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Cover Story | September 2019

India, a strategic market for Mimaki: Tobias Sternbeck

Mimaki is one of the leading manufacturers of inkjet printers and cutting systems in the world. The company offers a wide range of sublimation printers, ranging from entry-level printers to grand format printers for higher volume environments. Mimaki inks are Oeko-Tex certified and produce brilliant colours, and include yellow and pink fluorescent inks.

Tobias Sternbeck, Senior General Manager, Textile & Apparel Business Unit, Mimaki Engineering, shares the key features of brand-new hybrid digital printer that was launched at ITMA Barcelona, and about the Indian market for MIMAKI over the years. Excerpts…

What were the key features of the brand-new hybrid digital printer that was launched at ITMA Barcelona? How was the response to it post-ITMA?

The hybrid machine we showed at ITMA enables users to print both direct-to-textile and on sublimation transfer paper with just one printer. There are three different combinations of inks available:

  • Textile pigment/direct sublimation
  • Textile pigment/sublimation paper transfer
  • Direct sublimation/sublimation paper transfer

This means more versatility – you can print on a wider range of materials with just one printer. Not only perfect for smaller runs, but ideal for sampling as well.

How has the Indian market developed for MIMAKI over the years? What are the Indian set-up and the facilities?

The market in India has developed and is developing nicely for MIMAKI. With our offices in Delhi and Mumbai we are in a good position, especially considering our dealer network too. We have showrooms in both cities, with a bigger focus on the textile business in our Mumbai office.

TA Job Controller software. What are the benefits of this software and how does this differ from other such products?

First of all, we would like to mention that, as far as we know, there is no similar workflow software out there today, connecting all machines in the full production process of digital textile printing. TA Job Controller is specifically designed for textile production environments and it is currently the most advanced of our Job Controller software.

For use on all Mimaki textile printers – including the successful, EDP-awarded Tiger Pro Series, plus the Rimslow TR Series – the TA Job Controller enables users to connect one-on-one to the RIP and other devices, for an automated workflow from design to pre-print, print and post-print processes.

It reduces human error to a minimum, saving valuable time and cost, while at the same time, TA Job Controller matches print quality for repeating orders, as all parameters used for the first run are uploaded to each and every machine.

How have the global markets responded to the various MIMAKI’s products and which are the major markets?

At ITMA Barcelona, we announced our vision of Mimaki as a Textile Total Solution Provider, enabling textile print houses equipped with Mimaki production lines to run production automatically, saving time and production costs. The overall response we received from our visitors was very positive and stimulates us to continue with our concept to become a major player in total digital textile production.

Do you have any strategic plans for the Indian market? Can you give us some details?

As the Indian market is a growing market in all segments, India is of course a strategic market for Mimaki. We will continue to serve the Indian market with good and reliable products and strong service throughout the whole country with our dealers and our own network.

Please give us some information on your company’s facilities and R&D set-up at its various facilities globally? What are the future plans for the next few years?

Mimaki has its headquarters in Nagano province in Japan. With 13 group companies around the world and our distributor and dealer network, we are catering to more than 150 countries worldwide. Mimaki is very well known as an engineering company, therefore we spend a high percentage of our turnover in R&D to develop new, state-of-the-art products to cater our customer’s needs.

What are the other flagship solutions offered by MIMAKI for the textile industry? Give us some details about their advantages.

Mimaki offers a wide range of digital textile printers for the entry- and mid-market segments, the latest being our TS55-1800 dye sublimation printer. Designed for users that demand productivity at high quality and high speed, the Mimaki TS55-1800 is equipped with high-end features such as the mini jumbo roll, 10L ink tanks, and the ability to print at high resolution with a high ink density using one-pass printing. Representing the pinnacle of our comprehensive textile printer portfolio, we have the Tiger-1800B MkII for volume industrial textile production. At 385m2/h, the Tiger-1800B MkII delivers market-leading print speed and stunning print quality, making these machines the perfect solution for companies looking for cost-effective, high quality, industrial level textile print capabilities. Aside from our textile printers, we also have the Mimaki TR Series range of pre- and post-print treatment machines, including coating, steaming and washing machines. This makes us the only manufacturer to offer a total solution for digital textile print production. The advantage of this for our customers is that they only need to contact one supplier to get all the machines they need in a workflow or to get technical support in case a problem occurs.

How do you see the growth prospects for digital printing in the future? Will these be more affordable to a wider section of users? What are the other drivers of growth for this printing, according to you?

Digital printing is rapidly coming to each and everyone in the textile printing industry, momentum has been building for some years already, and it’s still growing. The most important drivers to switch to digital are time-to-market, lower investment costs and considering the market demand for smaller runs, also lower production costs.

At the same time, digital printing automatically increases sustainability in the industry.

TA Job Controller is specifically designed for textile production environments and it is currently the most advanced of our Job Controller software.

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