Resolute DTG and Shima Seiki have partnered to bring the SIP-160F3 inkjet printing machine to the UK DTG market, but what exactly makes this machine so unique? P&P editor Melanie Attlesey finds out.
Shima Seiki is a name most would associate in the UK with knitting machine manufacture. However, with the introduction of the SIP-160F3 and the company’s budding relationship with Resolute DTG, Shima Seiki aims to become an equally respected and well-known brand in the DTG market.
With many unique features setting the SIP-160F3 apart from others at the high-value end of the market, its well-crafted design means it is capable of handling any print job thrown its way.
It is an ideal printer for both the personalisation and customisation market and the high-volume T shirt printing side of the industry. The printer’s flatbed, three-axis design is what makes it perfectly suited to target both markets. As Simon Cross, business development and marketing manager at Shima Seiki, explains.
“This machine’s USP is its versatility,” he says. “All over prints, irregular shapes, 3D structures, edge-to-edge printing, double-sided printing, one-off individual designs; this machine can do it all with ease.”
Mass production or personalisation
The flatbed printing table enables the printing of multiple items at once. This means the user could print a scarf, a knitted jumper and a T shirt all during the same print run. The unique camera scan facility and the in-built RIP software ensures the correct design is printed in the correct position on the correct item, with millimetre precision.
Not only this, but given the size of the print bed many T shirts can be placed on to it at once, as opposed to printers that utilise platens which are limited to printing one or two T shirts at a time. With the capacity to print up to 400 T shirts an hour, this machine really is high-speed. Again, the unique camera scan facility means that each T shirt can be printed with an individual design to target the personalisation market or with a single design to target the high-volume market.
“What we are seeing is that personalisation increases the value of any product,” says Colin Marsh, managing director of Resolute DTG. “This machine has the capability to physically number and barcode each item to prove its authenticity as being a limited edition product, thus increasing its value.”
The design of the flatbed printing table also means that as the print head completes one bank of garments, the operator can replace these as the print head continues to print beyond, allowing the machine to keep working without any break in production. The RIP software remembers the position for the next print run and allows the design to be changed independently per position.
Simon adds: “This machine allows the user to have the bread and butter of the T shirt market, but also allows them to offer a wider choice in product for their customers. This could be guitar straps, towels, table cloths, door mats, knitwear, the possibilities are endless. Whatever can fit physically onto that bed can be printed. It allows people to diversify as the market they initially target becomes squeezed. It is undoubtedly going to generate business for the user and in markets that can garner higher profits.”
This machine competes with other high-volume printers currently in the market, but offers the user true versatility at a fraction of the cost. At an entry level price point of £104,000, return on investment is easily achievable.
This partnership with Shima Seiki allows Resolute DTG to target a different kind of market as Colin explains: “Previously once our customers got to middle market there was nothing more we could offer them and we would normally lose them as a client. Now we can offer our customers the Shima solution which is quite exciting for us. You can only have so many modular machines before it becomes not really viable and you need a printer that is big and fast. I think this machine is going to generate a lot of interest.”
Unfortunately time didn’t allow the SIP-160F3 to be present at Printwear & Promotion LIVE! in January, but both Simon and Colin are certain that had one been demonstrated it would have been a show stopper. Three models are currently on display at Shima Seiki’s showroom in Castle Donnington and interested parties can attend an open day which is planned to take place within the next couple of months.
So if you are looking for a high-volume printer that can do more than just T shirt printing then the SIP-160F3 could provide the solution for your business.
- Flatbed printing table available in two sizes (1.62×2.4m or 1.6x1m).
- Height adjustable carriage up to 50mm.
- Ultra-high speed printing (approximately 45m/hr).
- CCD camera which takes photos of the fabric on the print bed to ensure accurate positioning.
- Touch pad controller with a 23in widescreen.
- Ability to do all over prints on a variety of substrates.