Interview with Mark Smith

Face2Face
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Managing Director
Adelco Screen Process Ltd
Adelco Screen Process Ltd

Constant communication with customers helps us grow

Established in 1972, Adelco Screen Process Ltd is a world-class manufacturer of jet-air conveyor drying systems and oval automatic screen printing presses serving the international garment printing industry. Utilising the latest manufacturing techniques and component parts from top suppliers, it invests heavily in R&D to remain at the forefront of garment printing and curing technology. Mark Smith, managing director, talks about the growth of hybrid digital systems.

What is the global market size of garment printing and curing systems?

It is hard to determine the market size of garment printing since it is split into three segments - conventional (screen), digital, and dye sublimation. The conventional screen market is seeing small growth of around 5 per cent, but the largest growth market is in digital garment printing. This sector is seeing annual growth of 30 per cent. Currently, most of the digital garment print market is for direct retail, of which the vast majority is e-commerce retail. Further growth is expected in the digital garment sector as digital takes more of the smaller run screen print market following recent reductions in print costs and increased print speeds of some digital garment printing systems.

What is your global market share?

Our geographical market strengths are Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. We have 35 per cent market of drying systems to conventional and digital print sectors in our successful regions, and are seeing annual growth of 25 per cent. Our growth has averaged 28 per cent over the last four years.

What is the USP of jet-air conveyor drying systems and oval automatic screen printing?

Our conveyor drying systems have a complex and efficient high-velocity hot-air curing chamber and exhaust system. This is carefully balanced to ensure extremely stable temperatures and efficient exhaust of water and other chemical ink and pre-treatment systems. Our air and exhaust systems are unique and the result of extensive testing to work with the most difficult to cure digital garment printing systems. We provide dryer models in both gas-fired and electric-heating options. Gas fired are the most common since, depending on local operating costs, most regions see significant savings on running costs with gas dryers over electric.

Our dryers are fitted with many unique features. We are the only manufacturer to incorporate feed and exit section exhaust hoods to maintain a cleaner air environment in the workplace. We are also the only manufacturer with a triple insulated, air cooled exterior for cool to the touch outer skin. We are also the only manufacturer that provides digital auto belt speed entered in minutes and seconds.

We have just launched a new oval screen print machine named Matrix that brings a new value and specification to the oval screen print machine market. This machine is fully modular and has a chainless pallet link system to ensure longevity and accuracy.

What is the latest trend in textile printing?

Undoubtedly, in the digital garment printing sector, new hybrid digital systems provide extremely soft hand print results and are providing the combination of screen, digital, foil, flock and specialty inks all in one machine such as the new Adelco AD Hybrid printer and New Matrix Oval screen print machine combination. Kornit too has introduced their new HD digital garment printer technology which provides up to 46 per cent reduction in digital garment print costs and increased print speed and resolution. Adelco has been at the forefront in providing the best curing solutions for the Kornit range of digital garment printers for many years producing airflow and exhaust systems to be the most effective solution for curing their wet on wet fixation and ink technology.

How much investment is made in R&D? How do you stay updated on trends?

Adelco continually invests in R&D and advances the equipment to provide the best curing technology for all emerging print systems, particularly digital. In 2017, we launched a new dual dryer concept that provides mass production using the smallest possible footprint by providing two dryers on one footprint. The dual dryer has already taken the market by storm with many companies installing multiple units, particularly in the digital garment printing sector. We will also launch the New Procure at FESPA Berlin in May 2018. This is a complete new dryer range that brings new features and curing ability for both the digital and conventional print markets.

How environment-friendly are your curing technologies?

Our dryers are eco-friendly. Our gas dryers are the most efficient, lowering the company's carbon footprint and is officially registered with the Carbon Trust.

How sustainable are your state-of-the-art facilities?

Our manufacturing facilities are sustainable and we conform to CE, CSA, UL and RoHS.

Which segment has been seeing a rise in application of curing technologies?

Mainly the digital garment print sector, as mentioned earlier.

What are the challenges and opportunities pertaining to the UV curing and traditional curing systems?

Adelco manufactures specifically for textile markets and specialises in textile curing. UV technology has not emerged in the textile print sectors as yet; so, our dryers are manufactured specifically to cure all conventional inks (water based, discharge, acrylic, plastisol, silicon, etc) and all water-based digital garment printing systems as well as all textile transfer applications.

What do you have to say about Industry 4.0?

Adelco is working with Industry 4.0 concepts, including automated workflow for digital garment printing and drying with integration with e-commerce as well as drying systems for satellite roll-to-roll digital textile printing operations that have no pre or post-treatment and also provide a complete micro print-and-dry system.

What factors affect your performance?

Constant communication with our customers and partners in the print industry and developing systems that suit the new print and curing trends help us grow.

What are your expectations from next two fiscals?

Further developments in the digital garment printing sector and business growth continue at over 25 per cent per annum.

What's new in the pipeline?

We focus on increasing output speeds and reducing print costs. (RR)
Published on: 21/05/2018

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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