Printing, which has seen many advances being made in the last few years, is an exciting growth sector.Launched as a dedicated sector at ITMA 2019, the printing and inks chapter had grown by 40% compared with ITMA 2015, and featured many established and new exhibitors who were keen to exploit the digital printing sector. Let’s discover the latest digital printing solutions presented at the fairgrounds this year.

Kornit Digital brings sustainable solutions for industrial printing

(Left) Chris Govier, Managing Director, Kornit Digital Europe; Omer Kulka, VP of Marketing & Product Strategy, Kornit Digital; Ronen Samuel, CEO of Kornit Digital took a photo after the press conference.

Driven by mega-trends, brands and retailers seek to connect with consumers, and are adapting their supply chains accordingly, paving the way to digital textile printing.

At the press conference on the second day of ITMA 2019, Ronen Samuel, CEO of Kornit Digital, pointed out the mega-trends driving for change: personal expression in the social media era; an e-commerce environment of endless choices; and a strong sustainability imperative.

Samuel explained that Kornit’s mission is to be the vendor of choice for apparel and home décor industry players, and to accelerate the supply chain optimization.

“We work closely with the world’s leading brands to support their business innovation strategies. Kornit's technologies enable unlimited design creativity, faster turnaround times and sustainable production, he commented.

Kornit Digital demonstrated its strong presence at ITMA in Barcelona. One of the highlights was the brand-new Kornit Presto, which was commercially released at the show.

The Kornit Presto, which is anindustrial single-step solution for direct-to-fabric printing, addresses the supply chain challenge head on. The system is suited for the home décor and fashion markets. It eliminates the need for pre and post treatment of fabric and allows for high-quality printing on an extraordinarily broad variety of fabric types.

Kornit Presto is an industrial single-step solution for direct-to-fabric printing.

In addition, the Kornit Presto solution uses the 100% water-free patented NeoPigment process, and is a short process from file to finished product, making it anenvironmentally friendly solution for direct-to-fabric textile printing.

Also on display in the booth were the Kornit Atlas and the Avalanche Poly Pro systems that were introduced earlier this year. Following dozens of installations worldwide and successful ramp-up at multiple customer sites, hundreds of thousands of garments have already been produced. Kornit performed live printing of Adidas products on these two systems at ITMA.

Adidas has recently invested in the Kornit Atlas and Avalanche Poly Pro solutions and is looking to expand its digital embellishment capabilities further.

Another solution that took the center stage was Kornit Konnect. It is a cloud-based software analytics connectivity platform that enables businesses to monitor production, analyze insights and manage their fleet, to eliminate blind spots.

While businesses need to deliver high quality, faster than ever, to maintain customer loyalty, they are also challenged to maximize their efficiency and productivity,” said Omer Kulka, VP of Marketing & Product Strategy at Kornit Digital. “Konnect empowers these businesses to make better-informed production decisions, with greater visibility and control over their operations.”

Kornit Konnect includes a fleet management dashboard, data-driven benchmarks, actual production costs, and cost structures per job, making it easy for businesses to learn more, react faster and perform better.

Mimaki emphasizes accessibility of textile printing

The booth of Mimaki.Mimaki Engineering introduced its brand-new hybrid digital textile printer from the TX300P series at the press conference on the first day of ITMA 2019.

“The textile market is still relatively early-on in the adoption of digital printers, with most textiles being printed in the conventional way and a lot of large players dominating the market. With this new hybrid printer, Mimaki has provided an affordable solution that lowers the barriers to entry for smaller print providers,” said Ronald van den Broek, General Manager Sales EMEA, Mimaki Europe.

“For larger volume production houses, the printer is valuable for smaller runs and the myriad benefits digital production provides, he continued.

Uniquely featuring both direct-to-textile and direct-to-transfer print capabilities, the new printer achieves unparalleled flexibility in ink combinations and substrates – opening new profitable opportunities for businesses.

