Mimaki’s newly announced TS55-1800 joins a long and prestigious line of ground-breaking, dedicated textile printers from the Japanese manufacturer and is set to create many new opportunities in the apparel and sportswear market.
Thanks to its unique feature set and competitive pricing, the 1.9m sublimation machine offers high performance coupled with low running costs in a revolutionary and highly anticipated package.
With a textile printing heritage stretching back to the last millennium, Mimaki is rightly regarded as a key innovator in the sector, so the introduction of a printer that’s touted as both a revolution and an evolution is understandably receiving a large amount of interest.
Brett Newman, chief operations manager at Mimaki’s UK and Irish distributor, Hybrid Services, states: “The TS55 is revolutionary in the sense that it incorporates a newly developed print head, capable of achieving strong colours even at the highest speeds. Equally, its ability to grow with the business is both innovative and cost effective – it incorporates multiple features that can be configured to suit workload and demand.”
Supplied as standard with cost effective two-litre ink sacks, it’s possible to either specify from the outset or upgrade at any point to the Mimaki Bulk Ink System (MBIS) that holds 10kg supplies of inks that lower unit costs even further and assist workflow by reducing operator intervention. Similar attention has been paid to the material handling aspect – with the option to utilise huge 2.5km long rolls of transfer paper using Mimaki’s Mini Jumbo Roll system or start small with the standard capacity rolls.
Brett suggests: “Substantial savings can be made by using these options. Not only do these features reduce costs but they increase productivity too. When combined with an array of high-tech, built-in quality assurance tools, the printer is designed to assist unattended operation.”
The TS55 is a quick machine – speeds of 140sq m/hr are achievable in the fastest print modes and an array of Mimaki’s innovative Core Technologies are present including the Nozzle Check Unit and Nozzle Recovery System that assist continuous printing. Mimaki’s proprietary MAPS4 technology greatly assists high output quality, even in two pass mode by masking pass boundaries to give a smooth overall finish.
Brett confirms: “Mimaki’s brand new SB610 sublimation inks have achieved Oeko-Tex certification, approving them for skin friendliness and suitability for use in clothing and other textiles. With the end result from the printer being production runs of apparel, this is an important decision-making consideration.”
There are a number of evolutionary aspects to the new TS55 as well – not surprising given the rich textile pedigree enjoyed by the current Mimaki line-up.
Brett continues: “Mimaki’s textile DNA can be seen throughout the current range of fabric printers, from the Tiger – Mimaki’s phenomenally fast industrial textile machine, right down to the entry level TS30-1300 that’s enabled so many companies to take their first steps in wide format textile printing. Enhancements to the RIP software with the new TxLink4 package include variable data printing, faster rendering, job queuing and multiple printer support, as well as provision for step and repeat in Photoshop and PDF files – no stone has been left unturned by the developers in the release of the new printer.”
With sportswear manufacturing likely to be a significant market for the new Mimaki TS55, features such as variable data will be instrumental in the workflow experienced by print companies.
Brett adds: “This technologically could potentially be applied to the apparel market as well. Bespoke designs, lettering and content are rapidly evolving the fashion sphere with clients embracing garments created to their own style, rather than simply purchasing off-the-shelf designs. The benefit to the printer is a product that commands significant value-add as well.”
Available for demonstration through Hybrid and its specialist textile reseller network, the Mimaki TS55-1800 is understandably high on a lot of print companies ‘need to see’ lists for early 2019. The first machines are expected to ship in the New Year.