors of Opportunity display was open to the public for eight days following the May 15 graduation ceremony. Visitors were encouraged to bring their smartphones to interact with the doors, take photos, and share on social media.

“The Doors of Opportunity honor the courage the class of 2021 demonstrated to achieve their academic goals,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “Many of our students faced incredible challenges throughout their journey and yet they persevered to become college graduates – perhaps during the most challenging years of their lives.”

Lorain Community College Graduate Akua Agyemang poses in front of the “Door of Opportunity” that tells the story of how earning her Associate Degree in Science will lead her to her next opportunities.

The 21 doors also represent the depth of academic opportunities LCCC provides its students by offering more than 100 programs, including a University Partnership providing bachelor’s and master’s degrees, high-school dual enrollment options, and short-term training certificates.

A door that featured the word “achieve” showed the story of Akua Agyemang, Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and member of the All-Ohio First Academic Team. Agyemang earned an Associate of Science degree with a 4.0 grade point average and plans to transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry before attending medical school to become an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Ballinger says that while the single row of doors symbolizes the commonality among a united graduating class, each door brings to life the unique path a student takes to reach graduation day.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to education no longer works in today’s world,” Ballinger says. “So LCCC meets our students where they are in life to help them reach their academic goals. And today, our graduates are walking through that door, toward the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Lorain Community College is located in Elyria, Ohio. For more information, visit: 21 Doors of Opportunity | Lorain County Community College (lorainccc.edu)

Durst P5 TEX iSUB Sublimation Printer Uses Inline Fixation for Direct-to-Fabric Printing

The Durst P5 TEX iSUB grand-format sublimation printer is an industrial-grade 3.3 meter (129 in.) printing system for soft signage and textiles for custom decor.

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.

Durst P5 TEX iSUB grand-format digital sublimation printer

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.

About Durst

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 Introduces Dimensional Print Technology on Atlas MAX DTG Printer

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.

Kornit MAX Technology
Kornit MAX XDi technology digitizes previously analog capabilities. For example, its dimensional printing can add this embroidery-like texture to a high-density digitally printed garment. (Photo: Kornit Digital)

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.

Fashion apparel that will be printed on demand can include designs that replicate embroidery. (Photo: Kornit)

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.

Kornit Atlas MAX
Kornit Atlas MAX industrial direct-to-garment printer (Photo: Kornit Digital)

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.

For more information visit: https://www.kornit.com/k-solution/atlas-max/

With Kornit MAX technology, a separate vinyl heat-transfer process isn’t required to produce decorative designs on streetwear. (Photo: Kornit Digital)

Delivering on the promise of digital production

“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/

Multi-Color Corp. Collaborates with Digimarc on Food Traceability Solution and Orkla on a Plastics Recycling Initiative

Multi-Color Corporation (MCC), a global leader in label solutions, and Digimarc Corporation, the creator of the Digimarc Platform for digital identification and detection, have established a partnership to serialize product packaging and labels with Digimarc Barcode in support of food safety and traceability initiatives.

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.

This Digimarc-enhanced label printed by Multi-Color includes an all-over “invisible” bar code that can be scanned even if the package has been crushed or rotated in the recycling stream.

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.