Mutoh and STS Inks partner for new STS modular DTF system

STS DTF System is a cost-effective and hassle-free solution

Mutoh Europe and STS Inks partnering for the new STS Modular Direct to Film system
Mutoh Europe and STS Inks partnering for the new STS Modular Direct to Film system

Mutoh Europe, EMEA subsidiary of the Japanese wide-format and desktop digital printer manufacturer and STS Europe, announced that they are joining forces for the new STS Modular Direct to Film system. Being developed in partnership with Mutoh Japan, the centerpiece of the new system is a compact 24’ (630 mm) wide printer built to fit onto a table-top or rolling stand in any size print shop. 

The STS DTF System is designed to be the most cost-effective and hassle-free solution to simplify the process of quickly creating custom t-shirts and apparel. In the EMEA business area, STS Europe will offer the STS DTF system through selected Mutoh distributors. The system will be presented at the STS booth (1F67) at the Fespa Amsterdam exhibition, to be held from 12-15 October 2021.

DTF has several advantages over traditional DTG (Direct-to-Garment) technology, which is limited to cotton pre-treated fabrics and wears faster. DTF is compatible with non-treated cotton, silk, polyester, denim, nylon, leather, 50/50 blends, and more. It works equally well on white and dark textiles and allows users to choose either a matte or glossy finish. DTF does not require cutting or weeding, creates crisp and defined edges and images, does not require advanced technical printing knowledge, and produces less waste.

“With the debut of our modular system, STS Inks has monumentally improved the process of DTF printing, especially for new entrants in the custom apparel marketplace and existing firms that are looking to expand their product line,” said Shahar Turgeman, founder of STS Inks. 

“We’ve given each of the essential DTF components a smaller footprint, deployed a user-friendly software program, bundled in the highest-quality supplies, and are offering the STS DTF System at a lower price with improved performance than anything available in the marketplace today.”

Mutoh on covering the specific needs of DTF

Mutoh Europe is pleased that STS selected our reliable made in Japan core technology for their DTF solution,” says Mitsuo Takatsu, Mutoh Europe’s managing director. “The STS VJ-628D printer is based on Mutoh’s existing ValueJet 628 eight-channel printer chassis. Mutoh Japan’s R&D team adapted the basic chassis to cover the specific needs of DTF, including but not limited to the capability of jetting white inks.”

“We look forward to partner with STS Europe for them to roll out this program throughout the EMEA business area through selected Mutoh certified distributors who have the local presence, the experience with our VJ-628 engine, as well as knowledge of the DTG/Textile markets. The total solution including all key components such as inks, TPU adhesive powder, PET film, powder shaker, and software will be fully supported and warranted by STS Europe”.

STS developed its DTF packages and programs to be a hassle-free alternative to what was previously available in the marketplace. The company devoted an exponential amount of time and research into pairing components that are easy to set up and use right out of the box. The result is a customer experience that is totally free of aggravation, unlike equipment and systems that often require numerous, highly frustrating calibrations and tweaking on arrival. 

In addition, STS offers unparalleled service and reliability, especially compared to the challenge of repairing breakdown-prone converted or refurbished printers – or those shipped from overseas – that are difficult to fix because required parts and technicians are not readily available.

The STS Inks DTF System simplifies traditional DTF processes and supply procurement. It begins with utilizing the STS VJ-628D Printer to print logos and/or artwork onto a single-sided coated PET Film. STS PET Film (available in multiple sizes of sheets and rolls) provides optimal printer roller traction with minimal static allowing for a high-quality printed image without background artifacts. It is manufactured to withstand the high temperatures and pressures of a heat press.

The cured film is then used to transfer the printed image onto textiles using a lightweight powder adhesive, applied with the STS automatic TPU adhesive powder shaker, which distributes the adhesive evenly across the artwork and enables the transfer process. STS Inks also offers hot-melt adhesive powder that is specially formulated to provide excellent bonding and flexibility properties, withstanding up to 40+ washes with maximum coverage and a high-level transfer rate.

As an alternative to the STS automatic TPU adhesive powder shaker for cut-sheet prints or roll to sheet prints, the printed film can be cured in the easy-to-operate STS Transfer Film Curing Oven, which is capable of curing film up to 13x 19 (58.42 cm x 48.26 cm) with a very small (23 x 6.6 x 15.7) (58.42 cm x 16.76 cm x 39.87 cm) footprint. Delivering a curing temperature up to 150° C (302°F) with just a 220V power supply, the oven has a digital timer control for TPU powder curing, which sounds an alarm on completion.

The STS Inks DTF system deploys Flexi/STS 628D RIP software, created exclusively for the STS VJ-628D printer. Flexi/STS offers a wide array of features, including fast processing speeds, time-saving enhanced printing while ripping, user-defined custom cut line names, and colors. With Adobe Illustrator layer support, multi-layer illustrator or PDF files can be split into multiple jobs, which then can be processed as spot colors like white and varnish.

The DTF Inks from STS Inks offer high color density, wide color gamut, and outstanding color saturation and are print head-safe with encapsulated resin and nano pigment. STS Inks are non-toxic and environmentally responsible, formulated for excellent performance and great wash fastness, with consistent color from batch to batch. Available in CMYK, white, and other color options, STS Inks are manufactured in the US and undergo rigorous testing.


2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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