Grafica News - Oct 2014

Hema Silks prefers Grafica nano-prinTex and nano-prinTag to offer quality prints



A textile engineer-turned DTG screen printing service provider in Bengaluru not only felt the urgent need for automation but also knew how to source a quality screen printing machine. His choice was certainly Grafica's nano-prinTex and nano-prinTag.

Meet Dayananda U.R., Director of Bengaluru-based Hema Silks Pvt Ltd. He rather choose a creative field of textile printing after completing his B.Tech in textile engineering at Bangalore University, although his family owns a cool Coffee Estate at Chikmagalur situated in the southwestern part of Karnataka state.

As the name indicates, Hema Silks Pvt Ltd was engaged in pure silk saree printing. Established in 1990, the company switched to DTG screen printing in 1997 at a time when domestic garment brands started emerging in Bengaluru. Prior to automation, Hema Silk had 2 Long tables and 6 Manual butterfly machines - all housed in their 8000 sq. ft production facility. In early 2014, the company invested in Grafica's nano-prinTex, with 10 colour/14 station configuration. Later they also bought nano-prinTag to print small size jobs and tagless label screen printing.

Interview:

Why did you adopt automation?

The acute labour shortage in Bengaluru compelled us to go for automation. In my opinion, Automation = Consistent Quality and higher productivity. With automation, we have drastically brought down rejection level thus wastage of inks and fabric is minimized.

Grafica - a preferred brand:

We have been using Grafica's screen making set up for over a decade and we were well aware of their quality and service. We are completely satisfied with the performance of nano-prinTex. With the guidance of their knowledgeable training faculty we could quickly streamline our production. That's really an added advantage.

Your experience with nanoprinTag:

We use nano-prinTag for small prints and tagless lable printing. It's a single phase, plug and play machine. And like nano-prinTex, nano-prinTag too does not require compressor hence it is a great power saver with excellent production speed. I have never encountered any problem that could have hampered our production.

When it comes to quality, mostly Indian DTG screen printing sector differentiates domestic market and export. Your views:

We undertake DTG screen printing for kids, men's and women's wear, with 20:80 ratio of Domestic market/export, respectively. Whether it is domestic or export market we do not make differentiate on quality. We are using branded eco friendly inks and chemicals for all the jobs. We cannot afford to keep inventories for two different markets as it occupies lot of precious space as well as it may get contaminated in the midst of busy production schedules. We try to meet customers demand for quality and better pricing. This business strategy has given us good name in market.

While top brands impose stricter environmental norms, others seem to have simply concerned about low price which means one has to use cheaper and low quality materials. There is environment issue when we use sub-standard materials to produce cheaper products.

How do you tackle environment issue in DTG screen printing?

As I said we use eco friendly inks. We take care of workmen's health and safety by adopting appropriate measures as mandated by international regulations. Moreover we have stopped flocking.

Why?

We told our customers that flocking is even riskier than sand blasting. Sand blast on denim/jeans was banned owing to health hazards. We explained our top brand customers about the health and environment hazard associated with flocking. Workers have to wear mask. When there is mass production it is not convenient to put mask and do flocking, hence workmen take out the mask. It is dangerous for their health as they could inhale flock particles. So we have now stopped flocking. Even without flocking we can deliver excellent quality prints by using attractive designs.

What's importance of training/knowledge?

Knowledge is the key element for success in DTG screen printing. Knowledge implies technique, process, behavior of various inks in relation to type of fabric, use of screen mesh, screen making and printing parameters, market trends, branding, fashion trends … We try to understand root causes and plug it with right knowledge and we cannot work on assumption.

I had undergone training in Textile dying and printing in 1988. I also make it a point to visit exhibitions to keep myself updated and that's how I came to know about Grafica's DTG screen printing machines. I had attended textile seminars in SPI 2012 in Mumbai and recently SPI'14 in Goa. I got lot of input from such seminars to adopt what is possible.

What are the challenges?

Creativity is core of DTG screen printing. It is really challenging to create constantly new designs and do value addition.

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