Integrated pretreatment systems appear to save time and money, but appearances can be deceiving. Having a pretreatment system integrated in your DTG machine actually slows down production, reduces image quality, and make maintenance difficult when compared on an offline pretreatment system.
While the integrated system is pretreating garments the machine is unable to print. That’s a big hit to your production rate, as you have to wait for the machine to finish pretreating before switching over to printing. With an offline system, there is no wait, as the operator can continue pretreating garments while the machine prints, allowing production to go on unhampered.
As most manufacturers know, pretreatment contains caustic chemicals. An offline system keeps those harsh products away from critical components inside the printer. It’s no secret that integrated systems suffer more corrosion and rust to internal instruments at a faster rate than offline systems. Using an offline system maintains the life of the printer, save on repair time and expenses.
Integrated pretreamtent systems print wet-on-wet, as the pretreatment doesn’t have the ability to dry prior to printing. When wet ink droplets are applied to a wet garment, the droplets disperse to a wider circumference causing muddy details, bleeding colors, and lower resolution. Printing dry-on-wet, as offline systems are capable of, allows for higher image resolution, as the ink droplets retain their precise registration and don’t bleed.
With wet-on-wet printing, the garment is not only wet with ink but soaked with pretreatment. To dry a garment from an integrated system takes about 8 to 10 minutes to completely cure the print. Offline systems dry in just a fraction of that time, garments take only 1 to 2 minutes to fully cure.