T Shirt & Sons has taken delivery of the first Kornit Vulcan high-productivity direct-to-garment printer to be sold into Europe, as part of a multimillion-pound expansion.
The machine cost around $900,000 (£683,000) and was installed at the 160-staff base in Westbury, Wiltshire, a month ago.
The company, which also employs 40 staff in Holland, is now looking to open a new plant in Spain in early 2019 as part of a £2m investment, half of which will go on new equipment.
The business said it is doing more trade in southern Europe and wants to be closer to its clients to improve speed of delivery.
The Vulcan targets short to medium-length print runs and adds to the company's fleet of 16 Kornit Avalanche systems to increase its production capacity.
T Shirt & Sons was founded in 1989 by brothers Jon and Andy Lunt and is one of the largest digital garment print and fulfilment companies in Europe, producing up to 18,000 garments a day.
“There are only about five of these machines in the world and we are the first to install one in Europe,” said Andy Lunt.
“We were the first to use the Avalanche six years ago and if we hadn't, we wouldn't be where we are now. Speed to market is everything."
The Vulcan was developed specifically for mass production, boasting high-definition print and using a new NeoPigment Rapid ink system with increased colour gamut.
It is billed as the fastest direct-to-garment printing system in the market, producing up to 250 garments an hour, with dark and light garments printed at the same speed.
The Vulcan features 60 new-generation printheads with an advanced recirculating ink system in a six-colour plus white configuration.
The system caters for multiple print sizes and configurations with a maximum size of 700x1,000mm. The NeoPigment patented process uses water-based inks, offering a soft-touch feel and allows for inline-pre-treatment.
After printing, garments are cured with a standard hot-air dryer. The inks are Oeko-Tex 100 certified and GOTS pre-approved.