IS COMPANY PROFILE 50 images SEPTEMBER 2022 For 11 years, engineer Angelo Schiestl and his team at Aeoon Technologies in Austria have been refining their industrial-scale machines for garment printing, but had struggled to make in-roads into the UK market. But that looks set to change now that Aeoon has teamed up with Xpres, already a well-established and highly-respected UK supplier of direct-to-garment (DTG) machines from Epson, as well as dye sublimation printers, printer/cutters, print and cut media, and brandable clothing. Since becoming UK distributor for Aeoon in May this year, the team at Xpres has created a dedicated showroom and demonstration area at its base in Castle Donington, near Derby, which was completed in August. It has installed a three-platen Aeoon Kyo Link printer – capable of printing on 180 dark garments per hour – along with a twin-belt tunnel dryer from Sanco Technology, and is now ready to welcome garment decorators who are All aboard the Aeoon Xpres We visited the new showroom for Aeoon direct-to-garment machines at the HQ of the manufacturer’s new UK distributor Xpres, where the flagship Aeoon Kyo Link printer was being put through its paces interested in investing in mass-produced printed garments. “It has a completely different feel from other showrooms,” explains Damon Piall, sales director at Xpres. “The idea is it will feel like a real production workspace. This is where you come if you are a production outfit where you’re needing to produce thousands of T-shirts a day.” Aeoon has smaller machines than a three-platen Kyo Link, including the Maikuro introduced earlier this year, but the full-scale system was judged the best for demonstrating the Aeoon technology’s potential. “We went with the Kyo Link as we could then ‘demo down’ for customers,” explains George Burrows, who works with decorators as DTG system specialist at Xpres and has been trained at Aeoon in Austria. “All the Aeoon machines have the same interface using a touchscreen, even on the smaller Maikuro. Some customers are a bit scared by the Kyo Link when they first see it, but, when you show them how easy it is to operate, they see that the process is very straightforward.” Flagship machine The machine set-up at Xpres has eight print heads; however, it can be fitted with 12 heads, Damon points out. “The Kyo Link is Aeoon’s flagship DTG machine. We bought a machine with an eight-print head configuration but, if someone bought this, they could add another four heads and go for more speed or for a wider array of colours.” There are also around 70 different platens available, from neck labels and baby sizes to one that is two metres wide by 98cm for tablecloths or towels, plus the option of customised platens. “If you maintain this machine and look after it, it will last,” Damon adds. “You buy a chassis with the most up-to-date components that you can buy at that point in time and in ten years’ time you’ll be able to add even more updated components and print head technology to this chassis. That’s the ethos behind them. They’re not a throwaway printer with a five-year lifespan.” The Aeoon area has been set up next to where Xpres demonstrates Epson’s DTG machines, including the entrylevel SureColour SC-F2100 and the SC-F3000 mid-industrial machine for which Xpres is sole UK distributor. These are not in competition with Aeoon but complement it, Damon explains. “The F3000 is a very good, very capable The Aeoon Kyo Link installed at Xpres Xpres system specialist George Burrows