Digital Textile Printing Is Rising at Standfast & Barracks

Standfast & Barracks in Lancashire, England is one of the most versatile fabric printers in the world. Established in 1924, the company produces fine-quality prints for design-led home furnishings and apparel brands. It is part of the British luxury furnishing group Walter Greenback Plc and has an international reputation for a commitment to quality, innovation, and advanced technologies.

The company produces more than 150,000 yards of printed fabric per month. And until five years ago, it was all done by conventional printing. Today, digital production accounts for more than half of its business revenues.

Ecofast™ Fabrics

At the Heimtextil show for home and contract textiles in January, 2019, Standfast & Barracks will formally launch their new Ecofast™ line of fabrics. The products are produced on the company’s Durst Alpha 190 textile printing system with One-Step Greentex P inks. The environmentally friendly pigment  and reactive and dispersion inks are based on Durst Water Technology.

The new Alpha Series, a super high-performance multi-pass inkjet printer, features different configurations and print widths for the digital production of clothing, home textiles and fashion.

Fabric printed on Durst Alpha 190
“Digital gives us unlimited opportunities and colour variations,” says Stephen Thomas (right) of Standfast & Barracks with Martin Winkler of Durst.

 

The Alpha series offers print widths of 190 – 330 cm (6.2 – 10.8 ft) and can be configured with up to 8 colors and 64 Alpha-S print heads that achieve a native resolution of 600 dpi and a print speed of 460 linear meters/hour (15,800 sq ft/hr). The Durst Alpha series provides continuous ink circulation in all ink circuits in order to guarantee constant ink quality and reliable stand-by availability. A new intelligent feed system has been developed for the Alpha series that adapts automatically to different textiles and roll diameters.

The Alpha Series combines new process technologies to control the interactions of printheads, ink system, textile material, tissue type, pre- and post treatment, thereby making them reproducible, when required – with the aim of further advancing the economic efficiency of digital textile print.

“Our investment in Durst’s digital technology continues to trigger new waves of innovations,” said Stephen Thomas, managing director of Standfast & Barracks. “Digital gives unlimited opportunities and color variations with the ability to develop new application and products and continue to develop our business. Digital is by far our biggest growth area. It’s the future.”

Standfast & Barracks produces stunning colors and designs on their Durst Alpha 190 textile printing system.

“Standfast & Barracks is an exceptional example of how innovative companies are pushing the barriers by continuing to invest in new digital technologies,” said Martin Winkler, segment manager, Durst Textile Printing. “We take great pride in working in partnership with our customers to help them to bigger and better things. And we look forward to continuing to work with Stephen and his great team to further help them grow opportunities that are virtually unlimited with digital.”

 

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General Marketing Solutions Is Redefining How Print Is Purchased

General Marketing Solutions (GMS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota is an integrated marketing services company that creates, executes and manages data and communication solutions across all marketing channels for all types of enterprises. They help clients coordinate digital marketing, direct mail campaigns, social media, e-mail, printed collateral, wide-format graphics, and fulfillment.

To expand their range of digital printing services, GMS recently installed a Konica Minolta Accurio-Jet KM-1 UV Inkjet PressThe press uses UV-curable inks to produce up to 3,000 instantly dry sheets per hour. It can print on a wide variety of materials including packaging board, plastics, synthetic materials, lightweight papers, and textured stock without any pre-treatments. The KM-1 handle sheets up to 23 x 29.5 inches.

“At GMS, our focus is to redefine how print is bought,” said Kurt Gonyea, President and CEO of GMS. “We bring to the table a solutions-oriented process that starts each conversation with strategy and return on investment. We wanted to invest in technology that would offer a full complement of printing capabilities to support this philosophy and fulfill our customers’ critical color needs and timeline requirements.”

(Left to right) Bill Troxil, SVP Strategic Business Development, Konica Minolta Solutions; Kurt Gonyea, President/CEO, GMS; Troy Mone, Manufacturing Manager, GMS; James Trowbridge, Director of Manufacturing, GMS. (Photo: Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.)

The AccurioJet KM-1 can be used for a variety of applications, including 3-panel and 4-panel brochures, pocket folders, posters, point-of-purchase graphics, narrow format signage, dust jackets, and wrap-around book covers. The KM-1 is ideal for projects that require variable data or duplex printing.

