DTG offer a large range of digital printing machines. Their distribution network radiating from the major European importer, Impression Technology Europe, has grown at a rate that matches the expansion of the industry and with this sort of growth comes added responsibility, not only to the growing number of distributors, but also to the legion of users that now count on DTG products for their livelihood.
With new models and developments on the horizon it seemed the ideal time to hold a European conference and DTG, together with Impression Technology Europe chose north Nottinghamshire in the UK as the venue.
In total, 15 countries were represented with visitors from DTG’s head office in Australia also making the journey. The conference was hosted by Impression Technology Europe – the main importer for Europe – who, together with UK-based Your Embroidery Services Ltd., also had a big hand in the development of the products and the techniques. With varied markets such as France, Germany, Finland and Slovenia represented the conference truly was a cosmopolitan affair.
The purpose of the meeting was three-fold: to ensure that all distributors were as up to date as possible with the technical and production aspects of this varied, and growing, range of machinery; to launch two new machines/techniques that will propel the industry forward at an alarming rate; and to share experiences from varied markets so that all distributors and users could benefit from the international experience that was on display.
One of the problems that many manufacturers have is ensuring that everyone handling their product is completely up to date and this becomes more difficult as the distribution network grows. DTG used this conference to make sure that their European distributors were conversant with all of the latest developments both in machinery and techniques. This is key to the success of the machine user who needs to know that, if they have a problem, it can be quickly and professionally fixed. Of course much of this is handled during the training that all new distributors undergo but refreshing information can sometimes be just as important as delivering it in the first place and this was an area that the conference concentrated on.
One of the key presentations at the conference was the introduction of two new developments. The new K3 machine replaces the standard HM1 and sees a vast improvement on the production front. This new version uses a belt-feed system instead of the usual loading tray and means that it is now possible to use either a single or double platen, increasing the number of finished shirts per hour whilst, at the same time, reducing the unit cost.
The new Viper also has the same system but this is really only half the story because both of these models can also benefit from One Pass Fast. One Pass Fast simply enables the machine to lay down the white and CMYK inks at the same time, but there is much more to it than that. Working out how to do this from a software point of view was reasonably straight forward but, initially, the end result was not what they were looking for with the final quality not up to their usual high standard. Much work followed with DTG finally adopting a different hardware set-up that does deliver the finished print quality that DTG have become famous for. The development is now the subject of a patent application, which will ensure that DTG users maintain the advantages that this system gives them.
Each delegate was able to share with those from other countries the experiences they have seen in their own markets. Steve Richardson, the Australian driving force behind DTG (and incidentally the originator of the product) was very pleased with the conference saying: “This event is a key feature in the development of DTG in Europe. Many companies don’t pull everyone together to share experiences and knowledge and, if you are not careful, this can result in a fractured team pulling in different directions – not good for the customers.