Having worked for technology companies for the last 35+ years, I
decided to do things differently from now on. I decided that sharing
information is better than keeping it to yourself – especially in the printing
industry and textile markets where knowledge is often kept close to the heart
in case a competitor is looking, might steal your idea or whatever reasoning
you would like to come up with.
Although it’s understandable that you are doing this, it’s not
helping you or your company. There is an old phrase: ‘sharing is caring’, and
in this spirit I have resumed writing about technology and the changes that
have been happening in the last few years.
I will be happy to write about any
industry topic, so drop me a mail if you have any suggestions. I can’t
guarantee your subject is going to be the next one, but I will do my best.
Knowledge is important, but it all depends on how you look at it.
These days I think your personal network is more important. How you can get
reliable information is faster via your personal networks. No, not via Google
or other internet search sites but from people you know. Look at internet
forums, local and international tradeshows and open houses – these are great
places where you can get the accurate information you are looking for.
would need now is how to solve your problem. Problems are not problems but only
challenges, so you can overcome them. Just ask.
Let’s take the textile market. It’s a hot subject and we all want to
go into textiles. Why? Because it’s the hot thing and everybody is going into
this new market. Just imagine, soft signage, frames, sportswear, fashion!
are all really exciting areas with potential high margins.
We are unfortunately new to textiles, but we can get the information
from vendors. They talk about easy colour-matching, simple heat pressing,
substrates, fabrics, ridged media and papers that are all available via lots of
sources. This is true, but what works with what? Well that is a challenge as
the complexity in this case is not only the
printing side but the finishing
side, and there are no books.
People just underestimate the complex workflows that come to the
It just starts with simple things like the design. There are
multiple sizes of a sportswear shirt, so do you have the 3D imaging software,
do you know how to lay out the shirts? There are software packages on the
market that can do this, but the cost is not as low as you might think.
Talk to the experts
Dont be afraid to ask
Learn, Learn and Learn
What calender do I pick? Oil drum based or an infrared version? What
size, in width and in diameter of the drum? How are you going to cut the
fabrics? Flatbed, laser or by hand?
Do you have someone in your company to do the sewing? Or a
professional aluminium saw? And not the one from the DIY store, but a real one
for cutting the frames, because you do want to cut those six-metre lengths for
the frames right.
Then we still need to fit the fabric to the frame. Fabrics
stretch and move; they are not like vinyl or hardboard Forex. So yes, we might
find some challenges along the way.
So, who can help you? The vendor speaks only about his products, the
reseller about his products, but how do you get the ROI you want? Consultancy
is one way; the other way is to read.
Just remember there are two types of consultants: the ones that say
yes to you and the critical ones.
If you need the right guidance, use the
latter. Critical and straight to the point is the cheaper and better way.
are solutions and answers at hand – you just need to find the right knowledge.