Page 53 - Print 21 Magazine March-April 2019
P. 53

Fabric Printing
images an hour, with a host of features designed for ease of use. It has soft drawers everywhere, for ink containers, for storage, for maintenance. The pallet replacement
is one touch snap on, it has inline wrinkle sensor to stop printing, a smartphone type control screen built in. It allows user replacement of the printheads.
A major new development from Kornit
is the Poly Pro printer, being launched
this month, and designed to print on polyester or majority polyester mixes. Avalanche by contrast is for cotton or mainly cotton mixes. Polyester has different characteristics than cotton, which means
a specially designed printing system to address those requirements will provide printers with the optimum printing solution. And sportswear - a major market
in ANZ - is mainly polyester based. The ink in polyester printing is designed to set at a different, lower, temperature to cotton, as polyester is not as heat resistant
Jamie Weller says, “The Avalanche Poly Pro is a real gamechanger. It will mean for instance that Australian printers will be able to offer Australian customers their personalised sports gear in 24 or 48 hours, rather than the six to eight weeks currently needed as it comes from overseas. Kornit’s chemists have done a great job with Poly Pro, there is no ink migration, not when it
is printed, not in the weeks afterwards.”
The Kornit inks are waterless pigment type, and all meet the ISO standard for wash resistance, rub resistance and fade resistance. The inks are GOTS v5 and ECO Passport OEKO-TEX certified.
partly in its sales and distribution. In our part of the world this has meant the appointment of former Kodak and Heidelberg digital head Jamie Weller as its new ANZ manager, and former EFI Asia Pacific sales director Andy Yarrow as its new Asia Pacific president, based at its regional HQ in Hong Kong. It is to the glittering city that I travel to meet them.
Kornit though is located in the more workaday Kowloon part of the former English colony, where the focus of the packed streets is clearly on achievement. Yarrow himself has been here for the past two years, initially with EFI, and for the past month with Kornit. A veteran Fiery expert he was with EFI for 12 years, in the UK, Japan and then Hong Kong. “I was looking for new challenges, and the Kornit opportunity came up”, he says. “Digital textile printing clearly has huge potential, and Kornit is committed to producing technology that will enable print businesses
to exploit that opportunity. I was impressed with the technology, and
with the energy and vision of the company, it was a straightfoward decision to join.”
Yarrow’s task is ambitious, the company is aiming to more than treble its sales in the next three years to half a billion dollars US, and he has been charged with bringing in 20 per cent of that, or a round $100m, from his Asia Pacific region. With
its diverse economic and cultural territories - everywhere from China, Japan and Korea through south east Asia to Australia and New Zealand
- that is no mean ask. Here the company sells through the Kissel + Wolf dealer, with Jamie Weller as country manager.
Yarrow says, “Yes each market is different, but Kornit is positioned for them. For Australia and New Zealand for instance the new Poly Pro polyester print is a real opportunity, particularly in the sportswear market, which is significant down under of course. Then we have the Storm printer, which for commercial printers looking to get into textile is
Above: Digital textile ducks lining up: Andy Yarrow (right) president, Asia Pacific, Kornit Digital, with ANZ country manager Jamie Weller
Above left: Peak performance: Atlas digital print system
the perfect toe in the water system. And for high volume textile printers there is the new Atlas.
“The Kornit digital printing systems will mean print that
is currently going to China and Vietnam is able to be produced back in Australia, thanks to the turnaround time and the quality.”
The ducks seem to be lining up
for digital textile printing, with
the trends to fast fashion, self expression, and on demand living, all suited to digital textiles. Yarrow says, “I believe young people are moving away from the big brands
in favour of creating their own identity, which is good news for digital textiles. You only have to look at Redbubble and others like it to understand the colossal demand for personalisation that is building up.”
While many commercial printers may view textile printing, even
of t-shirts, as something outside their remit Yarrow says there is
no technical barrier, “There is
no high skill level required for Kornit printers, essentially it is
just a printer putting inkjet onto a substrate. I think textile printing for commercial printers now is in the same position as cutsheet digital was 20 years ago and wide format inkjet was ten years ago. It is not something that they have done before, but the technology is now available and the market is suddenly ripe for them to enter. It is not a big leap from commercial printing; file management, order management, colour management, these are all common. And many printers will already have the customers, for instance if you print for events that need flyers, banners, guides they may also need t-shirts.
“And unlike commercial printing textile printing is not going to
go into decline, we will always need clothes, and cushions, it is like packaging, you can’t eat your cornflakes off the internet.”
Kornit sells its digital textile printing systems to both big players and the smaller operations. Both Cimpress (Vistaprint) and Amazon are customers, but says Yarrow so are the smaller family owned businesses. He says, “We have print solutions
to fit all points on the journey, whether you are starting out or really motoring. What is important is to recognise the opportunity exists and make your own serious analysis on the numbers and whether they add up for your business, and in many cases printers will find they will.” 21
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