Awards & Engraving

October '18

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A&E OCTOBER 2018 • a-e-mag.com 9 has been the introduction of Sawgrass' SG400 and SG800 turnkey desktop subli- mation printers," he believes. When these systems were introduced, it made the entire process of sublimation much easier. But change hasn't just occurred on the desktop side. "For large-format sublimation printers, Epson, Mimaki, Mutoh, and Roland cur- rently offer turnkey printers that primarily focus on textile applications," he points out. But there's more going on with sublima- tion than just improvements to printers, as Kavanagh explains. "Five years ago, the only option you had was to use aftermarket printers and inks," she states, adding that that is no longer the case. Currently, Saw- grass offers three fully integrated systems that have inks, printers, and software built to optimize sublimation prints and econo- mize ink spend. "The inks provide better, deeper color, more neutral blacks, higher densities of dye solids, and a much longer shelf life. We even have application-specific ink sets," she adds. Even heat presses have seen improvements in recent years. Henri Coeme, HIX Corpo- ration, states that improvements have been made to large-format presses. He cites that there are newer models available that not only handle textiles, but also non-textile substrates, such as ChromaLuxe tabletops. He notes that mug wraps have also seen advancements in terms of better image coverage. Breaking the topic down even further, Kavanagh adds that advancements have also been made in dye-accepting coatings that extend the life of the images. Think out- door signage and art applications. "Some of these coatings include guarantees of five plus years of image life in a sunny environ- ment," she emphasizes. THE SUBSTRATE SIDE Equally important are the advancements made on the substrate side of sublimation. As the technology has improved, so has the availability of products to decorate. One such technology that has leant itself to growth in substrate selection is SubTHAT!, which, according to Kava- nagh, can be used on almost any smooth Even heat presses have undergone improvements, with newer models capable of handling everything from multiple items to large substrates. IMAGE COURTESY HIX CORPORATION One of the biggest advancements in sublimation has been the introduction of Sawgrass' SG400 and SG800 turnkey desktop sublimation printers, which have made the process easier. IMAGE COURTESY CONDÉ

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