New innovations in water-based dye ink technology are allowing output providers to take fabric and textile printing production speed and quality to the next level. One of the latest companies to bottle this revolutionary technology is Gandinnovations with their new Jeti Aquajet 3324 direct to fabric digital printer.
Bolingbrook, IL-based Orbus Inc. had the distinction of being one the first shops in United States to have the Jeti Aquajet 3324 installed this past September. This seven-year old manufacturer and trade distributor of portable trade show and display products is utilizing the production capabilities of the Jeti 3324 to help them provide a faster one-stop shop solution to their stable of clients. "We not only print trade show graphics but we also sell the all the hardware that they are exhibited on. We provide total one-stop shop solution to the trade. We are one of the biggest in supplying commodity trade show items to the industry," says Aaron Kozar, director of graphic operations at Orbus Inc.
Kozar says that they got into dye-sub market for printing on fabric a couple of years ago. "We saw that more or our clients wanted to print on lighter materials and fabrics. We purchased a fabric printer, but as time went on we knew we needed a machine that was faster and more reliable. We wanted a new piece of equipment in house that could handle our heavy production schedule. We run two shifts six-seven days a week. We needed a machine that can stand the test of time and hold up to that demanding schedule," he reports.
Kozar looked at what was currently on the market but didn't see anything that really met their needs. But, after a conversation with Gandinnovations, the creative wheels were set in motion. "We already had two Gandi printers in house that we were very happy with. They make extraordinary well built machines...they are built like tanks. Last fall, we approached Gandi and spoke with them about manufacturing a direct to fabric printer. As luck would have it, they told us that they had a prototype of a fabric machine that they were working on. We kept in close contact with them as they continued to develop it. As soon as they were ready to release it, I went up to their offices in Toronto to see it running live. and was blown away by the speed and the quality. It was all that we wanted in a direct to fabric machine," says Kozar.
Once the unit hit the market and was ready to ship, it was delivered to their Chicago suburb location. "The installation took about two days and the tech support from Gandi has been fantastic."
The Jeti 3324 Aquajet features 24 Spectra Water based Special Edition print heads available in six color, 400-dpi resolution that is said to give ultra real images that can compete with any high resolution printer in the market yet giving production speeds over 100sqm/hr.
"The speed is incredible. It was faster than I thought it would be. From what I've experienced over the years, printers are usually slower than they seem to be; but not this one. We are now printing at about 600 square feet per hour at the machine! The machine is so fast that the work that we normally did in a day on our other fabric printer, we are now doing in half a day on the Jeti 3324," says Kozar.
"In addition, the colors are fantastic. They really pop on the outdoor flags and banners with produce. And the unit's sustainability is also a plus. The green approach is great option; we can offer our clients a very eco friendly solution too," he points out.
Kozar reports that they mostly print on a Polyester Lycra blend stretch fabric called Power Stretch from Aberdeen Fabrics, Aberdeen, NC. "Aberdeen has their own mills so they can design materials for us on spec. They are great to work with. Fabric is a whole different animal. Many of our customers are output providers that don't have the capabilities or knowledge to print on fabric or speed to turn the jobs around as quickly as we can. So they come to us," he adds.