Tag Archives: custom t-shirt printing

High Volume Direct to Garment Printing | A Look at the Kornit Breeze vs DTG

High Volume Direct to Garment Printing

Is the Kornit Breeze Direct to Garment Printer worth $110K or is it the Best Direct to Garment Printer for the Money?

 

The Kornit Breeze if the entry level direct to garment printer for that company. The Kornit Storm, the Kornit Avalanche are even higher production, higher end printers.. and frankly they are amazing machines. During a trip through the SGIA show a few months ago I got the chance to drool over Kornit’s line up and it started me thinking.

breeze

For those of you who are new to the direct to garment printing business, or have been away from it for a while or just spend 100% of your time making and washing out screens for your screen print shop (J) Kornit is a premium player in the market. If you order a 1 off custom shirt from a LOT of the big names in the online custom tee business, there’s a good chance it was made on a Kornit (pronounced “corneet”).

The Breeze is actually at the low end of these workhorses and can be had for the low low price of – let’s just say somewhere in the $80ks. But the bundle number, because you’re going to need that big air dryer they put with it, is really around $110,000.  The Kornit Breeze is also a lot less expensive than they’re other direct to garment machines.

So the question posed in the sub title is:

Is the Kornit Breeze WORTH it?

That completely depends on you and your business. If you are running a 24/7 operation and using it to its full capacity of about 40 light colored shirts an hour or 25 darks, then you’re probably not reading this article because you’re too busy printing shirts. But if you are, then there are things about the Breeze you’re going to want to take advantage of:

  • Training – it’s not cheap, but Kornit will send people to your shop to set up the machine, spend a week tweaking it to just what your business requires. They’ll literally hold your hand through the start up.
  • 3 Shift operations – no machine is perfect, and no company is perfect, but Kornit has the reputation for minimum downtime. That minimum downtime is vital if you’re running that kind of business.
  • Workflow and ecommerce tools – once again, are you in that large – single shirt order direct to garment online ecommerce order space? Spend some time looking at Kornit’s productivity tools and you’ll be impressed.

BUT.. how many of us are there? How many businesses actually have the capacity to spend that $110K and the volume to keep that direct to garment printer fed?

Kornit Breeze Comparison to M2 Direct to Garment Printer

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All of the readers here know how much I like the M2 and the whole DTG brand direct to garment printer line up, sold in the US by ColDesi.com. The comparison between the DTG M2 and the Kornit Breeze might seem like a stretch perpetrated by a fan, but bear with me because there are some numbers to look at:

Cost of the Kornit Breeze with Dryer, etc: about $110,000

Production Speed: 25 light garments, 40 dark garments – so an “average” of 32.5 per hour This includes drying, etc.

 

Cost of an M2 with 2 Heat Presses: about $25,000

Production Speed even with having to pre treat separately (the Kornit has a built in pretreater): an average of light and dark garments = about 16 shirts per hour from prepress to finished shirts.

That would seem like a clear difference and easy disqualifier until you find out that, very quietly, the people at DTG Digital who make the M2 have worked out a network cable interface , and the RIP Pro C6 software can handle sending graphics to more than one machine, one right after the other.

Now TWO M2 Direct to Garment Printers and 4 heat presses cost: $50,000 (it’s less, but this is good for our purposes)

So you’re $110K Kornit Breeze can produce that average of about 32.5 shirts per hour and your $5K M2 networked or USB’d together can produce 32 shirts per hour.

And you can add another M2 and 2 heat presses and get to 48 shirts/hour for $75K, and ANOTHER M2 to get to 64 shirts/hour for $100K.

Which is the Best DTG Printer set up?

There’s another advantage to the kind of multi-head printer set up with the M2s – one day, even with the Kornit Breeze, you WILL have an issue. The machine will go down, get hit by lightning, someone spills ink into the guts of it.. something will happen. When it does, your shop is closed!

With this multi-head networked DTG Printer set up if that happens you’re still 75% IN BUSINESS.

AND if your business grows even more you can just add another M2 into the mix for that $25K or less and increase your output by 16 or more shirts an hour – with the Kornit and machines like it you are basically upgrading your outut $100K at a time!

In Conclusion

So is the Kornit Breeze worth the $110K? It’s a great machine. It’s a capable machine. And there’s a lot of good things said about the company. And maybe if you’re running that 24/7 shop and want that level of product and support it IS the best dtg printer for you.

That’s not me or most of you – and I think there’s a compelling alternative here with the networked DTG M2 printers.

