Event was held February 1-2, 2018 in Downtown Milwaukee, Wisc.
Milwaukee, Wisc. – MCT recently successfully held its First Annual Symposium: “Innovations in Textile Finishing,” on February 1-2, 2018 at MCT’s headquarters in Downtown Milwaukee. This inaugural yearly event is part of MCT’s mission to be an unbiased source of information relating to improving productivity across the industry we serve, not just selling cutters. Over 40 participants took part in a set of free ranging discussions that included print technology and printing, RIPS, Cutting, Vacuum and Fume filtration, Sewing and Welding, Fabrics and more.
There was general agreement that digitally printed textiles were now an important part of the printing mix, growing rapidly over the past 2-3 years. Some of the panel comments made were:
“We see a tremendous amount of growth in soft signage. Two years ago, it was in exhibits; now its everything.” - Rick Burich, EFI/VUTEk
“They (fabrics) pay for themselves in freight alone.” - Mitch Braun, Banner Works
“The challenges in printing change every year. Turn arounds have changed from a typical 5 days to a day or two. This requires bringing the same kind of automation to finishing that we’ve been bringing to printing until now. Efficient handling (finishing) of big rolls is a much bigger problem than anybody ever anticipated.” - Jaime Herand, Orbus
“Laser equipment like that supplied by MCT with full automation is where it is all going.” - Mike Compton, Top Value Fabrics
Others on the panel discussions were Bjorn Bedore of Olympus Group, Dave Crenshaw of Aberdeen Fabrics, and Rick Mandel of Mandel Graphic Solutions.
Overall, the feedback from both the attendees, speakers and panelists and the MCT personnel were that the range of content was consistent with the Symposium’s intentions and a fantastic first event for MCT Digital. The panel discussions engaged the audience and became more of an interactive group discussion full of ideas, processes, and tips/tricks the attendees and presenters could share for how they've adapted to the major fabric shift in the marketplace. The range of content was dramatic, not just printing and finishing salesmanship, but real discussions from sewing, welding, and digitally finishing textiles, to manufacturing the actual material, and then into printing with fluorescent inks, utilizing new software capabilities for textile printing, and preserving images over time.
Throughout the two days, MCT also demonstrated its VersaTech2 “All-in-One” Flatbed finishing solution running Fabric Laser Cutting Demos. As the panels discussed, innovation comes in many forms in the solutions becoming available for the graphics marketplaces. Interestingly, technology that we take for granted, such as digital flatbed cutters, which can be used by grand format printing companies for 10-15 years before replacing them, are now seeing a shift where major innovations need to take place almost all at once, to meet the industry’s new time horizons for delivery of digitally printed fabrics. Such is the case with MCT Digital’s VersaTech2. What makes this solution so unique is that it is a full platform that includes capabilities not found anywhere else. VersaTech2 incorporates not just traditional knife and routing tools, but a modern laser technology allowing for its “all-in-one” system capabilities including:
- A unique patent-pending dual laser and traditional cutting belt technology that allows a single system to be utilized for laser cutting and etching of rigid materials, and laser cutting and sealing of fabric/textiles plus all of the routing and cutting features normally found on such cutters. Changeover is in minutes and requires no extraordinary actions by employees.
- a new 3rd generation “Laserbelt™ is now included in the company’s bumper to bumper 1 year warranty.
- It accomplishes this with full conveying for both rigid and flexible/rolled materials while reaching speeds of 78” per second and 1.5G acceleration with full accuracy.