Transfer printing using sublimation inks or direct printing on PES textiles is a mature technology in itself and has established itself in many industries. Other areas are following the trend to produce locally with a high degree of customized design and short delivery times. Printers, inks, paper, textiles and calenders are available on the market in many high quality variations. Nevertheless, it is time to think about the next stage in manufacturing. It must become more efficient and reproducible in order to be able to keep up in the coming years.
Wider – larger – thicker
At every new trade fair, each year, you can see that printers have more output. However, higher speeds are only of limited use if printers still have to be shut down to change rolls or perform maintenance. Producing wider is certainly a possible solution but not always easy to implement. After all, the entire supply and production chain has to be on board.
Making better use of existing capacity is another option.
Because changing a roll takes just as much time on a small machine as it does on a large one, this is an important solution. Larger rolls or the possibility to run the machine while changing a roll are very interesting here.
Jumbo rolls of textile and printed paper are used in front of the line in the presentation below. Controlled textile tensioning is used here as well as clamping bars as an aid for inserting the textile and paper. There is a fabric accumulator at the outlet. This “catches the fabric” while the calender carries on producing. An automatic cutting unit and a wrapper container within reach help the machine operator quickly change the finished roll, keeping the fabric accumulator small.
Another possibility is to build a fabric accumulator in the form of a trough at the inlet. Small rolls can be unwound and the fabric can be deposited in the trough. A spreader and straightener ensures that the loose fabric runs into the calender crease-free and centred.