The new printer is an evolution of the Mimaki TX300P-1800, with the added capability of printing direct-to-transfer. Crucially, print service providers will benefit from enhanced versatility in terms of fabrics, applications and targeted markets.

This affords smaller print service providers with an opportunity to provide a full range of textile printing applications with just one system. Aligned with Mimaki’s Total Solution Provider approach, the printer is compatible with Mimaki’s full range of pre-treating, steaming and washing equipment.

Interchangeable platens enable the hybrid nature of the printer. When printing direct-to-textile, excess ink that penetrates through the fabric is drained by a platen with an ink-receiving ditch. This can quickly be swapped out for a vacuum platen, suitable for printing onto heat transfer paper.

The printer can also be configured with three different ink combinations, comprising textile pigment/direct sublimation or textile pigment/sublimation transfer or direct sublimation/sublimation transfer. This means more versatility and more possibilities, making it an ideal entry model.

Reliable productivity is assured with Mimaki Core Technology including a Nozzle Check Unit and Nozzle Recovery System. This enables the printer to automatically clean print heads when nozzles malfunction, and when nozzles are not repairable, switch any missing or damaged nozzles with working nozzles without stopping production and without affecting final print quality.

“The features of this new hybrid printer will enable textile and garment manufacturers to achieve unparalleled flexibility and enhanced application opportunities for increased business growth. With this product Mimaki is effectively democratising accessibility to textile printing, and with solutions like this in the market, we expect to see improved growth of digital printing in textiles,” van den Broek concluded. 

EFI Reggiani supports digital migration with complete solutions

Game-changing EFI Reggiani BOLT single-pass inkjet printer was presented at the stand.Electronics For Imaging, Inc. demonstrated the advanced, leading-edge technologies that make the company a textile innovator at ITMA 2019, including the game-changing EFI Reggiani BOLT single-pass inkjet printer – a digital textile solution capable of high-quality output at record production speeds of up to 90 linear metres per minute.

As introduced by Adele Genoni, Vice President and General Manager, EFI Reggiani, EFI is a partner to its customers in digital transformation with a complete offering of advanced printers, inks, pre- and post-treatment technologies and integrated design and workflow solutions.

We are very excited about our ITMA exhibit, especially to be showing the Reggiani BOLT to the general public for the first time along with our unmatched portfolio for advanced, efficient, high-quality digital textile production,” Genoni said. “Visitors will be more than pleased with how it creates a new path for the future with digital production.”

Commenting on the market trend, she said: “Customers are looking for customization and they want to change very frequently. So digital is the answer for the market to support the customers’ needs.” 

“Digital transformation is happening now, for sure. I am hearing more and more customers saying that the analogue printers are really part of the past. That means the speed of innovation into the digital is increasing. Now, it’s definitely the right time for digital transformation!” she underscored.

Adele Genoni, Vice President and General Manager, EFI Reggiani.

Some of the innovative solutions featured at the show including high-quality, highly productive EFI Reggiani COLORS printer, EFI Mezzera indigo dyeing and finishing technology, new EFI Reggiani FUOCO water-based acid inks, new EFI Fiery BT-1000 digital front end (DFE), newly launched version of EFI Optitex 2D/3D textile CAD software, a suite of Adobe Creative Cloud plug-ins Fiery DesignPro, etc.

The new, 1.8-metre wide Reggiani BOLT printer at ITMA is designed to give textile manufacturers high uptime and reliability, high performance throughout and unparalleled printing uniformity and accuracy, in addition to superior printhead life and minimal maintenance needs.

Thanks to its cutting-edge printhead concept and high-performance ink delivery system, the Reggiani BOLT reaches a record throughput speed of 90 metres/minute at a 600 x 600 dots per inch (dpi) resolution.

A robust, industrial platform designed for 24/7 operation, the Reggiani BOLT printer offers an innovative, low-maintenance, fast-startup recirculation printhead that delivers more-uniform, high-quality printing with superior uptime.

