This interview with Werner Tschudi took place in Switzerland at the Luescher-Tschudi GmbH. Wide Format Online was sent a copy of the interview.
1 How did the formation of Luescher-Tschudi GmbH take place
Werner Tschudi (WT):
The companies Lüscher and Tschudi had a very close and active cooperation over many years in the areas of software creation, development of machines and everything for the graphic field of application in digital, textile and screen-printing. In this way, each company developed a mutual trust and respect.
Hans Lüscher is well known in the textile industry and has extensive knowledge and close commercial contact with suppliers and clients worldwide. After he left the company Lüscher, he was looking for a technically accomplished partner in the area of textile digital printing, and found this at Tschudi Technology.
Tschudi Technology developed the first digital printing machine worldwide for the use in textile printing by way of printing belt and for 12 colours, in close collaboration with the company Ichinose in Japan. This worldwide innovation was presented to the public at the ITMA 1999 in Paris. After that Tschudi Technology developed the fabric guiding system for the Mutoh digital printing machines The specially developed colour management from Tschudi Technology is utilized today in many RIPs and is in the textile industry widely used in the daily work.
The company Lüscher-Tschudi GmbH has the target to advance new product development and to launch our new digital printing machine in Europe and Overseas in the important industrial nations.
The development of a new product-specific generation of digital printing machines and the further necessary appliances like the thermal fixing machine QUICKFIX NEO, all specifically developed for the newest soft-signage and textile application, took many years. Through that more experienced partners in this sector joined in, which raised the productivity as well as the awareness and presence in the international market. It made sense to bring all known and experienced members of the industry into the new company Lüscher-Tschudi, after all we've known and appreciated each other for many years and collaborated on many successful technical and commercial projects.
Especially in the middle price segment of industrial, fast-running textile inkjet machines with a print width of 320 cm, mechanically robust and made for 24/7 operation and with an attractive price, there are not many vendors. This gap we close with the modern Lüscher- Tschudi T-REX 320. The ROI calculation of the machine is made in a way that makes it possible to amortize the machine within a few years.
2 Where does the T-REX 320 especially excel? How is creasing of the fabric prevented?
The design of the machine, the concept, layout and technical development for modern textile applications, as well as all ongoing testing are conducted in our factory in Switzerland. The T-REX 320 is also used there for the daily production of flags, soft-signage and other practical applications. The in-house developed Swiss Solution includes a great know-how in large format digital printing on all kinds of fabrics.
What is special about T-REX apart from the mechanical durability is the following:
– Only the best and safest parts and components from well-known manufacturers are used for the T-REX 320. This guarantees, the client low service and maintenance costs, high printing precision, great reliability and stable longevity in daily production use.
– A specially constructed fabric guiding system of Lüscher-Tschudi for all kinds of fabrics, enables consistent tension over the entire length and width of the roll. The custom built integrated fabric dryer guarantees best results on all fabrics before rolling, for both blank and printed fabrics.
– The feeding of the fabric by change of roll occurs automatically in the T-REX 320. This is especially advantageous in the handling of large fabric rolls and lightens the daily work. T-REX 320 only needs 1 person for the fabric change.
– Beyond that we also offer to the T-REX 320 a perfectly suited thermo fixation unit, which guarantees an excellent fixation of the ink and generates highly brilliant colors. A rewash of the printed matter is not necessary.
– The industrial textile printer T-REX 320 uses a technical and constructural unique and automatic print head cleaning system.
– An optimal print head of the newest generation with perfect drop size is used for all soft-signage and textile application. These printheads have been chosen especially for textile use and distinguish themselves through high printing stability, speed and reliability.
– Specially developed degassed inks are used for best and constant printing results.
– A self-developed and high-quality color management for free RIP choice is the norm for us.
– Our own test and training center with the newest technology is available for clients and interested customers.
– Last but not least, our well-known Swiss Solution, ensured by the long time know-how of our partners. The print results are convincing.
3 Is the machine available now?
Yes, the T-REX 320 is available since March 2015 and can be tested in practical conditions anytime in our production center in Switzerland. The manufacture and delivery time is about 3 months.
The distribution of the machine is carried out in each country or region by a network of experienced distributors, which also includes support and service. This guarantees a fast reaction time and rapid, low cost, professional service. The technical training takes place in our center in Switzerland.
4 How and how often does the printing system need to be cleaned from textile fibres?
That depends on the state of the fabric, because natural fibres are always more dusty than synthetic fibres. A good inkjet pre-treatment helps to ensure a mostly dust-free printing process, so that no dust or fibres end up on the printed fabric. The cleaning of the print-heads also depends on the surroundings where the machine is installed. Too dusty or too dry is not ideal for any digital printing machine. The printing results of our inks are excellent and therefore need only rarely cleaning of the printheads. However, the T-REX 320 has an integrated cleaning system.
5 With which inks is the T-REX 320 compatible?
We deliver to our clients only inks of the highest quality for all soft-signage applications with high luminosity and attractive purchase prices:
a) DyeSub – Inks with a light fastness of 5-6.
b) Dispersions – Inks with a higher light fastness of 6-7. Important: Our dispersion inks need not be rewashed.
c) Reactive – Inks for the printing on natural fibres, like cotton, viscose, silk etc
Our self developed technology and methods in the T-REX 320 always yield outstanding results, with print through of almost 100%, even in light colors. This is especially important for outdoor flag printing.
6 What needs to be considered in the subsequent thermo-fixation of the printed fabrics?
Fabrics printed in the T-REX 320 are well dried so that no stains on the reverse are possible. The precise rolled fabrics can easily be fixed on our QUICKFIX NEO in constant tension. This independent from the printing speed, although it is important to adjust fixing time, temperature and speed individually for the various printed fabrics.
Our QUICKFIX NEO is very environmentlly friendly and consumes only 6 KW/h by a fabric width of 3200 mm and beyond that needs no Paper. That saves costs.
7 The T-REX 320 is a textile printer. Which (advantages and disadvantages) (or pros and cons) do you see in comparison with transfer printing?
Transfer printing is better suited for solid materials, like cups, skis, promotional items, as well as for delicate images and text on polyester silk, for example for club pennants or stand flags. In transfer printing are fast sublimation inks used, which do not have the highest light fastness and the transfer paper accepts only a small amount of ink, therefore the printed items possess no great light fastness.
The textile direct print with the T-REX 320 uses far better lightfast colors and the necessary amount of ink is adjusted to the used fabric. That increases the UV-light fastness and wash fastness dramatically. That is why textile printing professionals prefer direct print. Our machines were developed and fabricated exactly for these highly demanding applications.