Mimaki’s digital DTF solutions at Gartex Texprocess 2023

Innovations in digital textile printing solutions

Naved Nakhwa with Deepak Saini and the TxF150-75 dtf printer. Photo IPP

At Gartex Texprocess 2023 in Delhi, Mimaki India, a provider of digital printing of textiles, introduced its first direct-to-film printer, the TxF150-75, for textile applications, which offers an alternative to printing direct-to-garment or via dye sublimation. Mimaki also showcased a new version of its Tiger sublimation printer, the Tiger 600-1800TS.

The TxF150-75 is based on Mimaki’s existing 150 series wide format printers. According to Naved Nakhwa, heading marketing at Mimaki, India, the TxF150-75 is Mimaki’s first DTF (direct-to-film) printer with a maximum printing width of 80 cm for producing DTF print transfer sheets. The PHT50 heat transfer pigment ink for DTF, consisting of five colors (CMYK and white), has acquired the Eco Passport certification, which is essential for obtaining international safety standards for textile products.

Nakhwa said, “The DTF printers have been facing ink ejection defects and white ink clogging. To overcome these issues, Mimaki has adopted a degassing ink design that uses aluminum packs as the printer’s ink packaging form as well as a white ink circulation function MCT (Mimaki circulation technology). The new printer features Mimaki’s NCU (nozzle check unit) and NRS (nozzle recovery system) technologies that support stable operation. They ensure continuous printing without stopping the operation.”

Tiger 600-1800TS

With two newly developed heads, the TS100-1600 has pursued high quality, high productivity, and stable operations as a sublimation transfer inkjet printer. It achieves about twice the high-speed printing of conventional machines for textiles.

The Tiger 600-1800TS has already been launched in the global markets. Photo IPP

In addition to NCU, NRS, and MAPS4 (Mimaki advanced pass system4), which enable stable high-quality printing, the DAS (dot adjustment system) was incorporated into the new 100 series printers. Dot position and feed correction, which used to take a lot of time and effort to do manually, can now be done automatically, reducing the workload on the operator.

The new Tiger can print at up to 550 square meters an hour. It takes media up to 1.9 meters wide with a print width of 1.85 meters. The ink used is Mimaki’s MLSb510 sublimation ink. There are four colors – blue, magenta, yellow, and black. Indian Printer and Publisher had earlier reported The Tiger comes with TxLink software, which Mimaki has developed specifically for the textile market. It is a considerable improvement over the previous model. It offers much higher productivity – up to 143% better than the outgoing model – and with half the footprint and less maintenance time needed.

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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