Digital printing has become a hot topic in the industry. Is it too late to get involved now?

The key to success or failure in business operations is the judgment of the industry and trends. “The intensive efforts in the field of digital inkjet printing in the past fe…

The key to success or failure in business operations is the judgment of the industry and trends.

“The intensive efforts in the field of digital inkjet printing in the past few years have finally “bloomed and bear fruit” in the past few years. The printing of the official uniforms of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics are all provided by our company.” Shaoxing Qian Xiao Xingshui, general manager of Yong Textile Co., Ltd., proudly said at the Global Textile Digital Inkjet Printing Keqiao Summit that the company has taken advantage of this opportunity to become famous in the industry and has become a leader in domestic and foreign sports brands such as Anta, Li Ning, Lululemon, and Les Faces. The brand’s designated digital direct printing fabric supplier.

As a representative of “green printing and dyeing” technology, the digital inkjet printing market has been unprecedentedly active in recent years, and a number of leading companies with strong competitiveness have emerged. So, is there still a chance to get a piece of the pie by entering the digital inkjet printing track?

Reasonable price adjustment to promote development

If 2015 is the “breakout year of digital inkjet printing”, by 2022, this trend will continue to grow.

Recently, at the 2022 Global Textile Digital Inkjet Printing Keqiao Summit co-sponsored by the China Printing and Dyeing Industry Association and the People’s Government of Keqiao District, Shaoxing City, the “2022 China Textile Digital Inkjet Printing Development Report” was officially released.

The report shows that China occupies an important position in global textile printing and dyeing processing. In 2021, the total output of printed and dyed fabrics in society will be approximately 110 billion meters in standard meters, of which bleached fabrics account for 8%, printed fabrics account for 20%, and dyed fabrics account for 72%. The proportion of direct printing has dropped from 78.9% in 2015 to 74.5% in 2021, a decrease of 4.4 percentage points in 6 years; transfer printing output has declined year by year after reaching a peak of 24.2% in 2017, and the output ratio in 2021 will be only 14.1% %.

“Only digital inkjet printing has an increase in output year by year, which is the fastest growing field in the current printing market. This production model is in line with the industry positioning and development direction of technology, fashion, and green, and has broad development prospects.” China Printing and Dyeing Industry Association Chairman Chen Zhihua introduced that from 2015 to 2021, digital inkjet printing showed rapid development, with output increasing from 400 million meters to 2.5 billion meters, with an average annual growth rate of 35.8%, of which digital direct inkjet printing output increased by an average of 30.4% annually. , digital transfer output increased by an average of 37.6% annually.

Reasonable price adjustment is one of the important factors in promoting the development of the digital inkjet printing market.

Research data from the China Printing and Dyeing Industry Association shows that in 2007, the processing fee for direct-injection digital printing in my country was 30 yuan/meter, and this number dropped to 9 yuan/meter in 2021; the processing fee for digital transfer printing dropped from 30 yuan/meter in 2007. It will drop to 3 yuan/meter in 2021.

“Digital printing technology has been continuously improved in recent years, and production costs have been greatly reduced. From 2007 to 2021, digital direct printing processing fees and digital transfer printing processing fees dropped by 70% and 90% respectively. Among them, digital transfer printing processing fees It is close to traditional printing, but the processing fee of direct-injection printing is still 2 to 3 times that of traditional printing, and there is still some room for decline.” Chen Zhihua said that currently, the pace of transformation and upgrading of the printing and dyeing industry is accelerating, and more and more printing and dyeing production companies are starting to Invest in digital inkjet printing production lines, mainly focusing on digital direct printing. The digital inkjet printing sector has become an important means for enterprises to develop new products and explore new markets.

Chen Zhihua pointed out: “Although the price of digital printing ink is higher than that of dyes used in traditional printing, the price gap is currently shrinking. In the future, the advantages of digital inkjet printing will become more and more obvious.”

Li Lingshen, vice president of the China Textile and Apparel Federation, affirmed the vigorous development of the current digital printing industry: “As a typical digital and green technology in the printing and dyeing industry, in recent years, the digital inkjet printing market has grown rapidly and its innovation vitality has continued to increase. It has also accelerated its in-depth integration with many industries, fields and formats, and has become a new growth pole in the industry.”

New and old “players” continue to join

The feelings of an enterprise are the mirror that most intuitively reflects the development of the industry.

“In 2016, the company invested tens of millions of yuan and was the first to introduce digital inkjet printing technology among printing and dyeing enterprises in Nantong, which has now saved enterprises millions of yuan in management costs. The intelligent management system of digital inkjet printing can make work easier. Personnel can remotely view and operate on mobile phones, implement platform-based management, and achieve significant results in energy saving and consumption reduction.” Yuan Tianhong, general manager of Jiangsu Intercontinental Digital Printing Co., Ltd., said that the digital inkjet printing equipment has realized an automated management and control process, and one skilled worker can operate it at the same time Multiple sets of equipment significantly reduce the number of employees employed by the company, lower labor costs, and help alleviate various problems caused by worker shortages.

