A steady increase in the demand for graphics on apparel and textile surfaces in recent times is anticipated to be one of the key driving factors that is creating industrial requirements for digital textile printing equipment in the near future. The ability to create a wider range of designs, reducing delivery times, minimizing waste, and generating significant operational savings are some of the benefits that are some of the benefits that are anticipated to increase the popularity of this printing medium.
Technological innovations in digital textile printing equipment are creating significant improvements in the end results, which is increasingly pushing professional printing companies who were previously using flexography or lithography to switch to digital printing methods and tools.
High Application in Sportswear Production to Drive Equipment Sales
With continuous changes taking place in the fashion cycle of any kind of apparel, and the growing preference for personalization and customization, the demand for digital textile printers that can be used for shorter runs, with high efficiency in printing mixes and prototype development are gaining popularity. Sportswear and leisurewear manufacturers are also showing greater interest in fluorescent inks, owing to the high preference for neon prints on such apparel.
Moreover, the cost effectiveness of digital printing processes is expected to encourage apparel manufacturers in developed countries to bring the printing process back to their own countries, instead of outsourcing it to countries like China or India, where traditional services of printing were provided to international businesses with lower labor costs.
Increased Investments in Technological Advancements
In recent times, rapid innovations in the field with regards to the large format advertising industry have been adopted by digital textile printer manufacturers, for better implementation on items such as banners, flags, retail accessories and more.
For instance AGFA revealed its six-color, 3.2 meters wide Avinci DX3200 sublimation printer, which has been integrated with print-heads by Konika Minolta, which provides end use industries with wide format textile applications.
On a similar note, printer manufacturer Mimaki introduced its new TX300P hybrid printer that allows the simultaneous processing of pigment and sublimation inks at the same time, which allows the end user to print on a variety of fabrics such as polyester, cotton, and fabric blends, without making any changes to the machine.
Renoir Flexy printers are also designed for industrial scale operations of printing on flexible textiles such as lycra, for which the equipment has been fitted with a unique fabric feeder in addition to a device that optimizes thermoplastic adhesion, which prevents distortions and creases in fabric during the printing process.
Strategic Acquisitions and Mergers Bring New Players in Digital Textile Printing
Major manufacturers in the digital textile printing equipment industries are focusing their attention on strategic collaborations and acquisitions to build on aims such as increasing market presence, sharing technology, and diversifying business applications, which are expected to create new opportunities for the future in the field.
For example, Electronics For Imaging Inc. (EFI) acquired Italy based Reggiani Macchine, to make its entry into the field of inkjet textile printing in a leadership position. The acquisition is expected to provide EFI with a wide range of industrial scale inkjet printers, which specialize in the use of water-based pigments on fabrics, for fashion and home furnishing textiles, for on-demand projects.
Similarly, Italy based digital textile printing specialist Fratelli Robustelli was acquired by Epson. The acquisition is expected to significantly expand Epson’s range of direct-to-garment dye sublimation printers, expanding its range of operations and capabilities by a significant margin. This is to be achieved by joint research and development activities by both companies to accelerate the development of new products for the joint entity’s portfolio.
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