In this article I have summarized some articles about DTG essential practices already published on DTGMerch’s website, some information from our online courses, and a few excerpts from our YouTube videos. I hope you find it helpful.
1- Essential Practices – Why?
In DTG printing, specific practices and monitoring such as environmental conditions, ink and fluids management, printhead care, software, training and maintenance play a critical role in ensuring optimal machine performance and longevity while avoiding work disruptions. This is even more important when printers are operating around the clock. In any industrial environment, they can prevent downtime and have a significant impact on production schedules and costs. By taking a proactive approach to these technicalities, your printing room team can ensure that the DTG printers are operating at maximum efficiency, delivering high-quality prints and minimising downtime. This not only helps increase productivity and profitability, but also ensures customer satisfaction and loyalty. Next, we’ll look at these practices in detail.
2 – Essential Practices – Environment:
All DTG printers require a controlled environment to operate optimally. Maintaining specific temperature and humidity ranges is critical to ensure consistent ink flow and prevent printhead clogging. In addition, a clean printing room is required to avoid anything that could affect print quality or clog the printheads – loose fibres, pretreatment solution or dust. Proper airflow is also critical to ensure a healthy working environment for operators. To maintain ideal operating conditions for DTG printers, certain environmental parameters must be closely monitored. Temperature and humidity are key factors. Depending on your facility, location, and ink type, you will need to make the proper adjustments to achieve the ideal operating parameters in your printing room. It is a good idea to ask the ink supplier in your area about these parameters.
3 – Essential Practices – Inks and Fluids Care
As a professional in the field of DTG printing, you know that effective ink handling and care is absolutely critical for optimal results. To achieve the best possible printhead performance and high-quality prints, it’s important to select inks that meet the printhead technical specifications.
By using the right ink set and waveform, you can achieve a perfect balance to ensure your DTG printing process runs smoothly. Rely on your expertise and commitment to excellence and make proper ink/fluids handling and care a top priority in your DTG printing process. For best performance, it is absolutely essential to use the inks recommended by your printhead supplier and to handle them properly. For example, since titanium dioxide is one ingredient in white DTG inks, it is heavy and will settle to the bottom of ink barrels if not handled properly. This can lead to machine damage and production downtime.
To ensure your ink is always ready to use you need to store the ink properly and agitate the barrels either manually or with the help of a machine. Following these guidelines will help you achieve the best possible results and keep your equipment running smoothly.
The same applies to all cleaning fluids and pre-treatment solutions. Ask your supplier for all details (including safety data sheets) on the handling and care of all of these. He must know everything about the products he sells you.
4 – Essential Practices – Equipment Fine-Tuning:
To achieve consistently high print quality, proper equipment settings are essential for DTG printers. These fine adjustments ensure that the printheads are aligned, the printhead height is set correctly, and consequently the ink will be precisely fired. Without regular adjustments, your printer may experience print quality issues, printhead malfunctions and crashes and lower production output. Incidentally, the same applies to all the equipment involved in the printing process. From the pre-treatment unit to the dryer and/or the heating press.
5 – Essential Practices – Software:
To deliver high-quality prints, DTG printers depend on regularly updated firmware and a good RIP software. To achieve the best colour accuracy, you must create ICC profiles and test them. You also need to adjust colour information to ensure that the final output of the print matches the desired colour as closely as possible, consistently and for all fabric colours and different fabric compositions.
6 – Essential Practices – Maintenance:
Maintenance is critical for DTG printers. During operation, the printer builds up ink residue, and fibres and dust can accumulate after several prints. Therefore, it is necessary to perform regular preventive maintenance to keep these devices operating at their best. For example, daily maintenance should be performed at the end of each production day after printing is complete to clean the printer and ensure that everything is functioning properly for future use.
Another point to consider is effective spare parts planning, which is critical to keeping your printers running smoothly and minimising downtime due to equipment parts breakdown. With readily available spare parts, you can perform preventive maintenance and tackle repairs quickly.
7 – Essential Practices – Expertise:
Also for highest printer performance it is critical that operators receive comprehensive training on printer use and maintenance. In addition, a basic understanding of quality control procedures is required. It is recommended that standard operating procedures (SOP) be established and prominently displayed for all involved in the printing process.
8 – Essential Practices – QC:
Consistent print quality is key and critical in the DTG printing industry. You should regularly inspect prints for various quality factors, especially wash tests. Collaboration between designers, operators and quality controllers can ensure that the printing process runs smoothly and efficiently, producing high-quality prints every time.
9 – Wanna learn more?
10 – DTGMerch Online Courses:
Check out this online course that might help you: How to Put Your Art on a t-shirt. In this online course, we will talk about which file formats are suitable for the different t-shirt printing methods. Also interesting are: Vectorise Procreate Art – Complete Guide to DTG – Free E-book Beginners Guide to DTG
And that’s about it!
Again, I hope you find the information useful.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and we wish you all the best!
The DTGMerch Team