In addition, EFI’s stand at ITMA also featured one of the industry’s most-advanced workflows for design through production. The newest-version EFI Optitex software featured in the EFI exhibit addresses retailers’ and brands’ urgent need to bring new products to market faster.

The new release delivers true-to-life fabric simulations, enabling custom views of designs for consistent and adaptable 3D sample displays, minimising the need for physical samples and costly photo shoots across the design and production workflow.

Epson Total Solution enables high output and quality printing

The booth of Epson.ITMA 2019 is an opportunity for Epson to confirm its integrated system for the textile printing world. The all-inclusive textile digital printing system features state-of-the art textile printing technology, Epson PrecisionCore printheads and Genesta inks, which offer maximum results based upon Epson technology and fabric treatment expertise.

Epson showed its new Monna Lisa Evo Tre 64 and Monna Lisa Evo Tre 8, as well as its Monna Lisa Evo Tre 32 and Monna Lisa Evo Tre 16 at its booth.

The new Monna Lisa Evo Tre range features Epson PrecisionCore Technology to offer a complete solution for all textile market needs, from large scale, high speed production to small run, on demand sample printing.

The new flagship Monna Lisa Evo Tre scanning printer with 64 PrecisionCore printheads on display is built for high productivity (maximum printing speed of 779 sqm/h) without compromising the printing quality. Monna Lisa Evo Tre 64’s PrecisionCore technology combines quality, accuracy and speed which provides the maximum level of flexibility and reliability so that it is the right solution for a dynamic and diversified textile market.

In addition, the brand new Genesta PG-Revo is breakthrough pigment ink which provides the textile market with high rub fastness and high print quality. This assures eco-friendly performances because the fabric does not need any post-print treatment. In addition, the ink can be also applied on fabrics without pre-treatment, further boosting their eco-friendly performances.

Epson Europe DTF EMEAR and Americas Sales & Marketing Director Paolo Crespi said: “Epson keeps on renewing and extending the Monna Lisa Evo Tre range. The textile market is increasingly competitive and the exclusive high quality, productivity and colour fastness features offered by Epson is a way to stand out.”

MS Printing debuts breakthrough single-pass printing machine

Alessio Zunta, Business Manager of MS Printing Solutions.MS Printing Solutions, which is part of the Dover Digital Printing company, launched its MiniLario single-pass printing machine at ITMA 2019.

During an interview with CTA, Alessio Zunta, Business Manager of MS Printing Solutions, said: “The growth in digital is happening, for sure. More and more manufacturers plan to stop traditional printing and move to digital. This is nature revolution of technology!”

According to him, MiniLario has been developed to fill a gap in the market between its LaRio and JPK-EVO printers in terms of speed and return on investment.

“Mini lario is expected to strongly influence the future market for digital textile printing, thanks to its strengths – compact design, speed and high-quality output – which make it the ideal printer for the segment,” he said.  

Unlike the existing Lario, the MiniLario is a scanning printer. It takes substrates from 1.8 to 3.2m, with up to eight colours. It uses Kyocera printheads with maximum resolution of 600 x 600 dpi and 16 greyscale levels with drop sizes ranging from 4 to 72pl. The 64 printheads allow Mini Lario to reach the incredible maximum printing speed of 1094 m/h.

Mini Lario features a range of technical innovations, including bold solutions such as positioning the printing carriage hang on the printing bridge.

This solution allows for high-speed, accuracy and total system stability. It has received a great interest from the visitors during the show and all the stock was already sold out, he said.

“MiniLario is now the fastest scanning machine in the world,” he said. "We are the leader in the industry. We create the technology and the others try to follow."

He commented that China, the US and India are the top 3 markets for the company. Bangladesh is also rising and the company has sold some Lario over there. Other countries in South East Asia, such as Vietnam and Indonesia, will rise until the global political situation becomes clear.