[The Note] How to choose a textile printing partner that suits your company

2 May 2019 | Jos Notermans

Investing in new printing equipment requires a significant investment and often is the start of a long term relationship between your company and your printing partner. Of course, you want to make sure you make the right choice. How do you make sure you ask the right questions and that you do the appropriate research? To help you select the printing partner that best suits your company, I give you a few essential tips that will guide you through the process.

Selecting a printing partner: what to pay attention to?

To make sure you’ll be starting a pleasant and profitable relationship with your new printing partner, I share four important parameters to pay attention to during this selection process:

1. Experience in the textile machinery industry

Although you want to work with the latest innovations in printing and stay ahead of your competition, you don’t want a printing partner that’s new to the industry and its equipment too. In order for a printing partner to advise you on choosing a printer and incorporating it in your current line of production, you need a printing partner that has extensive experience with likewise cases.

On top of that, choosing a printing partner with years of experience gives you the assurance that they will still be there in the years to come. Therefore, when choosing a printing partner, I always advise to look for a partner with a certain track record so you know you invest your time and money in the right, trusted partner.

1963_Groot-1SPGPrints launches groundbreaking textile printing solutions at ITMA in Hannover, 1963 

2. Choose a printing partner that has extensive knowledge on textiles

Digital printing has its roots in the graphical industry. Since this industry was the first one to use this printing method, a lot of digital textile printers has been actually created by modifying graphical digital printers. Also all print heads used in those machines are designed to print to flat substrates such as paper or film. On those substrates, print heads can move very close to the surface, avoiding any drop positioning errors due to jet angle deviations. When printing to textiles, you want the heads to be as far away as possible from the surface of the textile. After all, textiles are three dimensional, almost living materials that can stretch, bubble and move.

On top of that, there are significant differences between each textile material. You need to be able to print on delicate silk fabrics as well as on heavy cotton canvases. As you might understand, printing on these kind of materials, requires a different kind of fabric handling that is much more challenging than printing on paper, that normally is always flat and straight. To move this large variety of different textiles through the machine at high speeds is not a trivial task.

When looking for a printing partner, I would definitely recommend searching for a partner that designs its printers especially for textiles and has a vaste experience in handling rolls of textiles through machines. When a printing partner designs their printers especially for textiles and uses print heads that allow for higher print head placement above the fabric, it shows that they have extensive knowledge and experience in the textile industry and can provide you the most appropriate equipment for your printing process.

3. Providing world-class support

Expanding your production facilities with a new printer requires a lot more than just purchasing the printer. After the purchase, you need to incorporate it into your production line (read more about how to do that in this blog), create the right conditions for the printer to function in and make sure your employees know how to work with it. Colors only come out the way you want them if you do proper color profiling, a job that requires quite some understanding of how colors are created in digital machines. So you will need support from an application specialist that is provided by the printer supplier.

During this process of incorporating the new printer successfully in your production line, it will help tremendously if your printing partner can provide you with the necessary support. Your printing partner can help you make the most out of your new printing equipment. That’s why you need them to be available when you most need them. When looking for a printing partner, therefore, always find out if they have sufficient application support and training in place.

4. How sound is your digital printer supplier for the years to come?

When you invest in a new digital production technology, you want to be sure that the party that supplies you with the machines and inks will be around for years to come. As digital developments are moving fast, and use electronics that might get obsolete quite fast, you want to be sure that the company that supplies you will be able to do so in the coming years. So it is wise to check the credibility of a company and how financially sound they are. Bureaus like Dunn & Bradstreet can help you to get an objective view on the condition of the company, which might help you to decide between offering parties.

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-12 om 12.54.15

Choosing SPGPrints as your printing partner

At SPGPrints, we always put our customers first and make sure that they get the most out of their printing equipment. Because of our long heritage in textile printing, from being the inventor of rotary textile printing in 1963 to the introduction of the first digital textile printing machine in 1991, we have extensive knowledge of local market requirements and understand every aspect of your business. That’s why we can provide you with fitting advice that really helps you to grow your printing business.

Our proven track record gives you the reassurance that we will still be here years from now. With more than 75 years of experience in rotary screen printing and more than 30 years of experience in digital textile printing, we can guarantee you that we know everything there is to know about textiles. And that includes our printing specialists. I, for example, have managed a digital textile production printing factory for six years together with our application specialist Rene Wolferink, which means that I know exactly how to develop a product that satisfies all our customers wants and needs.

Witness the power of our digital textile printing machines at first hand

Digital textile printing can offer printers unique opportunities in terms of reaction speed and the potential to produce large quantities in a very short time. Are you considering investing in a digital textile printing machine but do you want to make sure you the most suitable printing method for your production process? At SPGPrints, we can show you how digital textile printing can optimize your printing process and answer all your digital textile printing questions.

In our Experience Center you can not only see digital textile printers live in action, you will also witness how the printer can enhance the quality of your designs. Curious if digital textile printing can deliver on its promise? Schedule a visit to our Experience Center and witness the high-quality output and production efficiency of a single-pass printer at first hand:

Digital textile printing experience center 

Categories: Digital Textile Printing, Single-pass Printing, Digital printing inks, Multi-pass Scanning Printing, Rotary screen printing, Archer technology, JAVELIN, PIKE

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