From Liquid Toner to Inkjet

Troy Mone, manufacturing manager of GMS, noted that the company had been using traditional liquid toner presses and it just seemed like the right time to move to an inkjet press: “After monitoring inkjet technology for years, we decided the best fit for our company was the AccurioJet KM-1.” He said the company has worked with Konica Minolta for in the past and is happy with their responsiveness and support.

GMS managers said the switch to inkjet technology has paid off. The AccurioJet KM-1 delivers outstanding stability in color and provides a wider and deeper color gamut than previous digital presses. They were also impressed with the color accuracy and image quality.

The Accurio-Jet KM-1 uses internal inline Konica Minolta sensing technology to automatically detect and correct image flaws.

Because the inkjet heads and other components can be replaced by it employees, GMS expects to be able to reduce downtime.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. offers customers the latest technology to help their businesses move forward. Konica Minolta is committed to providing the highest quality machines, inkjet technology, customization, and technical support services during installation and beyond.

Bill Troxil, senior vice president of strategic business development for Konica Minolta, said “We are excited about our new strategic partnership with Kurt Gonyea and his team at GMS. GMS is one of the top marketing services companies in the United States, providing a wide array of clients with leading-edge technology.” Troxil is confident that his customer’s success will continue for years to come. He believes GMS and its clients have gained a competitive edge because, “The AccurioJet KM-1 UV Inkjet Press provides GMS the widest flexibility of substrates in the marketplace.”

Adobe Announces PDF Print Engine 5 for Printing on Multiple Surfaces

Adobe has announced version 5 of the Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE). The Adobe PDF Print Engine is a software development kit that converts PDF job content (graphics, text, and images) to rasters for driving digital presses, wide-format printers, label printers, and platesetters. APPE is the leading rendering technology at the heart of prepress workflows in the $900 billion print industry.

The new version extends PDF Print Engine’s reliable color reproduction with new capabilities to harness the full potential of today’s digital and conventional presses. Ongoing innovations in inks and inkjet heads are creating opportunities to print on new surfaces. PDF Print Engine 5 will maximize color impact in the coming generation of textile presses, industrial print stations, and digital presses for label and packaging production.

The Adobe PDF Print Engine is deployed as part of prepress solutions developedd by Adobe print-solutions partners such as Agfa Graphics, Caldera, Canon, CGS, ColorGATE, Dalim, EFI, Epson, Esko, Fujifilm, GMG, Heidelberg, HP, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Océ, Riso, Screen, Sharp, Xanté, Xeikon, and Xerox.

From Creative Design to Remarkable Prints

The latest functionality in Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and InDesign CC, enable designers to push the creative envelope in terms of colors and special effects.Many designers produce graphically rich files that are increasingly complex to print. PDF Print Engine 5 is optimized to precisely render these complex jobs for printing on flat and contoured surfaces including paper, plastic, fabric, metal, ceramic, glass, and food products.

The new color features in PDF Print Engine 5 strengthen support for Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) digital presses with inksets that go beyond the traditional four-color base of cyan, magenta, yellow and black to magnify the visual and tactile effects of brand messaging.

New Features

Some of the new features in Adobe PDF Print Engine include:

High-speed edge enhancement. Anti-aliasing technology renders visually smoother edges on graphic objects, even at lower resolutions. It also reduces processing times to a fraction of the time of alternative and post-rendering methods.

Enhanced Unicode support. Control parameters, file paths, and passwords now include multi-byte characters from non-Roman character sets. This increases the ease-of-use in printing text in languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

PDF 2.0 print feature support. Black-point compensation (BPC) to preserve details in image shadow areas during conversions; CxF-defined spot colors (Color eXchange Format) to enable spectral-based color management; HTO (Half-Tone Origin) to align pre-imposed objects to the device pixel-grid, ensuring identical line-screens.

Page-level output intent. Color conversions for multi-page PDF 2.0 jobs can be managed on a page-by-page basis, enabling greater flexibility and automation in prepress workflows.

“Brand managers count on accurate reproduction of vibrant designs to connect with customers,” said Adil Munshi, vice president and general manager, Print and Publishing Business Unit, Adobe. “Print jobs that are authored in Creative Cloud, reviewed in Adobe Acrobat DC, and proofed and output by Adobe PDF Print Engine 5 will now deliver the fastest rendering, best-of-breed color imaging and predictable results every step of the way.”

