News & Developments

Excerpt: Epson takes over Italy's textile printing leader Fratelli Robustelli. FESPA to host Digital Textile Conference in Milan. Bordeaux to show latest ink developments at FESPA Mexico.

TEXTILE DIGITAL PRINTING

Epson takes over Italy's textile printing leader Fratelli Robustelli

JAPANESE giant Epson has taken over 100% capital of the Italy-based Fratelli Robustelli, a leader in textile printing industry. Robustelli develops and manufacturers digital inkjet textile printers. The flagship product of the company is Monna Lisa, an industrial digital textile printer.

* Epson global president Minoru Usui (second from right) * * with (from left) Sandro, Valerio and Riccardo Robustelli *

Sunao Murata, COO, professional printing operations division at Epson, is lined up to be appointed as president of Robustelli.

Murata said, “This is an exciting development for Epson. As the market for high-quality digital textile printing expands, I believe formalising our partnership with Robustelli will put us in a great place to meet the needs of the growing number of customers who are seeking to leverage the digital solutions that will help drive their business forward. We will work closely with our colleagues at Robustelli to take Monna Lisa to the next level.”

Valerio Robustelli, one of the proprietors at Fratelli Robustelli, said, “We are happy and proud to become a member of Epson. Our cooperation with Epson led to the development of Monna Lisa, the industrial digital textile printer.”

The entry of Robustelli into Epson will allow the company to bring the advantage of its digital inkjet textile printers to more customers. The two companies plan to focus on joint R&D efforts to achieve goals.

The digital textile printing market worldwide is expected to grow at an annual rate of approximately 25%. Epson will be deploying its worldwide sales and service network to provide Monna Lisa to reach out to more countries.

FESPA to host Digital Textile Conference in Milan

FESPA will hold its next Digital Textile Conference on 30 September 2016, at the NHow hotel in Milan, Italy.

The event will be delivered with the support of the FESPA Italia Association and in close collaboration with Sistema Moda Italia, the Italian Fashion and Textile Federation, and Associazione Italiana Disegnatori Tessili, the Italian Textile Designers Association, both of which will field speakers.The event is also sponsored by MS Italy.

The one-day conference builds on the success of a series of FESPA-led Digital Textile Conferences which have taken place over the course of the last eight years.

These conferences have been designed to help members of FESPA's global speciality printing community realise the growth opportunities in digital printing on textile substrates for a range of applications.

FESPA Digital Textile Conferences offer a focused environment in which to learn and network, both for printers already active in digital textile printing, and for those still seeking to explore the opportunity.

The September 2016 conference programme will provide print service providers with insights into the diverse market segments of digital textile printing, feedback from printers who have successfully entered the sector, and technical guidance on how to address the opportunity, including updates on the latest technology developments in machinery, software, inks and textiles.

The conference programme will be delivered in English and Italian. Confirmed speakers and panellists so far include Enrico Barboglio (FESPA Italia); Duncan MacOwan (FESPA); Ron Gilboa (InfoTrends); Fulvio Alvisi (AIDT); Andrea Ferrero (Miroglio Textiles); Lorenzo Zottar (The Color Soup); Gianluca Brenna (Stamperia di Lipomo); Dario Garnero (Stamperia Serica Italiana) and Andrea Barbiani (MS Italy).

The event will be moderated by respected Italian industry journalist Paola Bonfanti. The September 2016 Digital Textile Conference is co-located with FESPA Italia Day, the event for members of FESPA's Italian association, enabling members to efficiently combine participation in both events.

The FESPA Print Census, results of which were published in May 2015, clearly indicated textile as the dominant growth application for the community, with 81% of printers at that time seeing growth in this segment, the highest of any growth application.

Digital technology was identified as the key enabler, with over 50% of respondents expecting digitally produced garments to become an important alternative to traditional screen printing in the next two years.

Textile printers featured prominently in investment plans, with 21% of respondents specifically focussing spend in this area, supported by 12% planning to acquire thermal transfer equipment.

Decorative and industrial textile applications also featured

heavily, with 78% of those surveyed reporting growth in textiles for décor applications. Textile substrates were continuing to make inroads in the signage and graphics space, with 67% observing sustained growth in soft signage.

FESPA has collated further feedback from its community since the March 2016 FESPA Digital exhibition in Amsterdam, which incorporated FESPA Textile. Responses indicate that digital textile printing is now of immediate interest to nearly two-thirds of wide-format printers, with 40% already printing on textile, and a further 20% actively interested in entering the sector.

Fashion and garment printing was indicated as the primary area of interest, followed by interior decor and soft signage.

FESPA CEO Neil Felton comments: “A year on from the FESPA Census, printers are turning interest into action, as we saw from the tremendous buzz in the FESPA Textile halls in Amsterdam a few months ago."