Find out more about Kornit at http://www.kornit.com/#oht:lang=en-us

Read about the M2 Direct to garment printer at: http://www.coldesi.com

 

 

 

 

 

DTG T-Shirt Printer

DTG Printer Quality: 4 Questions to Ask

The choice of a DTG printer for your t-shirt business should not be difficult, you just have to ask the right questions.

This demonstration of the M2 Direct to Garment Printer at a trade show will give you a quick idea of the parts you’ll be asking questions about.

Your DTG printer will be the heart of your direct to garment custom tee shirt printing business. Take your time with selecting the right one and use the guidelines below.

More than anything else, the best DTG printer systems features a design specifically for digital garment printing. At a minimum, printers should include: good white ink management (such as the “DTG” printer brand with the WIMS White Ink Management System), pressurized CMYK ink feed re-circulation system, extended print areas, automated head cleaning, and ink mist removal.

DTG T-Shirt Printer

 

Direct to garment printers, also called DTG printers must be engineered specifically to print on garments and fully address the shortcomings of first and second generation machines or inkjet printers repurposed for textile printing.

4 Questions about DTG Printer Specifications

When shopping for a DTG printer for your direct to garment business, you will find yourself facing a huge variety of technical specifications. Four essential things you should ask when comparing printers:

  1. Does the DTG printer have a re-purposed inkjet printing system, or is it designed for garment printing from the ground up?
  2. What are per t-shirt printing costs: ink, pretreatment, other supplies and maintenance?
  3. What are reasonable estimates of print times and productivity? If the RIP software of a DTG printer requires constant tweaking to get a customer’s face ready for printing, you must remember that in estimating turnaround times.
  4. Can it do high quality dark garment printing? or Will it print on black tees?

Knowing the Needs of Your Business

Deciding on a DTG printer can be complicated, but asking the right questions can make the process a lot easier. The four questions above are non-negotiable, but your search for a DTG printer should also start by answering a few things about your own business goals:

  • Who are your target customers?
  • What do you want to be your daily amount of prints?
  • Will you be using the printer for “while-you-wait” clients or will you be taking orders for delivery?
  • Which is more urgent, speed or equipment cost?
  • Are you looking for a niche market, such as oversize prints, beach towels, collared or sleeve prints, artwork on canvas, and so on?
  • How often will you be using the DTG printer?

If your feel your direct to garment business will be primarily one-offs or single runs, with the occasional multiple quantity, you may want to consider DTG printers like the DTG Viper or the M-Series DTG Printers which are suitable for fast production of 1-8 garments at a time.

A business model geared toward larger production needs a DTG printer that is engineered exclusively for high volume production.

DTG Printer Features Important To Garment Decorators

Quantity is a significant concern when deciding on a DTG printer, but it is not the only one. There are some features that all garment decorators should look at:

  • Features that are for the specific challenges of printing on garments with textile inks (like white ink management systems, RIP software and flexibility of the platen systems).
  • Support and training provided by the distributor or retailer. Will they remain available to respond to your questions, give advice or troubleshoot if problems occur?
  • Performance of the DTG printer. This is the bottom line for your direct to garment printing business; do the prints that come from the DTG printer look good, wash well and last long.

Welcome to the “Dark” Side of Garment Printing

In a competitive marketplace, direct to garment printers have to meet the needs of today’s customer. To have the best products available means you will be printing on all types of shirts, in a variety of styles and colors. This means your DTG printer should be ready for all garments, including dark t-shirts.

Direct to Garment Printer Black T-shirt

There are certain challenges to dark garment printing, which can limit the products a shop can ultimately provide. Your success on darks rests on white ink; a base coat of white is what makes images stand out on dark garments, without wading.

Many machines (like Brother Brand Printers) have difficulty printing the white ink needed for direct to garment printing on darks. Businesses with the right DTG printer to handle white ink and can master the art of dark garment printing may reach up to three-quarters of their orders on darks. That is a lot of traffic to turn down, just because you don’t have the proper equipment!

DTG Brand printers are designed with WIMS, to deliver the best results on both light and dark garments.

With The Right Help, Your Decision Can Be Easy!

Like any significant business decision, the search for the right DTG printer might take some time. You will also need to budget a period to learn to use the printer you finally get. Not surprisingly, the best DTG printers are often the easiest to master, sometimes only taking a day or two to learn. With the right information and advice, purchasing the right printer can be a decision that you will never regret.

The specific DTG Printers we used as examples, and our favorites, are made by ColDesi Inc. They have everything you need to get a direct to garment printing company started, from DTG printers and accessories and tools like heat presses and pretreatment machines.