Wide range of applications wins fans for sublimation printing(4)

Wide range of applications wins fans for sublimation printing(4)- GetWin Industrial Co., LTD

“Within the markets there are different preferences for the technology,” says specialist dye-sub reseller I-Sub’s sales director Nick Davies. “Soft signage firms tend to go for 3.2m wide format machines to enable wide panels and deep drops. Flag firms prefer 1.8m wide printers to print two flags side by side and get the best use of the material.

”While the really high-end machines from the likes of EFI Reggiani, Dgen, Durst and Robustelli remain in the hundreds of thousands, as the market develops there are advances that make high throughput more affordable. 

One example is the Fespa-launched Mimaki TS 300P-1800. 

“For £22,000 it’s a 100m2/hr of deliverable quality in an industrial strength machine. Compared to the previous generation it’s half the price and two-and-a-half times faster,” says Woodall

If you’re worried about rapid developments in the technology leaving you with obsolescent kit I-Sub’s Davies has reassurance: “Nearly all our customers who buy a small machine end up going for bigger and/or faster machines and use the original machines for proofing and sampling to ensure the bigger unit remains productive.”

As stated before, there’s more to dye-sub than just the printer. You also need a heat press. A wide range is available from small manual devices through to huge automated lines. Just like the printers they are available in roll-fed and flatbed configurations depending on the applications. There are special presses to handle 3D objects such as mugs and even vacuum presses to cope with uncommon and irregular shaped 3D objects. Heat press manufacturers include HeatJet, Monti Antonio and Transmatic.

Then there are consumables, including inks, fabrics, polyester-coated blanks and transfer paper. Inks are available from the printer manufacturers and from specialist third parties such as Sawgrass and Sensient. Transfer papers are produced by a number of specialist mills and supplied by inks specialists including Sawgrass with True Pix. Specialist mills and their products include Beaver Tex Print, Cham Paper Transjet and Coldenhove Jetcol. Polyester blanks are produced by firms such as Unisub, which also makes a rigid graphics panel called Chromaluxe, and mug specialist Neil Brothers.

Tying it all together are specialist resellers that offer the complete product line, often from a range of different vendors for each, along with support. Some specialise in textiles and others on product decoration, while some serve both markets. Examples include Isub, Nova Chrome, RA Smart, The Magic Touch and Xpres.

If you do your homework and begin by dipping a toe in the water with a low-cost initial investment, dye-sub could prove to be an important addition to your business. 

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