Epson to launch new direct-to-fabric printer

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At PacPrint, for the first time in Australia, Epson Australia will present applications and samples on its new Monna Lisa ML-8000 direct-to-fabric textile printer, which it says is the new standard in textile image quality.

Direct to fabric: New Epson Monna-Lisa ML-800 to be released at PacPrint
Direct to fabric: New Epson Monna-Lisa ML-800 to be released at PacPrint

According to Epson the ML-8000 is a “next-generation” digital textile printer with high print quality, productivity, stable operation with minimal downtime. It says it allows easy operation for “an affordable price”, making it “the ideal printer” for companies looking to move into local, onshore digital printing and production.

Epson says digital printing has become increasingly popular with fashion and textile designers, as they strive to meet the increased demands for short runs and fast fashion while under pressure from public criticism to ease environmental burdens. The ability to deliver digital designs for digital print on demand enables businesses to offer their customers a faster turnaround, without having to rely on mass shipments of stock crossing continents, much of which result in higher waste streams due to analogue printing. As such the new Monna Lisa ML-8000 represents an opportunity for all kinds of print businesses to enter the fast growing digital textile printing sector.

The ML-8000 is the new entry model in the Monna Lisa series, it comes with eight of the latest PrecisionCore printheads. Epson says the ML-8000 “packs the power and performance of the latest world-class Epson inkjet printing and manufacturing technologies into a single package”.

Epson says the Monna Lisa series “combines performance and usability to meet the needs of the digital textile market for flexibility and sustainability”. With its eight PrecisionCore printheads, the ML-8000 reaches typical print speed of 155
square metres per hour at 600x600 dpi – 2 pass. Maximum print speed is up to 250sqm an hour at 300x600 dpi, 1 pass. Resolution is up to 1200 dpi, print width up to 180cm, with up to eight colours.

The Monna Lisa ML-8000 is produced with Epson’s print partner Robustelli, which has a history of textile design and manufacturing in Italy’s Como province.

The ML-8000’s image quality is enabled by Epson’s high quality printheads. Epson says its exclusive Microweave and lookup table technologies reduce banding and graininess, and advanced new Multi-Layer Halftone Technology, which randomises the halftone dot pattern on each layer, reducing image degradation caused by dot misalignment. Dynamic Alignment Stabiliser technology also ensures stable print quality, by controlling waveforms on each printhead chip, for higher dot placement accuracy and more uniform dot density on each pass.

The ML-8000 also features symmetrical colour alignment for “consistent colour overlap order” during bidirectional low pass printing, and Accurate Belt Position Control (ABPC) technology automatically detects the belt feeding distance to ensure precise fabric feeding. The result, says Epson, is optimal quality and speed, with “superb reproduction” of colour gradations, fine details and complex geometric patterns.

Stable operation with usability is realised with the advanced cleaning mechanisms and automated adjustment functions. A fluff blower system removes fluff from the fabric surface before it enters the printing area and an ink mist extraction system helps prevent ink mist from adhering to the nozzle surface.

Nozzle verification technology detects missing dots that indicate nozzle clogging, and adjusts ink delivery to maintain image quality and reduce printing errors. An “easy-to-replace” fabric wiper roll continuously wipes the printhead nozzles clean automatically, reducing daily manual maintenance work. Accuracy of printhead alignment technology allows the user to replace the head “quickly”.

Thanks to an automatic calibration function by an RGB camera, operators can carry out printhead replacement including adjustments in as little as 30 minutes.

Epson’s Remote Monitoring System (24/7 monitoring) enables a quick response to potential problems, reducing downtime and service calls.

Ease of use is enhanced by a 9-inch LCD touch panel that displays current printer status, operating instructions, and regular maintenance procedures, and by hot-swappable, dual 10-litre or 3-litre high-capacity ink cartridges that allow
uninterrupted production.

Epson Genesta inks are available in Acid, Reactive, Disperse, and Pigment formulations in a degassed vacuum-pack. They are Eco Passport certified to meet globally recognised standards for environmentally friendly textile printing. In addition, the Acid ink is bluesign approved and the Reactive and Pigment inks are Gots approved by Ecocert.

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