drupa to stage first digital textile printing show

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The rapid growth of digital textile printing will see drupa launch Touchpoint Textile, a new special show for digital textile printing applications, in Hall 4 of June’s giant show, complete with micro digital textile factory.

Digital textile printing: on show at drupa for first time
Digital textile printing: on show at drupa for first time

The drupa organiser says that with the textile industry spawning technologies for numerous industries, touchpoint textile connects these various sectors, offering them a platform for cross-industry collaboration, new projects, as well as product and manufacturing ideas that will be demonstrated on-site in a microfactory.

As the world’s leading trade fair for printing technologies drupa says it is providing this forum to reflect the rising significance of digital textile printing, and to underline its importance as a driver of innovation and growth in new fields of business for the printing industry.

The special show is an indicator of how drupa – as with the rest of the print industry – is opening up to new markets, which apart from textile printing include packaging, large format printing, industrial and functional printing. All of these segments are going through the same transformation processes, offering tremendous potential for growth to commercial printers, thanks to digital technology.

Touchpoint textile is backed by two main partners: the German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research (DITF) as Europe’s largest textile research centre, and the non-profit European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association (ESMA).

Together with cross-industry partners, DITF is setting up a Digital Textile Micro Factory at drupa, a fully networked, integrated production chain from customer specifications and design to fabric finishing.

Demonstrating new possibilities for digitalisation and direct customer interaction, such as 3D garment simulations with direct data transfer to virtual and augmented reality applications, the microfactory shows how digital textile printing, cutting and colour management can be integrated in a fully connected production environment.

A variety of products, such as flags, t-shirts, and bags, will be fabricated hot off the press each day. According to the drupa organiser, networked production chains of this kind, fuelled by a combination of agility, creativity, flexibility, and productivity, empower the textile industry to respond ever more promptly and specifically to customer demands and trends, even in small quantities.

Partners and sponsors of the Digital Textile Micro Factory are: Assyst (3D clothing simulation, digital twins), Vuframe (VR/AR), Mitwill (design network), Ergosoft and Caddon (rip and colour management), HP and Multiplot (large format textile printing), Zünd (digital cutting), Juki (production and workflow) as well as Dommer, berger textiles and Kaspar (sponsors).

Another important contributor to overall concept development is Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, which is simultaneously integrating relevant subjects in its curriculum in order to equip tomorrow’s employees for new challenges.

ESMA, in turn, is in charge of the conference programme, inviting speakers from research, development and industry to discuss printing and finishing technologies, workflows, market developments and sustainability. “Textile printing is expanding rapidly thanks to innovations in printing processes. Both, digital and conventional technologies, can contribute to this change”, says ESMA General Manager Peter Buttiens. “We’re looking forward to demonstrating our expertise and know-how in textile applications to visitors at drupa’s touchpoint textile.”

“Continued digitalisation and cross-sectional technologies are accelerating innovation”, commented Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa and global head of Print Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf. “The role of drupa is to be a source of momentum for our industry, fostering and shaping change. We’re committed to identifying all relevant issues and integrating them in our forums.

"The growth potential in textile printing is phenomenal. It’s against this backdrop that we are dedicating a special platform to these applications.” Even beyond the touchpoint textile special show, digital textile printing will be an important focus of many exhibitors. drupa visitors are thus assured of getting a 360-degree view of current developments and trends in this important sector."

The doors to drupa will open on 16 June, with the show running for 11 days.

Digital textile printing: large and small will run at drupa
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