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Interview with Paolo Crespi

Paolo Crespi
Paolo Crespi
DTF Sales & Marketing Director EMEAR and Americas
Epson Europe
Epson Europe

Cost of digital printing in textiles less than that using rotary

Japan's Epson, a leader in digital textile printing, Italy's For.Tex, a leader in dye, thickeners and textile pre- and post-treatment product manufacturing, and Fratelli Robustelli, an Italian company known for its textile printing engineering and production, have been partners for 15 years bringing together their expertise and competencies to provide a complete digital textile printing solution. The three companies came together in 2003 with Monna Lisa, a production-line digital printer equipped with Epson piezo-electric inkjet technology. Paolo Crespi, Direct to Fabric sales & marketing director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) and the Americas, explains why digital printing is the way ahead.

Please tell us in brief about your company.

Epson is a Japan-based company, which entered the textile business in 1998, thanks to the collaboration with two other Italian companies, Fratelli Robustelli and For.Tex. Together with these two Como-based companies, Epson developed a digital textile printer, combining unmatched quality and high productivity with even greater reliability that is one of the most versatile digital textile printers in the market today. The first digital printer was named Monna Lisa, which is still the brand name of our printers. Epson later acquired Fratelli Robustelli and For.Tex, which are today part of the Epson Group, each one bringing its own expertise, respectively machine engineering and chemical development. 

Today, we offer four different models of digital textile printers. The base spare parts of each model are the same, but the productivity is different. The entry level machine is the Monna Lisa Evo Tre 8 and is equipped with 8 PrecisionCore printheads offering a productivity of 100 linear metres per hour (265 sqm/h). Next we have a printer with 16 PrecisionCore printheads, the Monna Lisa Evo Tre 16, with a productivity of 200 linear metres per hour (up to 404 sqm/h), followed by 32 printheads printer, the Monna Lisa Evo Tre 32, available in standard eight colours or 16 channel configuration (two types 8+8 or 16 channels) with a productivity of 300 linear metres per hour (up to 440 sqm/h). Lastly the 64 printheads machine, the new flagship Monna Lisa Evo Tre 64, launched for the first time at ITMA 2019 as a preview, with a production speed of 800 linear metres per hour (maximum printing speed of 779 sqm/h) without compromising printing quality.

What new technologies were displayed at ITMA 2019?

At ITMA, we showcased the latest Epson innovations for an evolving digital textile market, in particular our new Monna Lisa Evo Tre range featuring Epson PrecisionCore Technology to offer a complete solution for all textile market needs, from large-scale, high-speed production to small-run, on-demand sample printing. These are the preview of Monna Lisa Evo Tre 64 and the preview of Monna Lisa Evo Tre 8, as well as the Monna Lisa Evo Tre 32 and Monna Lisa Evo Tre 16. We also displayed the new Genesta PG-Revo, which are breakthrough pigment inks providing the textile market with high-rub fastness and high print quality. This assures eco-friendly performances because the fabric does not need any post-print treatment.

We keep on renewing and extending the Monna Lisa Evo Tre range. The two new Monna Lisa Evo Tre models, the Monna Lisa Evo Tre 64 and The Monna Lisa Evo Tre 8, will give our customers the opportunity to meet the needs of an ever-demanding textile market. The textile market is increasingly competitive, and the exclusive high-quality, productivity and colour fastness features offered by Epson is a way to stand out.

What percentage of fabric printing is done on digital printers now?

Como in Italy is a textile district of excellence where most of the textile printing industry is located. In the last 17 years, a lot of changes have happened and now almost 80 per cent of fabric is printed on digital printers there. Worldwide, digital printing represents around 6-7 per cent of overall fabric printing, meaning we now have around 90-95 percent opportunities of growth.

High production costs are an impediment to adoption of digital textile printers. So, what can drive sales of digital printers?

Today actually the cost of printing through a digital printer is less than the cost of printing through rotary. If the cost calculation is done by including space, time taken to print, water, steam, energy and water treatment costs and wages of rotary printing, then the cost per metre is relatively the same or even less.

To how many countries do you export?

We are present in all countries and markets that have textile industry of a certain size and relevance.

What is your opinion of ITMA, when compared with other textile machinery exhibitions?

ITMA is a special exhibition and one of the most important events in the textile sector. Since it is held every four years, all companies launch new products to be presented to buyers from nearly 100 countries from all over the world. Of course, the regional exhibitions are also important to us, especially for local markets. So, when we exhibit in regional shows, we have to display and promote the right solution for that market, while at ITMA we try to show our full range.

In particular, this latest edition of ITMA was a great success for us; we couldn't be more satisfied with it. The influx of customers and prospects has been particularly high since the opening on 20th June and has remained constant throughout the entire event. It was a great opportunity to get in touch with international clients, coming not only from European countries, but also from increasingly interesting markets like Turkey, India, Pakistan and South America, especially Peru, Mexico and Brazil. At ITMA, we have launched many sales negotiations. The decision to exhibit the entire line-up of the Monna Lisa series at the fair was much appreciated by the visitors who were able to experience the quality of our machines. And what has been most appreciated by those who came to visit us is having confirmed the quality standard that for more than 15 years has characterized Monna Lisa on the market, with the plus offered by the highest productivity achieved with Monna Lisa Evo Tre 64. (HO)
Published on: 15/07/2019

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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