Revolutionising Functional Textile Printing


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Revolutionising Functional Textile Printing

  1. 1. REVOLUTIONISING FUNCTIONAL TEXTILE PRINTING USING INKJET TECHNOLOGY Dr Alan Hudd Xennia Technology Ltd Presented at the Digital Textile Conference Hamburg, Germany, May 2011
  2. 2. Background to Xennia Xennia is the world‟s leading industrial inkjet solutions provider 14 year history, over 300 customer development programmes World class reputation underpinned by a strong IP portfolio Unique expertise in inkjet chemistry with strong engineering capability Headquartered in UK, sales offices in US and China Awarded Queen‟s Award for Enterprise in 2010 Offering reliable inkjet process solutions: Inkjet modules and inks for OEM partners with market access Printing systems and inks for end users through our distributors
  3. 3. Xennia helps customers lower operating costs, increase productivity and simplify mass customised productionby revolutionising manufacturing processes
  4. 4. Technology push to market pull Inkjet technology & market evolution curve: The next wave has started Technology Market Technology Market Technology Market Innovation Development Innovation Development Innovation DevelopmentMarket size Ceramics Packaging Electronics Food Biomedical Photo Textiles Labels Screen print Cut vinyl SOHO Graphics CAD E-stat Date Coding Pen plotters Direct Mail 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020
  5. 5. The changing landscape Price competition Non-price competitionExisting arena Traditional customers New arena Inkjet proposition Courtesy Mr Loek de Vries, Chairman and President, Royal TenCate
  6. 6. Benefits of inkjet Reduced production costs Efficient use of consumables No requirement to produce new screens Minimal set-up costs – short runs are economical Cost per print same for 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10,000 No requirement for inventory Increased productivity No time for set-up – printer is always printing Faster response Print on demand Just-in-time customisation/personalisation Much quicker introduction of new designs Applicable to all types of fabric
  7. 7. Textile applications Digital decoration of textiles: Garment personalisation Reel-to-reel textile production Flags, banners, awnings Soft furnishings Applying functional coatings Dirt repellent Water repellent Fire retardant UV blocking Conductive
  8. 8. General market drivers Key market driver Need for economic short print runs Faster and more frequent design changes Increased number of niche products Increased demand for personalisation to add value
  9. 9. Textile market Over 21Bn metres printed globally Market value $165Bn Overall growth 2% CAGR Technology (2007) 40% rotary screen printing 40% flatbed screen 19% other traditional 1% digital Regional mix 50% Asia,15% Europe, 11% North America Digital printing growing rapidly (20% CAGR) Source: Gherzi Research 2008
  10. 10. Printing technologies
  11. 11. Digital textiles RTR digital textile market 2010 Hardware $137m (6% growth) Ink $454m (15% growth) Printed output value $1.3Bn (13% growth) DTG digital textile market 2010 Hardware $184m (23% growth „opportunity for ~10,000 high end units‟) Ink $145m (32% growth) Printed output $2.45Bn (35% growth) Systems from Mimaki (and Mimaki based), Roland, Mutoh (low end) Robustelli, Reggiani, Konica Minolta, Osiris (high end) Inks from Huntsman, Dupont, Dystar, BASF, Kiian, Sensient etc Source: IT Strategies Spring 2009
  12. 12. Textile market drivers Drivers towards digital printing Reduced time to introduce new designs (few hours versus several days) Lower energy, water and materials consumption Reduced cost to introduce new designs (no requirement to make screens) Competitive for shorter runs Example: lower cost below1,200m for 8 colour screen versus typical digital Current typical digital cost €3-5/m2 Average run length decreasing Now below 2,000m, was 3,500m in 1994 (average run length still analogue territory) Promise of even lower digital costs, lower at all run lengths Huge potential for digital textile printing Source: Gherzi Research 2008
  13. 13. Reduced run length Inkjet competitive for short runs Long run cost due to ink price Competitive at all run lengths when inks priced for mass production
  14. 14. Inkjet vs. screen printing Opportunity Currently
  15. 15. Simplified production
  16. 16. Textile market need Market requirement for RTR textiles Printing system High productivity (>300 m2/hr) High reliability (>98% up time) Cost effective (Cost (€)/productivity(m2/hr) <2000) High quality (600+dpi, greyscale, 6+ colours) Inks Excellent colour performance (competitive with analogue) Excellent fastness performance (competitive with analogue) Ink costs that give printed cost < analogue for required run length
  17. 17. Solution design requirements Reliability Ink/printhead/nozzle Printhead assembly/wires/electronics Ink system/pipework Maintenance station Print verification station Software Motion system UV, motion system etc Cost Build Cost Vs Redundancy of design for reliability Running cost Vs Productivity
  18. 18. Integration– the key challenge Wetting, drying, curing Fluid control Ink chemistry Substrate Print heads Material handling Encoder accuracy Drive electronics, software
  19. 19. System design trade-off Single pass fixed array wide area swath continuous web printing High productivity High complexity and cost High risk (missing nozzle shows up) Maintenance difficult without stopping Single pass No error tolerance Scanning XY systems Low productivity Low complexity and cost Multiple passes Low risk (nozzle redundancy) Maintenance easy Error tolerant