"Today, digital accounts for only a small proportion of all textile printing, but this is forecast to grow substantially in the years ahead, with estimates suggesting that digital could account for 5% of textile printing by 2020, up from 2% today. Clearly that's a significant diversification opportunity for printers already invested in digital output technology and supporting workflows.”

The choice of Milan as the location of the next FESPA Digital Textile Conference reflects the significance of Italy, and the Como region in particular, as a centre of European textile manufacturing and decorating excellence, accounting for 55% of the European digital textile market and producing more than 180 million square metres of digitally printed textiles in 2015.

Registration for the Digital Textile Conference is open to any printer. Full details of the conference programme and delegate registration can be found at www.fespadtc.com.

Bordeaux to show latest ink developments at

FESPA Mexico

AT FESPA Mexico 2016, inks and coating manufacturer Bordeaux Digital will introduce a new ink that it said can print on all types of fabrics. The company has said it will show its new ink formulations and technologies, including its new Eden PG for textile, and Plasma VG curable inks at this year's FESPA Mexico, from 18-20 August at Centro Banamex in Mexico City.

Eden PG LV and MV pigment inks can be used to print on fabrics including cotton, silk, polyester, viscose, blended fabrics, leather and interior décor fabrics in a single process. Users can switch between applications – including swimwear, footwear, linen and fashion accessories – without needing to change inks

The inks are available in CMYK. Bordeaux said users would get uniform colour coverage and bright vivid colours regardless of the fabric composition. It added that there was no need for post-print treatment and all fabrics are said to preserve their natural feel with a single pre-treatment, which enables the use of delicate fabrics.

Eden PG LV ink can be used on Epson DX-4, DX-5, DX-6 and DX-7 printheads while the Eden PG MV ink is for Ricoh Gen4 and Gen5 printheads. Bordeaux marketing director Guy Evron said: “We are bringing a new change for print shops that wish to expand their printing opportunities. Our new solution for textile – one pigment ink for all types of fabrics is not only changing the way we can print textile but also completes the missing piece of the puzzle for print shop owners."

"With our solvent, UV and now textile solutions print shops have the advantage of getting a full range of solutions and support from a single and reliable source.”

Evron said the cost of the new inks is higher per litre than reactive or dye-sublimation inks but is comparable per linear metre once the user has factored in the additional overheads of post-treatments, manpower, water and electricity required with those inks, and changing them.

“It brings it to the same level in terms of cost as the alternative inks but with a much larger range of applications that it can be used for,” he said.

For expanded UV capabilities Bordeaux will also present two new ink solutions, Plasma HF and Plasma VG, that offer printer specific solutions for the HP 500/700 series and for the Vutek GS series. These new printer specific UV inks offer a simple Plug&Print on the fly conversion and the ability to print on the most rigid and flexible substrates.

In addition to the extensive line of Solvent, UV and water based inks, visitors at FESPA Mexico 2016 will be able to sniff the new scented coatings for document finishing. This novel Bordeaux concept adds another aspect to visual communication and arouses smell, rather than just sight. The new scented coatings enhance the visual appeal of prints and adds a unique experience, allowing printed products, like brochures and catalogs communicate in a new way.

Bordeaux will also emphasise its ability to provide total solutions for printers in Latin America and the Mexican textile market at by exhibiting its new line of water-based and UV- based coatings.

"Simplifying the complexity of the way digital textile is being done today can bring a new wave of change for textile printing in Latin America. One ink, one printing line, all fabrics, offers print shops and the textile industry a new way to expand their business opportunities. The future of digital textile printing lays within the ink, not the machines."

"Bordeaux has always considered FESPA as one of the key trade shows for the printing industry and for more than a decade, we have always presented there our latest solutions and product launches. As the Latin American market is key for Bordeaux, FESPA Mexico is an annual event we can't miss," Evron concluded.

For more information on FESPA Mexico 2016 and to pre- register visit: www.fespamexico.com. For FREE entry, use code AMEZ1134 when registering.

Xaar aims to double revenue with new acquisition

PRINTHEAD company Xaar is buying EPS, a US company that has specialised in printing on objects with both analogue

and digital technology.

Xaar chief executive Doug Edwards has said that the company's recent acquisition of North America product printing equipment provider Engineered Printing Solutions (EPS) will help the industrial inkjet technology firm to achieve a goal of doubling its revenue by the year 2020.

Although terms of the agreement were undisclosed, Xaar said in a statement that the deal will serve as the first part of the company's strategic vision to generate £220m (€262m/$291.8m) in annual sales by the 2020 target.

EPS has established itself as a provider of customised and bespoke printing solutions across a number of market sectors, including promotional packaging, sport equipment, automotive, apparel, medical, appliances and toys. In 2015, the company generated $14m in revenue and currently employs 60 staff.