PDF Print Engine 5 is now available to new and long-standing Adobe solution partners who are working to integrate it into their product lines. Adobe collaborates closely with market-leading equipment vendors in commercial printing, publishing, signage, CAD/GIS, photography, packaging/labels, direct mail, textiles/garments, and other manufacturing applications that want to optimize the Adobe PDF print experience.

When deployed in the Mercury RIP Architecture on multi-core, networked or cloud platforms, PDF Print Engine 5 can be scaled to drive high-volume production on a single press or across multiple presses. Print-service providers can buy (or upgrade to) products built on the Adobe PDF Print Engine 5 later this year.

Agfa Announces Apogee 11 with PDF Print Engine 5

In July, Agfa Graphics announced that Apogee 11 prepress solution will be the first product to incorporate Adobe PDF Print Engine 5.

Agfa Apogee 11 prepress software will use Adobe PDF Print Engine 5 to prepare printing firms for full compatibility with the new PDF 2.0 standard and to output designs correctly. (Photo: Agfa Graphics)

“When Adobe launched the PDF format in 1993, Agfa immediately recognized that is robust imaging model was well-suited for the graphic arts and developed our PDF-based prepress workflows, an industry first.”” said Erik Peeters, marketing manager, Agfa Graphics. “Print has changed dramatically over the last 25 years, but the new releases of Apogee and Adobe PDF Print Engine reaffirm the value and power of PDF for predictable reproduction of complex graphics.”

Graphic Village Installs Scodix Ultra2 Pro Digital Enhancement Press

Graphic Village is the largest, independent print marketing company in the Greater Cincinnati area. The multi-channel marketing solutions providers is a full-service provider for strategy, creative, print management, and execution.To push the limits of what the company could offer its customers, Graphic Village recently installed a new digital enhancement press: the Scodix Ultra2 Pro with Foil.

Graphic Village logo“The groundbreaking Scodix Ultra2 allows us to add striking digital enhancements and embellishments such as high-gloss spot applications, textured effects, and digitally applied foil,” said Graphic Village president Larry Kuhlman. “We really responded to the Scodix motto ‘the power of touch’.”

“The Scodix allows us to turn print into an experience,” adds Kuhlman. “We agree that having a physical element that can delight the senses is a game-changer for many campaigns. This machine is going to allow us to take that concept further, and truly create one-of-a-kind pieces that will let our customers shine.”

“Over the last year and a half, we have been making leading-edge investments in both our equipment and our people,” said Eric Kahn, Graphic Village CEO. “This is another chapter in that novel, and we are excited about what comes next.”

Kahn believes the digital enhancement press will not only open up new opportunities in commercial print, but also in other segments that Graphic Village serves: “We have a packaging division that does folding carton work, and we wanted to expand that world as well. This machine will let us do everything—print, packaging, and more. It will let us offer unique services and products that no one else in our market provides.” For example, Graphic Village plans to use the Scodix Ultra2 Pro with Foil to enhance business cards, invitations, annual report covers, and more.

To make customers aware of what’s possible, Graphic Village will start adding Scodix effects to clients’ completed work. When a client’s own product is digitally enhanced, they can see and feel how it can make sense for their business.

“We believe the Scodix Ultra2 is going to be a game-changer at Graphic Village,” said Mark Nixon, VP North America, Scodix. “They are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. This machine will help Graphic Village produce even more outstanding and unique pieces, including items with personalized, variable-data foil stamping and embossing. That will in turn help their customers stand out from the crowd.”

About Scodix

Scodix Ltd. wants to lead print enhancement into the digital age and be known for providing what customers need most—true brand differentiation for today’s highly competitive print envrionment.

Through the Scodix S Series, Scodix Ultra Series, and Scodix E106™ press, the company offers a range of applications, including:

  • Scodix Sense™, for exceptional tactile results for embossed effects;
  • Scodix Foil™, for unmatched foil-enhancement effects;
  • Scodix Spot™ for silkscreen effects;
  • Scodix VDP/VDE™ (with barcode) for personalization including variable foil;
  • Scodix Metallic™ for metallic coloring;
  • Scodix Glitter™ for a digital gllittering experience;
  • Scodix Braille™ for short-run production of braille documents;
  • Scodix Crystals™ that replace the manual placement of chatons; and
  • Scodix Cast & Cure™ for 3D holographic effects.

All applications can be manufactured on a single Scodix digital enhancement press. To see examples of how these embellishments are used, visit the Gallery on the Scodix website.