As your DTG business grows you are faced with big decisions with regard to which printers you purchase. Here, Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, outlines what avenues you can take in 2020.
You probably have one or two of the entry level printers such as Texjet, Brother, DTG or something similar. These printers range from around £10k to £18k and can produce from 80 to 160 prints a day.
There is nothing wrong with this type of printer, it is probably the best choice for finding out what the market is about and what level you would like to end up in.
Operating one or two DTG printers can be handled by one person but then there is the pre-treatment process to consider. As your business grows you could have 10 or more printers and around five pre-treatment machines and five heat presses. So, for 10 DTG printers you would require at least five or six operators. You are now getting to the point when the production is getting very inefficient with regard to labour, ink costs, production rates and the space taken by such equipment.
What are the options if you want to make you DTG printing business more profitable, more productive, more efficient and be able to cope with mass personalised production?
The next step
The next step is to move up to an industrial level DTG printer that can produce from 80 to 160 prints an hour on dark garments. You might thing that you cannot afford such a printer but please think again.
Ask one of the suppliers to go through the return on investment with you. I promise you that you will be amazed at what you can produce and what you can afford.
These industrial printers range from £150,000 up to around £600,000. If you have the through put of orders, your ROI on one of these professional printers could as little as seven months.
With these printers you could produce the same as around 10 of the smaller printers, but you would only require one member of staff to operate it and may be another to offload from the dryer and pack. The process on these industrial printers is made easier because of the built-in pre-coating or fixation system. All the operator has to do is load the design, load the garment, print and then dry on the tunnel dryer. Even the loading of the design can be made simpler by using web to print technology that is now readily available. Designs can be taken straight from a website on to the printer operating system.
With the lowering of costs, these industrial DTG printers provide a cost-effective alternative to screen printing with sub 500 run lengths and one offs. This comes without the time-consuming manufacturing of screens and the cleaning of them. You can produce screen print quality and hand feel at a fraction of the time and cost. Some of these printers print in CMYKRG and white giving unbelievable colour and clarity.
So, please don’t be put off by the cost of the equipment, look at the numbers you could be printing and then talk to suppliers. Ask them to work through your return on investment and then make a decision.
The DTG printing industry is growing rapidly, year by year, so don’t be left behind, find out more about this highly profitable business.