Industrial inkjet specialist Durst Phototetechnik AG has launched what it describes as “a genuine alternative to flatbed screen printing,” at the ITMA 2011 textile and garment machinery exhibition in Barcelona this week.

The Kappa 180 inkjet printer is said to combine on-demand production with high printing speeds. Indeed, it can reach speeds of more than 600m2/hour (over 300 running metres) with a print quality of 1056dpi x 600dpi.

Unlike conventional printing methods, there are no pre-printing or screen-making processes: printing orders and changeovers are processed directly via the workflow software. Water consumption during the production process is said to be reduced by up to 90% and fewer chemicals are required.

The company has modified its Quadro printhead technology so that it is possible to print on textiles with its own water-based inks that can be used on cotton and cotton blends, synthetics and silk.

The digital textile printing developed by Durst and Caldera controls the creation and management of printing orders.

Costview software is available to calculate production costs and environmental factors for each print order, factoring in parameters including ink, material and power, as well as CO2 emissions are for each production stage.

The Durst Kappa 180 also has fully automatic feeding-in and guiding facilities for textiles, with a maximum printing width of 195cm and a printing blanket with an integrated washing system. The drying unit is a hot air dryer powered by gas, steam or electricity.