Roq Now – the future of web-to-print… today

The growth in demand for web-to-print services is propelling the print industry towards the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), according to I-Sub. The company points out that major online retailers are already introducing infrastructures to cater for this demand – either by creating their own systems or by boosting existing ones to offer these services via their online stores. I-Sub is the exclusive UK distributor of printing equipment and machinery by Roq – a company that has been innovating for the last 35 years and which has been implementing the concept of Industry 4.0 for the last four years. During that time Roq’s methods of production have evolved immensely through new facilities, equipment, quality control, new processes, data analysis and information dissemination.

Roq is implementing Industry 4.0 concepts

The Roq factory in Portugal

This period of sustained evolution and accelerated growth has also seen market needs evolving, with the web-to-print market requesting shorter-than-ever delivery times from the screen printing industry along with top-level quality. “The end-customer for print-on-demand or web-to-print is very demanding. This global clientele thrives in micro- moments and expects fast delivery– in many cases within 24 hours. Web-to-print enables customers to go online and purchase a custom-made T-shirt, with their choice of fabric, colour, design, size and print size. The creativity lies on the side of the customer and there is a great opportunity for the print industry as they now have a direct line to these end-customers,” I-Sub explains. “Web-to-print is an interesting challenge and a huge market opportunity. Demand is high and is expected to increase exponentially, which is down to more and more demand for personalised products. To facilitate this, new production means are necessary.”

100% digital

“Screen printing has its unique merits but it is not suitable for this type of job,” I-Sub continues. “Traditional screen printing is best suited for large runs where the cost of the screen is diluted by each additional print produced. With digital printing, the cost of every print is the same. This makes it perfect for delivering unique products. It produces a high quality print, with high definition, and makes it very easy to change the design. It is geared toward personalisation with the customer directly involved in its conception.”

The Roqprint Now is a 100% DTG press featuring an inline process and a fully automated workflow. According to I-Sub, it is one of the fastest DTG solutions on the market, producing 300 pieces per hour, and is tailor-made for web-to-print. “With this latest solution, Roq is helping printers make the next leap to Industry 5.0 – where humans and robots streamline the production process, allowing more time for creativity and the production of unique products,” says the company.

With the Roqprint Now, the web-to- print process is simple, explains I-Sub. “The customer places an order with their choice of fabric, size and colour design, and the order generates a barcode which is read by the printer. The operator loads the appropriate T-shirt and a few minutes later the T-shirt is ready to ship. “The production process is as fluid as possible, ensuring customers are satisfied with a high quality print delivered in the shortest amount of time with the unique touch given by the customer.”