The soft signage market is experiencing enormous growth rates in all areas of application — from visual communication and decor to textile clothing. In the period from 2017 to 2023, the sales volume will increase by more than 60%, according to a forecast by Keypoint Intelligence. Converted to absolute figures, the market will grow globally from around $19.2 billion in 2019 to $31.4 billion (2023).
A number of trends can be pinpointed for this continued growth, which clearly speak in favor of the soft signage market. These include environmental friendliness through the use of water-based, odorless inks. Other user benefits include cost efficiency in logistics and low ink consumption, as well as fast project implementation and a wide range of applications. "Durst has been active in the soft signage market since 2010, and we have been able to place over 250 systems from the Rhotex series on the market worldwide," emphasizes Christian Harder, VP Sales, Durst Group AG.
Integrated In-Line FixationIn tune with these trends in the soft signage market, Durst has developed the P5 TEX iSUB, which is based on the successful P5 platform with a maximum print width of 3.3 meters. At the heart of the Durst P5 TEX iSUB is the integrated in-line fusing for direct printing on polyester fabrics. The advantages of this one-step process are obvious, explains Andrea Riccardi, Head of Product Management, Durst Group AG: "No investment and no floor space is required for a calender. The Durst P5 TEX iSUB is operated by only one operator, and the process acceleration also increases our customers' ability to deliver." Whereby the P5 TEX iSUB is not limited to direct printing, but transfer papers can also be printed and further processed in the usual way. It is precisely the combination of both processes in one system that gives users enormous flexibility.
Innovation iSUB — Contactless Fixing Technology
The Sublifix dye sublimation ink developed by Durst delivers vivid colors, even on difficult media such as blackback or backlit for light boxes or flags. A unique feature of the P5 Text iSUB is its innovative contactless fusing. The iSUB contactless technology ensures excellent color consistency as well as extreme sharpness of detail in images and text, also blurring or bleeding of color is virtually eliminated.
A wide range of applications can be implemented with the P5 TEX iSUB. One example is decorative fabrics with strong, brilliant colors and exact reproduction of details. Another are flags that show good print on both sides of the material even without external calendaring. Blackback applications as well as colorful light boxes round out the spectrum while retaining the soft-touch feel. In all these applications, the Durst RIP plays a central role, ensuring consistent color across all media.
The maximum print speed is 383 sq. m/hr when the 330 cm print format is fully utilized, inspiring the efficient implementation of all these application examples. Access to two rolls via the Multiroll option makes changing materials much easier in practice. In addition, the Dualroll option allows two rolls with a width of 1.6 m to be printed. Another outstanding feature of the Durst P5 TEX is the integrated finishing unit, which can be used to sew and stitch media.
Test under practical conditions
The Durst P5 TEX iSUB is currently undergoing field testing at the Italian ABS Group, which has a long-standing partnership with the Durst Group and has been working with a Rhotex 500 and Rhotex 325 for many years. In conjunction with the Durst P5 TEX iSUB, ABS Group benefits from the flexibility and significant process acceleration. "The Durst P5 TEX iSUB will also prove its reliability in 24/7 operation and deliver a significant increase in quality to our customers," says Andrea Riccardi. The ABS Group management also gives a very positive assessment of the Durst Analytics tool, the data from which is used to network the P5 TEX iSUB with the ERP software developed in-house and thus optimize production planning and individual processes.
"The P5 TEX iSUB combines efficiency, quality and productivity at the highest level. At Durst, we are convinced that our solution will give a significant boost to the soft signage market," assures Harder.