Impressions - May 2020 - 50

its DTG machines with great success for operators.Wet-on-wet
printing requires a long dwell time in a big conveyor dryer; if
space is a concern, these big printers and dryers can be a setback.
For DTG printers that don't have built-in pretreatment functions,
there are several equipment manufacturers working on pretreatment
automation - a standalone unit that pretreats, cures and presses a
shirt so that it's ready for DTG decoration. Currently, pretreatment
automation also commands a lot of space and investment; for
most small to mid-tier operators, this may not be a viable option.
If your shop can't automate pretreatment, consider a reliable,
fast, standalone machine to perform this function.This may seem
counterintuitive, but with proper production techniques, it can
be extremely efficient. For example, on any DTG printer except
Kornit,pretreatment solution must be dry before printing.However,
in many cases, there are few rules on how drying should be done.A
pretreatment machine set up next to a forced-air conveyor dryer
can produce more than 120 cured shirts per hour, even without
the need for a heat press. It's all in your technique.
Color & Consistency
Color gamut and special effects are another area where screen
printing has the upper hand, but this is an issue that also is being
addressed by industry manufacturers.Companies like Kornit Digital
are increasing their color gamut to include more fluorescent and
brighter colors. Epson's CMYK printer has a vibrant color range
and M&R is adding colors and special-effects options. Manufacturers know decorators want all the bells, whistles and color options.
The future will allow for easier application of foils, metallic and
other special-effects inks.
Consistency is essential for productivity, and this is where DTG
advancements likely will outperform screen printing, which has
several variables that can throw off continuous, consistent production. Running out of ink, broken screens, inaccurate registration,
ink buildup on the bottom of screens, shirt shift and stretching,
flash-unit issues, etc., are all problems that hamper consistency.
Screen printing can be a sensitive process. Digital printing,

Manufacturers are working on
pretreatment automation -
a standalone unit that pretreats,
cures and presses a shirt so that
it's ready for DTG decoration.

P.50

however, can significantly reduce a lot of those manual issues via
automation and technology.We already are seeing developments
with bulk-ink systems, sensors that adjust platen height, internal
cleaning automation and more.With these advancements, DTG
decorators are nearing 100% confidence that the shirt they load
will be perfectly printed and ready for sale. Confidence in perfect
production is the consistency that is needed, and digital decorating
promises to continue to deliver on that need.
The rapid advancement of DTG printers is quickly demonstrating how technology will only continue to allow us to deliver
exactly what customers wants in a reliable, efficient, and more
consistent and profitable way. 
John LeDrew is the DTG director for Melco Intl. He has worked professionally in
garment decoration since 2006, managing accounts and overseeing production
for some of the world's largest brands and retailers. For more information or to
comment on this article, contact John via LinkedIn.

THE CURING QUESTION
Another DTG-printing bottleneck involves curing a wet, printed
shirt. Many operators think a heat press is required, which is false.
Part of the reason screen printing is so efficient - once it is set
up - is because the embellished shirt gets pulled off the press and
dumped on a conveyor belt to cure. Wet DTG prints also can be
cured in the same manner.
Historically, the drawback of curing DTG prints with a conveyor
dryer has been the size requirements for a functional forced-air
dryer, which is required for properly curing water-based DTG ink.
Until recently, dryers were a minimum of 36" x 12'. New technology
has condensed these dimensions dramatically. For example, BBC
Industries Inc. has released a 24" x 8' forced-air dryer that cures wet
pretreated and printed shirts in about two minutes.

Manufacturers
constantly are
developing new
technology to increase
DTG-printing speed.
In the future, expect
speeds in conjunction
with reliability to be
more commonplace.

I M P R E S S I O N S M A G . C O M MAY 2020

48-50_IMP_0520_TMD_DTG.indd 50

4/15/20 6:29 PM


http://www.IMPRESSIONSMAG.COM

Impressions - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - May 2020

Impressions - May 2020
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Expo Scene
Overheard
First Look
The Intersection of Innovation
Ahead of the Curve
Managing Today's Workplace
Pushing the Creative Comfort Zone
Shop Talk
Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Direct-To-Garment
Ad Index/Classifieds
On Design
Impressions - May 2020 - Intro
Impressions - May 2020 - Impressions - May 2020
Impressions - May 2020 - Cover2
Impressions - May 2020 - 1
Impressions - May 2020 - 2
Impressions - May 2020 - 3
Impressions - May 2020 - 4
Impressions - May 2020 - First Impressions
Impressions - May 2020 - From the Show Director
Impressions - May 2020 - Expo Scene
Impressions - May 2020 - Overheard
Impressions - May 2020 - 9
Impressions - May 2020 - 10
Impressions - May 2020 - 11
Impressions - May 2020 - 11A
Impressions - May 2020 - 11B
Impressions - May 2020 - First Look
Impressions - May 2020 - 13
Impressions - May 2020 - The Intersection of Innovation
Impressions - May 2020 - 15
Impressions - May 2020 - 16
Impressions - May 2020 - 17
Impressions - May 2020 - 18
Impressions - May 2020 - 19
Impressions - May 2020 - 20
Impressions - May 2020 - 21
Impressions - May 2020 - 22
Impressions - May 2020 - 23
Impressions - May 2020 - 24
Impressions - May 2020 - 25
Impressions - May 2020 - Ahead of the Curve
Impressions - May 2020 - 27
Impressions - May 2020 - 28
Impressions - May 2020 - 29
Impressions - May 2020 - 30
Impressions - May 2020 - 31
Impressions - May 2020 - 32
Impressions - May 2020 - Managing Today's Workplace
Impressions - May 2020 - 34
Impressions - May 2020 - 35
Impressions - May 2020 - 36
Impressions - May 2020 - 37
Impressions - May 2020 - Pushing the Creative Comfort Zone
Impressions - May 2020 - 39
Impressions - May 2020 - 40
Impressions - May 2020 - 41
Impressions - May 2020 - Shop Talk
Impressions - May 2020 - 43
Impressions - May 2020 - Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Impressions - May 2020 - 45
Impressions - May 2020 - 46
Impressions - May 2020 - 47
Impressions - May 2020 - Direct-To-Garment
Impressions - May 2020 - 49
Impressions - May 2020 - 50
Impressions - May 2020 - Ad Index/Classifieds
Impressions - May 2020 - On Design
Impressions - May 2020 - Cover3
Impressions - May 2020 - Cover4
Impressions - May 2020 - ISS1
Impressions - May 2020 - ISS2
Impressions - May 2020 - ISS3
Impressions - May 2020 - ISS4
Impressions - May 2020 - ISS5
Impressions - May 2020 - ISS6
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/20211011
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/DigitalDecorator_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/20210809
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/teamactivewear_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/imp_0421_digital
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nxtbook_bhtest/impwessons
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2020fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20200607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20190607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2018fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20170607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20160607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20150607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20140607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sportsfanretailer_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20131011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20130607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20121011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20120809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20120607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20111011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20110809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2011fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20110607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2011spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sourcebook2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20101112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20100910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2010fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20100708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2010winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_eco_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20091112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sourcebook_200906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201001
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com