  20. 20. New concept Reciprocating diagonal continuous printing 1.6-3.0m Two print bars printing complementary patterns WO 2009/056641
  21. 21. Diagonal printing High productivity All nozzles are used efficiently Continuous substrate motion Quality Greyscale high resolution printing Disguise missing nozzles & head variability through software algorithms Redundancy in software, not spare nozzles No banding Maintenance without stopping line Same proven technology as XY systems High reliability printheads Flexibility to vary time spent on maintenance
  22. 22. New concept in reality Reciprocating diagonal continuous single pass printing
  23. 23. System in action
  24. 24. Flexible solution Industrial inkjet is reliable & cost effective Production dispensing for finishing Production printing Options for Continuous printing up to 600 m2/hr High resolution (600+ dpi greyscale) Functional material dispensing Multi-colour decoration Print widths from 1.6 m to 3 m (to 5 m) Range of web based fabrics and inks
  25. 25. Textile inks Reactive dye inks Suitable for cotton and cotton/polyester blends High colour vibrancy even in single pass applications High stability and fastness Acid dye For high quality silk printing Disperse dye For durable printing onto polyester Pigment inks UV cure inks Including white for printing onto dark coloured textiles Broad textile application - no post treatment required Advanced chemistry means competitive costs
  26. 26. Pigmented textile inks Innovative pigmented inks for textile applications Patent protected – WO2009034394 Uses binder to physically bind pigment to fibres Use of traditional textile pigments and binders Enable single pass printing onto wide range of fabrics Universal textile applicability No substrate affinity required Exceptional wash and dry/wet crock fastness Excellent light fastness Simple process No pre-treatment of fabric required No steam fixation – energy saving
  27. 27. Digital finishing Major benefits of inkjet digital finishing Multi functionality Single sided application possible Two sides can have different functions Patterning – place function where you want it Functionality applied efficiently to textile surface only Highly consistent coat weight Environmental and energy savings Not influenced by underlying substrate variations Not influenced by bath concentration or dosing variations
  28. 28. Inkjet textile finishing Inkjet digital textile finishing process System can be Standalone; or Integrated in existing finishing lines Dust cleaning unit Textile Finisher UV IR Conventional Dryer Conventional Dryer Printing blanket
  29. 29. Functional materials Hydrophobic Comfort of cotton material on skin side Water and dirt repellent function on outside Dirt repellant/self-cleaning More efficient coating when applied with inkjet Single-sided application important Antimicrobial/anti-fungal/anti-insect Selective deposition, efficient usage Slow release technology Materials used cannot be in skin contact Single-sided application vital
  30. 30. Functional materials II Flame retardant Highly coherent coating very important Single side coating allows lighter weight UV blocking (anti-sunburn) Coating needs to be away from skin IR blocking Insulating fabrics – tents, clothing Electrically conductive Antennae incorporated into clothing, tents Communication with electronic devices Solar energy harvesting Tents, awnings, etc Low cost manufacturing essential
  31. 31. Functional textiles in action
  32. 32. Digital functionality
  33. 33. Slow release technology Approach Novel scaffold structure holds molecules for release Release rate can be controlled by an external stimulus e.g. temperature Rechargeable by reapplying molecules to be released Application example Insect repellent Toxic materials, undesirable for skin contact Single sided coating, material held away from skin contact
  34. 34. Digital dyeing Approach Methods developed to use “difficult” aggressive dyes (VAT dyes) Not usually used in “printing” but give higher end user performance Benefits Environmentally friendly, efficient use of natural resources Very high fixation, with low discharge of unfixed dye Low water and energy usage compared to traditional dye baths Consistency of product quality Consistent quantity of dye is laid down Does not rely on pick-up of dye from dye bath Different colour possible on each side of the textile
  35. 35. Functional textiles video
  36. 36. Textile value chain Current textile production technology is labour intensive Process automation will reduce labour content in costs Variable costs currently high for inkjet Inkjet machines will consume tons of ink Economy of scale dictates lower ink prices No fundamental reason for prices being higher Low cost location becomes less important Logistics will be the key component to control
  37. 37. Textile futurefrom Inkjet will revolutionise an outdated industry to deliver production reliability & productivity at lower coststo
  38. 38. Conclusions Inkjet technology will transform the textile industry Higher productivity/lower cost Higher flexibility Economical shorter runs (Mass) customisation Faster product design introductions Higher quality New functionality Environmental benefits Digital decoration and finishing enables process automation Extensive R&D effort is needed for adoption Will strengthen the competitive power of the Western textile industry