Mimaki demonstrated its Tiger 1800B production-class textile printer at a series of industry trade shows in 2017.
The Tiger 1800B is available in direct to textile (reactive ink) and sublimation (heat transfer) versions. With a maximum printing speed of 385 m2/h, the Tiger-1800B fits high-volume production environments that have traditionally printed using analogue printing methods, bringing the benefits of digital printing to these higher volume applications and making it more efficient and cost-effective to produce short runs, customized fabrics and garments, and samples.
“Mimaki was an early mover in digital textile printing, as early as 1998,” said Ronald van den Broek, General Manager Sales at Mimaki Europe. “Over the ensuing years, we have developed in-depth experience with printing on textiles and a robust textile printing offering. We have also brought to market an industry-leading array of inks that allows our printers to image just about any fabric on the market. With the Tiger 1800B, we have moved from entry-level and mid-range offerings to a true production model that will help speed the analogue-to-digital transformation the industry is currently undergoing. Digital textile printing has grown by an average of 30% over the past five years, and we believe it is poised to enter the hockey-stick phase of growth over the next couple of years.”
Van den Broek points out that the digital transformation is largely being driven by brands and retailers looking to produce faster, change collections more often, reduce stocks and supply chain waste. “We hear from our customers that they can receive orders on a Saturday and have stock in stores the following Saturday, a speed previously unheard of in the industry,” he said. Digital printing of textiles also addresses the massive amount of pollution attributed to the textile industry, one of the world’s biggest polluters. “Governments, especially in Europe, are moving to rein in this high level of pollution, especially as it affects water quality,” he said. “As more textile manufacturing moves to digital, we will see less pollution by the industry. With production level products like the Mimaki Tiger-1800B, manufacturers of garments and home goods can take advantage of digital technology to reduce their environmental footprint, establishing a more sustainable operation while also providing brands and retailers with the benefits they are seeking.”
Establishing a Foothold in the Heart of the Textile Market
In another move to encourage the expansion of digital printing in the textile and apparel market, Mimaki Europe formed a joint venture in mid-2017 with BOMPAN, a leading distributor in Italy. This joint venture was tasked with offering total solutions, including pre-processing to post-processing, dedicated to the textile and apparel market, and with promoting digitalisation within that market. To ensure a streamlined end-to-end digital textile ecosystem all under one roof, Mimaki acquired La Meccanica, a digital textile printer manufacturer with more than 40 years of history in the market, and Rimslow Global, a leading manufacturer of textile pre- and post-processing machinery.
Van den Broek concluded. “There is huge opportunity within the analogue-to-digital transformation in textiles and apparel, for Mimaki, as well as our customers and the brands and retailers they support. We are proud to be a leader in this vibrant and important market segment, offering sustainable digital solutions like the Tiger 1800B that deliver the speed and quality the market is increasingly demanding. We believe this printer can really help producers earn their stripes in textile printing.”