expands design offering and reduces
fast-fashion supply chain costs with
SPGPrints’ PIKE® digital textile printer
SPGPrints is a global leading company in the textile,
label and industrial printing markets. It provides total system
solutions, with a portfolio including screens, lacquers, inks,
digital engravers, and a broad range of rotary screen and
digital printing systems.
Textile printer and supplier Adalberto Estampados, of
Rebordões, Portugal, has installed a PIKE® digital textile
printer from SPGPrints to offer new standards of quality and
production efficiency to its international customer base.
Among the benefits delivered by the company’s PIKE digital
printer are reductions of lead-times by up to 50 per cent,
reduced stockholding costs, faster time-to-market, and improved
print quality, including the ability to print micro patterns,
broadening the scope for new designs.
Installed in late 2016, the PIKE digital printer complements
Adalberto Estampados’ four existing screen printers. Ideal for
volumes of more than two million linear metres per year on
substrates up to 1850mm wide, the PIKE uses single-pass
technology with fixed-array piezo-electric print heads. Using
SPGPrints’ Archer® technology, fine details and bright,
saturated blotches can be produced with variable drop sizes
ranging from 2 to 10pL. Archer technology also enables ink to be
precisely fired on to substrates from a distance of 4mm, giving
the PIKE unparalleled substrate versatility.
“Two major trends are affecting us: the growth of
fast-fashion, and more challenging designs,” said Mário Jorge
Machado, CEO of Adalberto Estampados.
“SPGPrints’ PIKE printer addresses both these challenges, and
offers scope for future developments.”
Fast-fashion has revolutionised every aspect of the fashion
“With the demand for new designs to appear in stores several
times a month, the pressures on textile printers are enormous,”
said Mr. Machado. “The whole business model has changed. Not
only must there be fast printing and delivery, but run lengths
are shorter. This means that job changeovers must be fast, and
with minimal waste. Deliveries need to be on time, and
stock-holding by suppliers and retailers reduced to a minimum,
to save costs. Price sensitivity adds to the pressure.”
Mr. Jos Notermans, Commercial
digital textiles, SPGPrints.
The decline in run lengths that results from frequent design
changes is another pressure. Printing digitally eliminates
screen preparation time, as well as chemical and water waste.
Job changeovers require only the digital files to be loaded,
and, possibly, the substrate changed.
“Another trend that is challenging textile printers is more
complex designs,” Mr. Machado continued. “More colours and finer
detail are increasingly requested by fashion brands, and the
desired results are simply not possible with screen printing.
High-performance digital printers, like the PIKE, can deliver
the designers’ concepts.
“At present, we are running the PIKE on a single-shift
basis,” he explained. “Even at that level, it accounts for 25
per cent of our production. That means a single shift with PIKE
is as productive as three shifts with a rotary screen printer,
in our situation.
“Printing digitally with PIKE reactive inks enables a much
broader gamut of colour than is possible with 10 or 12 colour
screen printers,” Mr. Machado continued. “Designers are also
pleased that we can now print very fine lines, strong colour
blotches, sharp geometric designs – and even the micro-floral
patterns, which are currently growing in popularity.
“We regularly print on knits and wovens of viscose, Lyocell,
cotton, linen, and blends of these,” he said. “The PIKE handles
wovens from 60-70g/m2 and knits of 200-240g/m2.
“Our customers become more interested in printing digitally
when they hear we were able to print a 100,000m2 order in two
weeks on the PIKE. That job previously took four weeks using
rotary screen,” Mr. Machado said. “For brand-owners, this
represents a significant jump in responsiveness. It means that
their digitally-printed garments could be in the shops when, if
screen printed, the textiles would just be headed for finishing.
This is game-changing technology, addressing the quality, colour,
volume and speed requirements of today’s retail industry.”
Speaking for SPGPrints, Jos Notermans, commercial manager
digital textiles, said: “For companies like Adalberto Estampados,
digitally producing high-volume, fast-turnaround textiles for
big brands is a powerful competitive advantage. Using the
SPGPrints PIKE to complement the work of its existing screen
printers means textiles can be produced by the method best
suited to the individual job, and deliver benefits of speed,
quality and price to the customer.”