As a leading company in the silk industry, Dali (China) Co., Ltd. has always practiced the development concept of “green R&D, green manufacturing, green operations, and green products” and established a digital printing department early on. Chen Jianda, head of the company’s relevant departments, believes that digital inkjet printing products have the characteristics of personalization, small batches, and quick return of orders. These features also make it more in line with the requirements of fast fashion brands and online sales. He believes that with the continuous maturity of digital printing technology and the continuous reduction of costs, coupled with its better environmental protectionYes, digital inkjet printing will account for an increasing proportion of the entire textile industry.

“The spring of digital inkjet printing has really come, and the company has entered the fast lane of transformation and upgrading.” Xiao Xingshui said that from watermarking to cold transfer printing to digital inkjet printing, the company is currently most optimistic about digital direct printing. Inkjet printing is this production mode. “The production model of digital direct-injection printing is very in line with the current development trend of the industry. Currently, about 70% of the products produced by the company are of this type of fabric. In recent years, the company has also increased its research and development efforts in this area. The number of people in the R&D team accounts for accounting for 30% of the total number of employees in the factory.”

At the beginning of the rise of digital inkjet printing in China, many textile companies have already participated, and new “players” have also stepped up to enter the game in recent years.

Hangzhou Zhuoda Dyeing and Finishing Co., Ltd. only began to try digital inkjet printing production in May 2021. In just over a year, the company has established a firm foothold in the market.

Ye Kaili, assistant general manager of the company, said: “After investigating the market prospects of digital inkjet printing fabrics, we worked together with Eastman Chemical to develop the acetate digital printing sector and conducted a large number of experiments on digital printers and setting control variables. Finally, We have formulated the best digital printing process for acetic acid fabrics, and currently large-scale orders and production are proceeding in an orderly manner. Once we have mastered the more difficult acetic acid digital printing process, other fabric production lines with relatively low thresholds will naturally follow. Everything will fall into place.” In January 2022, Trodat Dyeing and Finishing expanded its digital printing production line to the field of high-temperature dispersion direct injection; in April, Trodat Dyeing and Finishing expanded its reactive digital printing sector.

Whether to enter the game or not depends on the actual situation

Chasing the wind has become a consensus among enterprises, but when standing on the wind, opportunities and risks undoubtedly coexist.

Ye Kaili said frankly: “In fact, it is not easy to do digital inkjet printing well. As a process that requires the cooperation of computers and traditional machinery in many aspects, if digital inkjet printing wants to truly achieve ‘what you see is what you get’, it must Every process including pre-treatment, sizing, steaming, washing and shaping must be strictly controlled.”

“The core key to digital inkjet printing replacing traditional printing is cost control.” Fang Mengtian, marketing manager of Zhejiang Lanyu Digital Technology Co., Ltd., emphasized that the digital inkjet printing market has obvious off-peak and peak seasons, and employee costs are crucial. “If a company has 20 digital inkjet printing machines, then there should be about 5 corresponding pattern designers, and their salary accounts for a large proportion. No matter how many orders the company has, it is not easy for the company to add or remove designers at will. Therefore, the transformation of traditional dyeing factories into digital inkjet printing requires comprehensive improvements in multiple dimensions such as talent and management.”

Chen Jianda pointed out that in recent years, digital inkjet printing companies have mushroomed, causing the current market competition to become very fierce. “Nowadays, many manufacturers that have just introduced digital inkjet printing technology are unable to produce products stably and with high quality, but they want to seize the market as soon as possible, so they want to use low prices to grab orders and customers, so the market price is also prone to higher prices. fluctuations.”

Regarding the high-quality development of the digital inkjet printing industry in the future, Li Lingshen made three suggestions: First, strengthen the in-depth integration of digital inkjet printing and the digital economy, focus on building a flexible supply chain, and promote the digital and intelligent development of the industry; The second is to expand the application scope of digital inkjet printing in the printing and dyeing industry, with energy conservation, emission reduction, consumption reduction and efficiency improvement as the key to promote the green and low-carbon development of the industry; the third is to promote the organic combination of digital inkjet printing and the fashion and cultural industry, Focusing on the supply of high-quality products, we will promote the development of high-end brands in the industry.

The “2022 China Textile Digital Inkjet Printing Development Report” points out that during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, China’s digital inkjet printing industry is expected to maintain a compound growth rate of 20%. By 2025, China’s market share of digital inkjet printing machines will be approximately 80,000 units. China’s digital printing output will account for 30% of the world’s total digital printing output, and digital inkjet printing output will exceed 5 billion meters.

Is it too late for printing and dyeing companies to choose to enter the digital inkjet printing industry now? Maybe the answer already exists.

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Author: clsrich