Marketing Manager Sensient Imaging Technologies
ElvaJet Coral, a new water-based ink for polyester printing, showcased at ITMA
Switzerland-based Sensient Imaging Technologies is a pioneer with a global business serving high quality inkjet inks worldwide. Marketing manager Simon Daplyn chats about digital printing technologies and its growing potential.
Please tell us in brief about your company.
Sensient Imaging Technologies is part of Sensient Technologies Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of colours, flavours and fragrances, and is a trusted partner for innovative digital inkjet technology. As part of the wider Sensient group, which was founded over 100 years ago, the specialty inks and dyes business was launched in the early 2000s. With an established heritage in the textile industry and specialist expertise in the chemistry of colour, Sensient continuously innovates to set the standard for digital inkjet printing.
Sensient currently has three offices in the inks arm of the business. The head office and manufacturing facility is based in Switzerland, with another site in the United States. A final site was established in the United Kingdom in 2015, when Sensient acquired ink manufacturer Xennia Technology Ltd. Xennia's inks complemented Sensient's own portfolio, and the acquisition extended our comprehensive product offering to support the digital printing of any textile substrate.
What new technologies did Sensient showcase at ITMA 2019?
Along with our existing portfolio of digital inkjet technologies at ITMA, we showed our new water-based ink for polyester printing. Using a unique dispersion of sublimation dyes, ElvaJet Coral offers an environmentally responsible solution for textiles by printing directly onto the substrate. Alongside other key performance characteristics that allow for greater sustainability, fabrics printed with this ink do not need washing or steaming, lowering the environmental impact even further.
We also highlighted the advantages of our best-selling reactive acid and transfer sublimation inks. Ideal for printing intricate decoration onto cotton and cellulose fabrics, these inks also ensure quality, reliability and consistency across all applications. In our meetings with partners at ITMA, we found that although colour strength is undoubtedly still a key requirement, they also need ink that will deliver the same colour shade, batch after batch. This market need is reflected in our new brand positioning that we launched at the show around 'colour you can trust'. This proposition not only supports the batch-to-batch consistency of our ink, but also represents the value, performance, innovation and compliance with regulatory and sustainability requirements that our digital inkjet technologies deliver.
How much percentage of textile printing is being done currently on digital printers?
Currently, we believe around 6-7 per cent of textile printing is digital, but the potential for growth is significant as more companies realise the benefits of switching from traditional to digital print. The size of the digital printing area at ITMA alone points to this growth trajectory, as does the continued investment in digital printing equipment and inks.
Prices of inks are the biggest hurdle in wide acceptance of digital printing technologies. What is Sensient doing to reduce ink costs?
Ink cost is a common concern for businesses, but price is only one factor that needs addressing in the industry as textile businesses look to improve efficiency and reduce their environmental impact. By adding value to businesses beyond just colour, we focus on ensuring that our customers have the best possible ink performance. For example, fabrics printed with ElvaJetCoral do not require steaming and washing. This supports the efforts of customers who are looking to reduce their environmental impact by eliminating two costly processes and preserving resources like water and energy.
The return on investment (ROI) of choosing high performance inks pays off when you deliver quality products sourced from high-quality raw materials. The higher price point of quality inks also pays dividends during the production process by increasing the lifetime for the print head, consistency of colour and compliance with all brand standards, helping save costs further down the line. Furthermore, the growth in adoption of digital printing has enabled greater production volumes and, consequently, a market reduction in price, indicating that digital inkjet printing will soon be more accessible than ever for textile businesses.
To how many countries do you export?
As a global business, Sensient exports to all continents and has the scale, local knowledge and partners to service clients in any country.
Since how many years has your company been participating in ITMA?
We have been attending ITMA since the inception of our textile inks division. It is such an important show for the textile printing industry, with manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and brands all looking for the latest innovations in textile machinery and printing.
What is your opinion of ITMA compared to other textile machinery events?
As a company with global reach, it is vital for us to meet buyers and customers from all corners of the world and all the key manufacturers of printers and inks are present at ITMA. With many shows, you often only meet buyers who are from that specific region, but at ITMA, buyers from both Europe and further afield are in attendance. (HO)
Published on: 15/07/2019
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