Reflecting on the deal, Edwards said it will act as a major point in Xaar's ongoing growth strategy, with the firm planning to use EPS and its experience in various ways.

“Our vision to more than double the revenue of the company to £220m by 2020 can be subdivided into four strategic pillars which will contribute roughly £50m each,” Edwards told FESPA.

'Inorganic growth through acquisition and exploiting our independence in commercial partnerships is a key focus. EPS sells a mixture of standard machines, customised standard machines and bespoke equipment and the acquisition opens up the opportunity for Xaar to explore niche or new applications where the case for serial production isn't yet defined.

“EPS will bring an established, profitable and growing business in product printing, which is a key target market for Xaar, as well as engineering capability for complete printing solutions, direct access to customers acquiring printing equipment, and a strong customer base and footprint in North America, a region Xaar has targeted for growth.

“In return, we will add to EPS an extended global reach from Xaar's worldwide leadership in digital inkjet technology, in addition to the benefits of 25 years of experience in converting multiple markets to digital inkjet, and expertise in the application of inkjet technology in a host of different applications with multiple combinations of substrates and fluids.”

In regards to future expansion at Xaar, Edwards said that the company is always on the lookout for new opportunities that could help to accelerate its strategic growth plans.

“Xaar will continue to consider acquisitions which fit with our vision of leading the digital revolution and which are best aligned with our growth strategy,” he said.

As part of the deal, Julian Joffe, who founded EPS in 1985, has been appointed as Xaar's new president of Engineered Printing Solution.

Speaking about the acquisition, Joffe said: “Xaar values our brand, engineering capability and the innovative solutions we bring to the marketplace. Xaar brings deep knowledge of inkjet technology and access to wider channels.”

Kiian Digital ink series certified by Nike

KIIAN Digital's Digistar HI-PRO series was recently awarded Nike's Restricted Substance Lists Certification.

As the world's largest manufacturer of athletic footwear and apparel, producing over 900,000 products a year, Nike aims to eliminate hazardous chemicals throughout its production chain. Its RSL requires that every Nike-branded product, adheres to its sustainability commitment.

This demands that its suppliers evaluate their chemical impact and incorporate less polluted manufacturing processes that comply with a comprehensive list of chemical standards.

In terms of sublimation inks, these are subject to annual tests to ascertain the absence of a number of chemicals including, organotins, PVC and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Marco Girola, Marketing Specialist, Kiian Digital, speaking on this said that this reflects a current trend for the textile industry to be more environmentally conscious.

"For us, being Nike RSL accredited is a great commendation to our continued commitment to a sustainable business approach, not only for us as an ink manufacturer, but also in providing solutions that allow our customers to offer more environmentally acceptable products. We also ensure that all of our ranges exclude or reduce hazardous chemicals. As demonstrated by this recent Nike certification, our approach not only provides a fantastic range of benefits to the printing companies and the end user; it also opens the door to us integrating our eco-friendly inks within Nike's extensive supply chain through its existing print suppliers", she said.

Speaking about Nike's RSL Certification requirements, she said brands today are very conscious of the impact their supply chains have on the environment. This increased sense of responsibility comes from the companies directly but also from consumer pressure, as the public has become much more aware of the way the products they buy are made and sourced. It is also the manufacturers' responsibility to offer sustainable solutions. This has been Kiian Digital's policy for many years as a brand that cares about its own carbon

footprint, as well as having a product range that can provide added benefits to its customers, he said.

Digistar HI-PRO series the company had put forward for the Nike certification needed to not only meet all of their environmental criteria, but also provide the quality necessary to meet Nike's exacting standards.

Thanks to its vast gamut of striking colour, the Digistar HI- PRO series is a great sublimation solution in the production of supreme-quality high-fashion apparel, endurance sportswear, equipment, producing. In terms of textile applications, the Digistar HI-PRO range offers supreme image quality and is quick-drying, perfect in the production of final applications, including sportswear.

“Following our recent Nike RSL accreditation, the Digistar HI-PRO series arms customers with the ability to perfect

designs early, as these approved products do not require additional testing. This not only directly decreasing their developmental cost, it also significantly accelerates the products' time-to-market and allows more goods to be produced in a shorter turnaround time”, she said.

Specifically designed for synthetic fabrics and uncoated and coated rigid substrates, the Digistar HI-PRO series provides high colour concentration particularly on coated and uncoated paper. Customers printing on uncoated paper can enjoy long- lasting vivid brightness of the inks while print manufacturers of coated paper can utilise reduced ink consumption compared to competing inks. This allows the cartridge to span a higher number of print runs resulting in greater workflow and cost efficiencies. Available in 1, 2.5 and 5-litre bottles, we supply inks for small to large jobs, the spokeperson said. 

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