Epson has introduced two new textile printers, with a new, higher volume direct-to-garment printer, the SC-F3000 and the latest addition to its wide format series in the shape of the SC-F9400, which includes a variation that takes fluorescent inks.
The SureColor F3000 builds on Epson’s existing desktop DtG printers but is a much bigger, more industrial machine aimed at mid/large garment production businesses and t-shirt suppliers, and as such should be seen as a direct competitor to Ricoh’s Ri6000. It comes with a bulk ink supply system with1.5-litre ink pouches that should help to lower the running cost.
It uses two new 66mm wide PrecisionCore printheads, each having 10 channels and 16000 nozzles. It prints CMYK plus white, using the same UltraChrome DG inks as the existing F2100 printer, and which Epson will continue to sell. It will print to a variety of fabric types including cotton, linen and rayon.
It also takes the same platens as the F2100, which take media up to 406 x 508mm, and up to 28.5mm thick. However, it does boast more automation with sensors to automatically detect garment surface height and adjust the platen height accordingly, which should make it relatively easy to switch between t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, sweatshirts and so on.
Nikolaos Vardakastanis, DTG product manager for Epson Europe, says: “Listening to what businesses need fuels our innovation – and it’s this connection that helped shape the functionality and design of the SC-F3000. Not only have we made this DTG printer simple to operate, but the quality of output at such impressive speeds will make both economical and creative sense to many businesses looking to expand and control the quality of their end product.”
He adds: “It’s important for us to provide peace of mind to our users and engender confidence each time they turn on the SC-F3000. This is achieved through Epson providing the complete end-to-end DTG printing solution: printer, inks, software and support.”
This should be available in Europe from June 2020 and will cost around €40,000 or £35,000. The US price is $49,995.
Epson has also updated its 1.6m wide F9000-series with a new F9400, which are designed mainly for producing clothing, textiles and soft signage, as well as other printed merchandise. There’s also a variant, the F9400H, that can be configured with fluorescent yellow and pink inks, which are suitable for sportswear, workwear and fashion items.
These printers are designed to print to transfer paper and so Epson has improved their ability to handle thinner papers down to 45gsm with better tension control, automatic skew correction and easier media set up. They also features LED lighting so that operators can see the paper better. In addition, there’s a hybrid flat and rib platen, a printhead guard to improve air flow, and prevent damage to the heads, as well as a dust cache and fabric wiper to prevent the nozzles from clogging.
They use two PrecisionCore piezo printheads and can deliver up to 1440 x 720 dpi resolution. However, the F9400 uses eight-channel heads and prints dual CMY plus high density black, while the F9400H uses ten-channel heads because it also takes the fluorescent yellow and fluorescent pink as well as the same CMYK inks. The inks themselves are Epson’s aqueous UltraChrome DS ink dye sublimation inks. Both models can produce up to 108 sqm/hr, though this drops to 52.7 sqm/hr for sports apparel and 93 sqm/hr for soft signage.
Neil Greenhalgh, product manager for Epson Europe, says: “Once again, our focus has been on the further development of the range, and the introduction of a genuine fluorescent solution that adds new value. This is a first for us and we believe that we’ve made fluorescent inks that are superior in terms of brightness and colour density.”
He added, “But it’s not all about the fluorescent ink options, we’ve also introduced a wider choice of EMX files, an instructional / maintenance video (launched from a QR code), and a host of other features that make set-up, usage and maintenance as simple as possible. We’re sure that the SC-F9400 range will have a positive effect on the bottom line of many businesses.”
These models are already available and cost £20,000 for the F9400 and £23,500 for the F9400H. You can find further details at epson.co.uk.