Brother shows powderless DtF at Fespa Amsterdam

Brother has proven off a prototype of a brand new strategy to DtF that takes a totally totally different strategy to nearly each different DtF answer.

That’s as a result of Brother’s answer makes use of dry toner as an alternative of inkjet. The corporate has tailored an present workplace laser printer, including an adhesive unit to it. For now this only a prototype and it’ll solely take A4 paper.

It depends on utilizing a coated switch paper, which differs from present switch papers and for now could be solely obtainable by way of Brother. So it’s maybe extra correct to name it a Direct-to-paper strategy.

This paper is fed into the printer, which prints the picture to it, utilizing the present CMYK toners, after which by way of the fusing unit. From there, the printer applies a glue layer to the print, which is then dried. After that the picture may be utilized to a material by way of a warmth press, as with every different DtF system.

It’s moderately quick, producing seven A4 pages per minute, which is rather a lot faster than most DtF machines as there’s no want to use and treatment any powder. It’s additionally a extra compact unit, once more as a result of there’s no powder shaker.

The primary disadvantage for now could be that there’s no white as Brother doesn’t have any white toner, which signifies that the outcomes should not pretty much as good on darkish supplies. Nonetheless, there’s no technical cause for this, simply that there’s no want for white in an workplace printer that’s going for use solely for printing to white paper. So Brother can both develop its personal white toner or license this from one other vendor.

Oki, for instance, additionally has the same answer, full with white toner, however with the printing and gluing in separate units. Brother’s built-in strategy is neater, and naturally, Brother has a a lot greater footprint within the DtG/ F market

Masahiro Haruki from Brother’s enterprise improvement group, says, “The suggestions up to now is that the A4 dimension is simply too small and that we have to implement the white toner for the black shirts.”

Haruki says that Brother has not but selected the worth, however that it will likely be less expensive “as a result of we’re simply utilizing an present laser printer.” He says that it ought to be commercially obtainable sooner or later subsequent yr, including, “We are going to resolve the specification after the present.”

Brother’s automated factory line is built around four GTX600 DtG printers at Fespa Amsterdam                            Photo Nessan Cleary
Brother’s automated factory line is built around four GTX600 DtG printers at Fespa Amsterdam                            Photo Nessan Cleary Brother’s automated manufacturing facility line is constructed round 4 GTX600 DtG printers at Fespa Amsterdam                            Picture Nessan Cleary

Elsewhere on the Brother stand I got here throughout a mannequin of an automatic manufacturing facility. Nijika Hayashi, product planning specialist inside Brother’s Industrial Printing Enterprise, says that the primary benefit is that it solely wants one operator and might produce as much as 180 gadgets per hour.

The system is ready up as a 20 meter lengthy manufacturing line with the operator at one finish loading the clothes, that are then transported robotically by way of the varied levels. Step one is to use pretreatment, which is by adopted by a drying station. Then the clothes transfer to the printing the place there’s a line of as much as 4 of Brother’s confirmed GTX600 DtG printers. From this the clothes loop again, by way of a last drying station and again to the start line for the operator to unload them.

Hayashi says that having a number of printers provides a bonus over some automated machines as a result of prospects can nonetheless produce orders if one machine is down for upkeep. There’s an choice to have both two or 4 printers however no extra as one operator wouldn’t be capable of deal with any extra output.

For now, Brother is barely promoting this method within the US however has already put in 19 since launching it final Spring. Hayashi says that the system prices lower than US$ 1 million, including, “We’re nonetheless deciding whether or not or to not carry it to Europe.”

Within the meantime, you’ll find additional data on Brother’s garment printing options from

First printed by Printing and Manufacturing Journal on 20 March 2024. Republished by permission.