Wide-format equipment manufacturer Gandy Digital has launched a new dye-sublimation printer, the Gandy Digital Softjet.
The soft signage, high-resolution machine, which became available on 1 October for around $250,000 (£156,000), is designed for textile and large-format printers that are looking to explore new revenue streams.
The Canadian manufacturer said that with its print, curing (sublimation heaters) and cutting capabilities, the Softjet can enable new print suppliers to enter the soft signage market easily and allow existing suppliers to upgrade their services.
The roll-to-roll direct-to-fabric printer, which is available in 1.88m, 2.54m and 3.35m widths, can be used for applications including indoor and outdoor soft signage, wall graphics, wall coverings, flags and tradeshow displays.
"This one-process print solution is perfect for print houses looking to explore the soft signage market at low cost and with low risk,” said chief executive Hary Gandy.
“We’re very optimistic that we’ll have a lot of interest in the Softjet. Fabric textile printing is the fastest growing part of our whole industry. There are a lot of advantages to the process.
“The only disadvantage previously was that it didn’t look as sharp as other processes. But now we have very sharp print so it’s hard to tell the difference between fabric and vinyl.”
Softjet, which uses water-based inks and has low energy consumption, is available in four- and six-colour models. It uses Ricoh Gen 4 and Gen 5 printheads that provide a resolution of 1,200dpi.
"The applications provided by Softjet are a natural extension for those looking for new business opportunities without the inconvenience of a steep learning curve or large capital outlay,” said Gandy.
Gandy Digital, which also manufactures a range of UV inkjet printers with flatbed or flatbed/roll-to-roll capability, employs around 50 people and has a global turnover of around $40m.
The Canadian firm has recently relocated its manufacturing and product development facilities from Oakville, Canada to Mississauga, near Ontario.