Our investment in a Kornit printer was a wise move. We purchased the unit with some reluctance because of the price.
You can expect to spend close to $300,000.00 for a new machine. We bit the bullet and purchased three. We never looked back.
Some say we could get more production if we purchased the less expensive DTG printers available. This argument sounds good if you are shopping price.
Bargin Priced DTG printers are suspect
We found that the lesser priced printers are not fit for production. These machines work real well if your market is geared to single shirt printing. The margins are great for one off printing.
If you are going to use a lesser priced model you have to be aware of the time to print a shirt. They just do not perform as advertised.
DTG Production time
We found that the printing process is slowed down due to the application of the pretreatment. Each shirt has to be pretreated before printing. The process is to first spray the pretreatment on the garment and heat press to lay the fibers of the garment down for printing. With the Kornit the pretreatment is included in the printing cycle. This is a important time saver to consider if you are going to do production. The pretreatment process generally takes about 2 minutes vs no time using a Kornit.
The next step after pretreatment is to print the garment. Time in a Kornit is around 2 minutes or less in the new machines. In a mall style printer the time is about 4 minutes.
Finishing the shirt
After printing the garment has to be heat pressed again to finish. Using a Kornit we run the garment though a dryer and the project is complete. The dryer does take a little longer but it does not eat up labor time like a heat press machine does.
In summary we make tees, tees and more tees than a lower priced DTG printer.
Yes that is a true statement. It is now possible to offer same day tee shirt printing using a Direct To Garment system of printing.
To explain how it is done just review what it takes to print for example an 8 color design on a basic tee shirt.
A 8 color design will require 8 screens and one screen for applying the white ink on a dark garment.
Art separation is the first item to get done
Prepare the films for each color
Burn the screens
Wash out the screens
Dry screens and block out the design
Align the screens for registration
Print a sample or press check
Clean up the screens
Breakdown the carousel and set up for next order
Now let’s examine the DTG process.
Create art on the computer
Save art as a PNG file
Upload to RIP software
Transfer design to printer and print
Cure design and it’s done.
The advantage of time is so important now that clients are getting accustomed to same day service. This is pure hell for a screen printer who has to try and meet customer demands.
The old days of delivery in less than two weeks is starting to exit the process. Customers want it now. Decosource has 3 state of the art Kornit printers which allows us to make a same day delivery. Our motto in by 10 out by 5 will hold up.
DTG printed garments are now holding up under heavy washing and can go toe to toe with screen printing when it comes to the life of the garment.
The two scenarios above resulted in the fact that the DTG process is more efficient than the screen printing process. The screen print would take at least 5 hours where the DTG would take less than a hour.
Direct to Garment printer explodes. This sounds crazy but it is true. We have been using DTG printers since 2009 and this one was probably just exhausted and worn out. We don’t want to name the manufacturer because we made a lot of money with that machine. We are up here in the Pacific Northwest and getting parts from a east coast distributer is brutal. We decided to junk it or sell it for parts
We were introduced to DTG printing years ago and that’s why we purchased a few machines. We have subsequently upgraded and spent a lot more money to purchase the Konnit Storm II. We have two of them and they are sure work horses. Once we had them installed and running it seems we never shut them down. We are located in the Seattle area.
There are a few glitches in the Kornits but are not a problem the most critical is your really have to monitor the humidity. We bought a humidifier which feeds both machines. We run the humidifiers religiously every day when we are printing. We have never had a head clog up because of the ink. The cost of a new ink head is a killer.
One piece of advice is to keep your machines running at all times. You have to let the heads purge on the weekends and when you come back on Monday they are ready to print.
Getting back to the machine which exploded. It didn’t literally explode but the ink tubes got loose and we had ink everywhere. It was really funny and everyone got a big kick out of it.. We decided to junk the machines for parts. I called up one of my competitors and he bought the printer for $1,000.00. This was one heck of a deal because parts are getting hard to come by.
I think the manufacturers plan for this equipment to break down so you will buy the newest models because parts are not available.
Well we surprised everyone and stepped up to the plant and purchased Kornits. Very expensive but 100% reliable.
The buzzword these days is on demand printed tees. On demand tees is a new term to promote direct to garment printing. (DTG printing)
DTG printing is a completely different process from regular silk screen printing. It is different because DTG does not use screens in the process.
The whole process of not using traditional screening means quicker set up time. It also means no dangerous chemicals will be used in the process. Generally screen print inks contain formaldehyde and solvents with carcinogenic compounds. The day is coming when we will see ads on late night television reading “did you work in a screen printing shop and do you have a breathing problem? Call 1-800-screen ink for help.”
Screen printing inks are just not healthy, the chemicals stink, and they are messy and dangerous.
Digital to Garment printing is so much cleaner. There is no mess, the inks are environmentally friendly and there is no ugly smell. Northwest Custom Apparel is a on demand printer. We have two Kornit printers manufactured in Israel. These monsters can churn out environmentally friendly apparel. The products are 100% kids safe. PTA fundraisers now don’t have any serious liabilities when fund raising with DTG printed tees.
On demand printing means you can come up with an idea on day one and on day two you can have your product in hand. Decosource is the only company in the Seattle/Tacoma who can offer this service
Memorial shirts are very popular to honor a loved one who has passed and wants to be remembered at the celebration of life.
Championships need to be celebrated and this is easily done with on demand tees with a nice graphic on the front highlighting the victory. The shirts you see on TV for championship games are all done as on demand printing.
To summarize Decosource can do on demand hoodies or tees and meet all your emergency garment printing requirements.