|WPAPS takes the UK’s first Epson SureColor SC-F9300 textile printer
Epson partner Colourbyte has delivered the UK’s first SureColor SC-F9300 dye sublimation textile printer to WPAPS, a personalised product fulfilment business that offers a print on demand fulfilment service of bespoke and branded products from phone and laptop cases through to ceramics, stationery and mugs. This latest printer in its portfolio will produce polyester-based products that include cushions, pillows and towels.
WPAPS is a long term Epson customer which already runs a SureColor SC-F9200 model, seven Epson SureColor SC-P6000s and 20+ Epson Stylus 7890s.
“Every day we are producing 400 to 1,000 products off the new SureColor SC-F9300 which is running 16 hours a day,” says WPAPS CEO Tom Withers. “Our core business is built around the personalised one-off product and we produce and distribute direct to the end user on behalf of a wide range of businesses worldwide. We like the chassis and drying system on the new dye sublimation model and, although it seems a mere detail, the light inside is really helpful in allowing us to check the print quality and the printhead.”
The 108.6m2/hr SureColor SC-F 9300 was launched at the end of 2017 to provide fast, high-volume printing for clothing, textiles and soft signage, as well as other printed merchandise. New Epson Precision Dot technology for dye sublimation including a halftone module, look-up tables and micro-weave help make a noticeable difference to print quality even on the most complex designs. It can handle even the thinnest substrates without any fear of cockling and it is very straightforward to set up and run.
“I love dye sub because it doesn’t print onto but into the fabric and you get really vibrant, high quality results that will last and are safety tested,” says Mr Withers. “We are just launching print on demand leggings and we will use this technology to produce work onto a lycra/polyester mix material.”
WPAPS will combine a range of products, often one off bespoke items, for any customer. The fulfilment process uses its bespoke API to automate the order, production and delivery. But the company has also launched myprintpartner.co.uk for end users who require a more manual order processing regime. Mr Withers could see this being used by, for instance, designers, corporate customers and brands that want to expand their product offering with no upfront costs.
Mr Withers has a special relationship with 21 year old Colourbyte, relying on the opinion of its operations director Andreas Tangemann for advice on the best way to produce a new item. “He is exceptionally knowledgeable and so when he recommends equipment we take action. This purchase is already proving invaluable.” Colourbyte which sells large format printers, RIPs and a vast range of consumables is based in Hemel Hempstead where it has a fully operational demonstration suite and 13,000 sq ft warehouse facility.