The press was installed at Gabel’s Milan, Italy headquarters and the company is looking to invest in a second system.
“The face of retail is changing,” Chairman and President Michele Moltrasio said. “Today many of the orders involve printing hundreds of meters instead of thousands of meters as in the past, but numbers of orders are going up hugely. Retail shops want different designs and colors every two to three weeks because they want to continue developing new ideas and new collections. As we continue to expand our export market, which we anticipate will double within a year to around 20% of our business, digital will become even more important because virtually every European country has different specifications for its linen requirements. The Durst Alpha 330 is a perfect fit for us.
“More and more applications are becoming possible with digital, which now makes up 10% of our turnover, but I expect that figure to rise to around 30% of our business within five years,” Moltrasio continued. “We’ve printed 400,000 meters in our first full year alone with the Durst, which, with the customization opportunities, has opened up new markets including for exports.”
Gabel Group has three factories, is a €60m turnover business and employs 400 people – half of whom work in its 40 retail shops across Italy, and the rest in the production plants and offices.
Digitally-produced linen collections now being sold include High Definition, Planet Teen and Trudi.
The Alpha 330 uses the Durst One-Step Greentex P ink, which was developed especially for the Alpha Series of printers. The environmentally friendly pigment inks are based on Durst Water Technology. Materials such as cottons, polyesters and polycottons do not require pre- and post-treatment with this ink.
“As a manufacturer of advanced digital production technologies for industrial applications, Durst is playing a significant role across so many segments,” said Martin Winkler, segment manager, Durst Textile Printing. “We see textile printing as a really important growth opportunity for companies such as Gabel to invest in future systems that will increase their market share and business opportunities. Cost transparency and predictability are crucial – the Alpha Series really helps customers grow their business.”