Roné Auret, Brother’s new area sales manager for the UK, Ireland, Benelux and Africa, talks to Images about the company’s new camera system and the need for quality graphics and garments
What is the primary focus of Brother’s DTG machinery development programme at present?
We are continuously listening to our customers’ needs: what are their requirements and, more importantly, their expectations of our product? This includes looking at ways to increase the print speed, larger print areas and finding ways to lower running costs without affecting the print quality.
Which single technological advance would make the most difference to your customers’ DTG print businesses in today’s markets?
What really matters at the end of the day is that printing should be as efficient as possible for the customer. We just released a camera system that makes the exact placement of designs super easy. This way it is easy to print on a specific place on a garment, and a very effective way of integrating printing with other media such as embroidery, special foils and even screen printing.
Does Brother have plans to add to or update the GT-3 series of printers in the next 12 months?
Brother has its own development centre, which is continuously working on improving and enhancing our current products, as well as working on exciting new products. All I can say right now is ‘Watch this space’!
The inability to print special effects is sometimes cited as a limitation of DTG printing compared with screen print – do you envisage a time when DTG print head technology would allow the printing of glitters and so on?
Because we manufacture our own print heads and inks, this is something we always keep in mind in our development process. Even though printing special inks is not yet available, there are other existing processes one can use, like special heat transfer foils in combination with DTG printing for example.
At this point in time, do you view DTG as complementary to, or competing with, textile screen printing?
We think it is definitely complementary, but also competing to an extent. One of the advantages of DTG compared to screen printing is that it is possible to do small or even personalised print runs without increasing the costs per print. Also, a common misconception is that DTG cannot do large runs – this is totally possible as already proven by some of our larger customers.
What are the biggest changes you’ve witnessed in the DTG printing market since the GT-3 series was launched four years ago?
We have now reached a point where we are able to print on a vast range of items, like shoes, caps, leather, silk and many more. It is no longer just a T-shirt printing business.
How do you see the market developing between now and 2020?
DTG will become even easier to use and more cost effective – it stands to reason, therefore, that the DTG market will keep on expanding. It might reach a point where the everyday man with no designing experience will be able to upload his personal design, get it printed and delivered without any hassle.
What’s the best tip you have to help Images readers improve the quality of their DTG prints?
Use a Brother! It all starts with the graphics – the better your image, the better the print. Especially if you want to print photorealistic designs or smooth gradients keep in mind that not all DTG printers can do this in a proper way. What you see is not always what you get.
Of course the quality of the garment you print onto also plays a vital role. You cannot expect to get a fantastic print on an inferior quality garment.
What is the best piece of marketing advice you have for Images readers looking to sell more products printed on their Brother DTG machine?