One of the SPGPrints engraving systems operating at DB Tex

One of the SPGPrints engraving systems operating at DB Tex

DB Tex, the fabric printing unit of Bangladesh apparel manufacturing giant DBL Group, is ramping up garment and textile printing output at its Gazipur facility.

As part of its plans the company is adding two more BestLEN direct laser engraving systems from SPGPrints to maintain a productive, sustainable and high-quality nickel rotary screen imaging operation.

The double installation will bring the number of engravers operating at DB Tex to six.

DB Tex is a major supplier to a number of leading global high-street fashion retailers, with major markets in Europe and North America. It is part of the DBL Group, an industrial concern with an annual turnover of US$365m and 28,000 employees.

The company is also doubling its rotary screen printing capacity with the addition of two new 16-colour printing machines. These will complement a 20-colour and a 12-colour rotary screen printer, along with a 20-colour flatbed printer. Its four existing direct digital engraving systems currently prepare screens for the rotary printers.

To optimise quality and ensure complete control of the pre-production workflow under one roof, DB Tex has also invested in SPGPrints' screen preparation systems, including a coater to achieve a homogenous and precise emulsion coating for optimum results, a polymiser conditioning unit for perfect cylinder roundness, a climatiser that dries the coating evenly, and a gluer to fix the endrings solidly for stable, high-speed use.

"The new printers will take the capacity of our factory from 20 tons per day to 40 tons per day," says Shah Imtiaz Ahsan, assistant general manager, DB Tex Ltd. "That represents about 200,000 garments per day."

DB Tex installed its first two engravers in 2010, and invested in two more in 2016. The systems use a CO2 single-beam laser to image screens at maximum resolutions of 2540dpi in as little as 29 minutes.

"The laser engraver has proven to deliver outstanding photographic reproduction and fine line detail, to a much higher standard than exposure methods, and this gives us perfect results on the fabric," Ahsan adds.

The company employs eight people for each of the three shifts in the screen-making department.

"Reliability is a prime consideration. We operate 24/7, 354 days a year," says Ahsan. "That means we use up to 120 screens per day in our production. With each BestLEN producing 10 to 12 screens per shift, we can keep up, but the addition of the new printer means we needed the extra screen engraving capacity."

DB Tex primarily prints on cotton and polyester fabrics, and needs to print a wide range of designs and special effects. To do that, it uses a variety of screens.

"We use NovaScreen screens from SPGPrints, and use the full range of mesh sizes from 30 to 245. We also use Random Mesh 125 screens to avoid moiré in certain types of designs," he explains.

"Recently, there has been increased demand for glitter and shiny effects which need the coarser mesh screens to allow the larger particles through. By using direct laser engraving and selecting the right screens we can reproduce designs more accurately than can be done by any other means."

DBL Group has a strong sustainability ethos, and direct digital engraving requires no chemicals or water to engrave the screens, once they have been coated.

The strength of the electroformed mesh enables screens to be used multiple times, providing a cost-advantage for textile printers that image screens in-house. Water is also all that is needed to clean imaged screens to enable re-use.

"Being able to mount a screen straight from the engraver is a huge advantage in terms of workflow and productivity," Ahsan says.