Why the Kornit is not a better DTG garment printer. Answer, you can make no money with it. Recently I had the chance to do an evaluation of a DTG printer off site and in production. I will not reveal the name or the location of the demonstration. Its best to keep this confidential. But I will compare it to our Kornit Hexa.
The first question I asked was can I make any money with this machine. Of course the answer was yes. The sales rep was completely convinced that the model he was selling was as great as sliced bread. He was explaining how you could charge more for small run orders and be absolutely competitive in the DTG market. This made sense.
I asked for a trial run to test the productivity. The first step was to pre-treat tee shirt and run it through a clam shell heat press. This took at least 5 minutes. The sales rep had all his tees pre-treated before I got the demo. This was somewhat deceptive but it was the same trick used at tradeshow. The fact is if you want to print on darks you have to pretreat your garment.
Now the shirt is pretreated and ready for the printer. This is a very simple step and the printing and loading will take less than five minutes. The quality of the printing was excellent. The reds and greens were very vibrant. Give this no name DTG printer a B plus. Also, I noted the ink cost more compared to the Kornit.
The final step is back to the clam shell printer to set the ink into the shirt. This takes less than 4 minutes. You can also run through a dryer at a slow speed to set the ink.
In summary the DTG printer I observed did the job. However making money is another question. I figured the best production would be 8 shirts a hour. Most DTG printers are designed for one off printing. They would be great for a kiosk in a mall.
We have two Hexa printers. We can print about 20 full front prints per machine per hour on dark colored garments. Running through our dryer is nominal and one operator can product 40 to 50 full front darks per hour. When we print whites we can average 50 per machine or 100 using both machines. This makes us competitive with screen printers because we offer full color with no screen charges. We also can blow away any DTG printer in our industry.
Yes we pay a premium for the Kornit printer but what we gain in production is worth the expense.