The Secrets of Surviving in DTG PrintingAmaya Sales UK
There are many DTG printing systems available today, the professional ones can range from around £7,500 right up to £500,000. Entry-level printers will produce around 50 to 150 garments a day, and industrial ones up to 2,000 a day. Most entry-level printers can produce excellent print quality, some better than others. These are ideal and at a much lower cost if you requirements are up to 150 prints a day. The price of these entry-level printers can vary tremendously, so be careful. Prices range from around £7,500 up to as much as £30,000. Paying a higher price does not necessarily mean you will get better quality printing, but you are likely to get faster printing. Faster printing can result in poorer quality due to a reduced resolution. I believe you are better off buying two of the lower-priced printers than one which would be double the price. This would give you greater flexibility in your production and avoids one point of failure.
What to look out for when deciding the best fit for you.
Find a supplier that has many years of experience providing Direct-to-Garment printing equipment. Find one that can not only advise you on the benefits of their printer but offers a good level of support and help you with ideas on finding business. Ask about their engineering support, and if they will install the printer at your premises as part of the deal.
Ask to see a sample of the quality of print and ideally send them one of your designs. Make sure you send a design of good quality. It would be even better if you could visit their showroom so you could see a sample being printed with your own eyes.
Remember that nearly all DTG printers print on to cotton-based clothing and will not print on Polyester. Kornit Digital are the only industrial manufacturer that can truly print on Polyester, and their printers cost upwards of £350,000.
See the proof
At Amaya, we are the only UK company that offer three leading DTG printer brands and levels of production, Texjet by Polyprint, Roland and Kornit Digital. Depending on your production requirements, we can find a solution to your needs. We can provide a full demonstration of all the printers, and then advise which is the right fit for your business.
Pre-treating is required on black, dark and coloured garments. This is used to prevent the white under base ink from sinking into the fabric. This can be carried out manually by using a spray gun or automatically with a pre-treating machine. If you are using a spray gun, then this should be carried out in a separate room to the printer. Kornit printers are the only printers that provide built-in pre-treatment.
White shirts do not require any pre-treatment as the CMYK inks can be printed directly onto the garment, although some people choose to pre-treat white fabrics to achieve brighter imagery.
Check out ink costs as some printers require ink that can be as much as 50% more expensive than others. This makes a tremendous difference to your profitability. It could cost you at least an extra £1 per print, so assuming you print 100 shirts a day that would be £100 out of your profit.
Printer cost and Ink prices
You may find that some suppliers are offering big discounts on their equipment. I have two thoughts on this:
Say you had purchased a DTG printer for £10,950, but the week after you have seen it being sold at £8,000. Basically, the printer you have purchased has instantly devalued by nearly £3,000.
However, if the ink used in the discounted printer costs 50% more than the printer at its normal price, you could recover the difference of the amount paid in no time at all. From then on you are in a win, win situation.
So, it’s not all about the equipment cost, check out the ink prices, it could save you a fortune in the long run.
White Ink clogging
White ink clogging should now be a thing of the past. There are many ways of preventing it and manufacturers have tried several different ways of combatting the problem. Many of the methods involved include leaving the printer powered on all the time, but this costs money in ink in circulation.
If leaving the printer un-used for a few days, some printers require flushing, which again wastes ink.
My favourite system is the pressurised method used by Polyprint. This keeps the ink pressurized all the time even with the power off. You can leave the Texjet range of printers for around 30 days with the power off and they will still work perfectly afterwards. A big consideration when you are buying a machine and don’t have work for it every day.
Another important point to consider is to be careful if you want to change to another brand of ink, as most printers are either not compatible with other inks and this can cause clogging and poor quality prints, and more importantly changing inks can null your manufacturer’s warranty. Stay with the major brands such as Dupont, and the ones recommended by the supplier of your machine.
Check that the Rip software is easy to use and that you can make your printing as economical as possible. You should be able to set up different preset colour managements and under base settings, so you can drag and drop your design into the appropriate design queue. There should also be workflow support that enables the quickest file preparation and production times. Be aware most Rip software’s are developed to only work on PC.
Make sure to ask about the maintenance and how long it takes every day. It should be a simple process requiring no longer than 5 minutes. Try and learn as much as possible from the technician when the equipment is installed. If the company do technical training courses, then it may be beneficial to invest in one as it will help you save time and money in the future. You will also learn more about how the printer works.
To find out more information visit our website at www.amayauk.com or get in touch with one of our team on 02392 590 281.
At Amaya, we have the solution from entry-level to high-level production. Book your demonstration on the Polyprint Texjet, Roland and Kornit Digital printers today: https://www.amayauk.com/direct-to-garment-printers