Your Design: Kornit Storm HD6 Lite from Amaya
Mark Fazackerley, director
Tell us a bit about your business
We are an online printing company and have been trading for over 15 years. It’s not just garments – we offer mugs and various sublimation items, laser and diamond engraving, posters and wall vinyls –a bit of everything! All items are produced in-house as we like to control the quality of what we produce. Following new trends and having experienced an increase in the demand for mug and T-shirt printing drop ship fulfilment services, we have made a bold decision to concentrate in these products, in addition to our online print-to-order customers.
What machine have you bought?
With the growth we could already see in our garment printing, the only problem we had was physically producing the orders. We had been happily using three Epson [SureColor] F2000 DTG printers – each with an operator, two [Roland] VersaCamm print-and-cut machines – again, with operators for artwork and pressing, yet through no fault of these machines we simply could not get the level of orders printed daily that we had the demand for. We needed a new solution and having researched what was available we knew the time was right for us to invest in a Kornit. The machine, the dryer and the web development work we needed to do will take this to a quarter of a million pound investment for us. It was a big decision that we felt confident about having had lengthy discussions with Julian [Wright] from Amaya. With Julian we looked at the numbers of garments we currently printed, the amount we knew we could confidently grow to and our existing costs, and for us luckily the time was right! The virus pandemic and delivery right at the peak of this gave us a slight wobble, but with hindsight the timing was perfect.
What’s the Kornit like to use?
The machine is great to use. Our existing staff enjoy using it, and only one operator is needed, allowing the growth of our business with shift patterns. The Kornit wants to be in constant use! We have a mixture of individual one-off designs and then larger print runs, a mix of light and dark garments – everything is handled with ease.
Are you using your other machines in combination with the Kornit?
To allow us to ensure all orders are to the same print standard we have retired our other machines, which is not a problem as the Kornit is currently managing our weekly print runs. Having the one machine does give us slight nightmares if we are honest – the old saying of ‘all your eggs in one basket’ springs to mind – but we have confidence in both Kornit and Amaya’s support. Realistically, before the year is out, we are likely to have invested in a second machine.
Is there anything you’d like to see as an upgrade or don’t like?
The only aspect that we prefer from previous print runs is the feel of the print on garments that have pre-spray and a heavy print finished in the dryers – the finish is slightly rougher than we previously had. If you then use a heat press to finish the garment, the print – in our opinion – feels better, but this is not a viable option for the volume we now produce!
What’s your advice to anyone thinking of investing in a DTG machine?
Our advice to anyone buying a DTG machine is simply to research your market. Explore if you want to print dark and light garments: at the lower scale of the market, printing on light colours is quicker and most cost-effective and the machines are easier to maintain. Be prepared to look after your machines as costs can quickly escalate if you do not.