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Interview with Ronald Van Den Broek

Industry Speak
Ronald Van Den Broek
Ronald Van Den Broek
GM Sales (EMEA)

We export to 150 countries

Headquartered in Japan, Mimaki Engineering Co. Ltd. manufactures and markets industrial wide-format inkjet printers and cutting plotters. The company provides a fully integrated workflow solution that includes hardware, software and consumables. General manager, sales, for Europe, Middle East and Africa Ronald Van Den Broek speaks about the company's latest innovations displayed at ITMA 2019, held from June 20 to 26 in Barcelona.

Please tell us in brief about your company.

Mimaki was founded in 1975 and we are pioneers of three different technologies. The first is sign graphics, the second is printing on solid objects through UV machines, and the third is our textile printing segment. We introduced the first digital textile printer in 1995 and have now grown from supplying low volume printers that were capable of printing at speeds of just one sq. metre per hour to supplying very high-volume machines, which print at speeds of 400 sq. metres per hour. We serve all the needs of digital textile printing, no matter what ink type the customer is looking for, such as acid, reactive, disperse, pigment or sublimation inks.

What new technologies did Mimaki display at ITMA 2019? Please share a few details.

Mimaki showcased several new products at ITMA. The first one was a hybrid type machine that allows customers to install two ink types in one machine; pigment and sublimation. The second was the latest version of the Tiger MkII with all the new features that we added. We are launching fluorescent inks on our TS55 model as well as a brand new development of an ink suitable to print on artificial leather with extremely good scratch resistance, adhesion and flexibility. Finally, we introduced the newest line-up of coating, steaming and washing machines that came out of the acquisition of the company Rimslow in 2018.

In 2017, Mimaki acquired La Meccanica in Italy that manufactures high volume digital printing machines. Mimaki, through its expertise, added value to the machines through electronics and launched the Mimaki Tiger at ITMA. This step ensured that we were now in the low-, mid- and high-volume fabric printing segment. 

Fabric needs pre- as well as post-treatment process when it is printed on a digital printer. Customers would buy a printer from one company and the pre- and post-treatment process machinery from another vendor. But getting technologies from various suppliers meant the colour on the fabric would not be as in the original design. Other issues may arise as well. In 2018, we acquired an Australian company, which manufactures pre- and post-treatment solutions for digitally printed fabrics. We modified these machines to ensure that the final colour on the fabric would be as in the original design. 

We have also launched a software called the Mimaki Job Controller TA. The operator can now input the complete job settings for the coating, printing, steaming and washing processes. This ensures there are no mistakes and if there is a repeat order, the operator can just scan the QR code and the same parameters will be loaded. Besides this, Mimaki can now provide a single service point for our customers' complete production line. This is unique in the market. 

Which are your major export markets?

We export to at least 150 countries. We have thousands of machines installed around the world and so the service network is already in place. This ensures that even for the high-volume machines, we can provide local service in every country.

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

ITMA is like a huge global marketplace and we get an opportunity to meet our clients, decision makers and agents. In regional shows, we do not get to meet all these people. (HO)
Published on: 09/07/2019

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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