Sign & Digital Graphics

July '16

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38 • July 2016 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS Mimaki Sublimation Offerings Nakayama reports that the Mimaki TS300P-1800 dedicated dye sub printer is very popular right now. "It's a 77-inch dedicated transfer paper model for digital textile printing or applications requiring transfer to hard surfaces," he says. He adds that the recently introduced Mimaki TS500P-3200 printer is a super wide 129.9-inch, dedicated transfer model developed for production transfer runs to create extra-wide textile applications such as soft signage, home furnishing and hospitality fabrics. Both printers offer high print speeds and the ability to print onto very thin transfer papers. Nakayama also says that for shops in the market for a printer in this area they should ask if the printer includes func- tions to support unattended printing for long print runs. "Mimaki printers, for example, include technologies that assist with unattended printing: Nozzle Check Unit plus Nozzle Recovery System, bulk ink supply (2 L ink pack or 3L external talks), uninterrupted ink supply system on some models, and tension bars for proper take-up alignment." He says another question for them to ask is regarding the inks. "Who makes them? Who warrants them against defects? This can be an issue when using third-party inks. We always recommend using Mimaki original inks to achieve the best performance." Roland's Textile Printer Lineup "We offer the Texart RT-640 dye sublimation printer, which is a versatile 64-inch inkjet designed to optimize sub- limation output while minimizing oper- ating costs," says Hunter. "Our line up also includes the 64-inch Texart XT-640 dye-sub printer, which is uniquely engi- neered to maximize output in high- volume apparel and textile production environments. Printing with both the RT-640 and XT-640 using Texart inks allows production of items that are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Class 1 cer- tied. This opens up opportunities for products that can be sold into the chil- dren's market, such as clothing, décor, toys and accessories. It's now a safety requirement that these kinds of products meet OEKO-TEX Class 1 certication," she points out. Other Buying Tips Hunter says it's important to make sure to purchase a printer that's designed specifically for dye sub applications. "While these printers may look similar to eco-solvent printers on the outside, what's 'under the hood' can make an enormous difference." She adds that's it's important to keep in mind that dye-sublimation ink drop- lets are a lot smaller than eco-solvent ink droplets, so you need a printer that provides outstanding ink-ring accuracy. "Equipped with this type of printer, even if your graphics have a lot of ne lines and details, you'll be able to achieve optimal image quality. You should also take a close look at the nished output (after sublima- tion). That will give a good feel for the quality of the printer and the inks." She says to make sure shops consider the overall productivity of the printer, not just in regard to speed, but also when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. "Remember, less time spent to maintain and clean your printer means more time to print. Consider the printer's overall cost of operation, too—not just the cost of the printer and consumables. Efcient dye-sublimation printers can save you a tremendous amount of money in the long run." Lastly, she adds to take into consider- ation what comes with the printer as well. "For instance, does it come with power- ful and reputable RIP software? How about a quality take-up system? Finally, consider the reputation of the manufac- turer, the level of service and support provided, and the product warranty." SDG The Mutoh ValueJet 1624WX is said to be an ideal choice for entering the sublimation printing market. (Image courtesy of Mutoh America Inc.) SAI Netcom created this design for the iconic British slogan, printed on a Roland dye-sublima- tion printer and available in many colors. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA)

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