Brother’s Newest DTG Family Member
Closing the gap between commercial and industrial printers
Just 18 months after launching its GTXpro and GTXpro Bulk direct-to-garment (DTG) printers, Brother International Corporation released the GTX600 in January 2022. The new printer is designed for industrial-level production and includes Brother’s newest fifth generation printheads, a bulk ink system, an intelligent platen height adjustment system, a built-in humidifier, and an industrial maintenance station. These features are designed to minimize operator training and deliver continuous operation for mass production.
|Brother GTX600 (Source: Brother International Corporation)|
The GTX600 incorporates four of Brother’s new fifth generation printheads that are staggered; two heads for white and two heads for CMYK. Each printhead has four ink channels with a total of 1,280 nozzles (420 per channel). The available print resolutions are 1,200 x 600 dpi (draft), 1,200 x 900 dpi (fast), 1,200 x 1,200 dpi (standard), and 1,200 x 1,200 dpi (high quality). Each head uses internal cooling fans for continuous operation. The printer has a 1-year/100,000 prints warranty, while the printheads have a 1-year/30,000 prints warranty.
|Brother’s fifth generation printhead
used on the GTX600
(Source: Brother International Corporation)
To keep them in a print-ready state, CMYK inks are continuously filtered and degassed. The white inks are continuously recirculated in four key areas: ink tank, sub tank, ink line, and printhead. There’s an upgraded maintenance station that uses four wet caps and four wet wiper blades to reduce nozzle clogs and ink waste, as well as an internal humidifier that keeps an ideal operating environment. Innobella Textile inks (manufactured by Brother) are available in 9L and 18L containers to reduce packaging waste, and are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Version 6.0 approved as well as Oeko-Tex passport certified.
|The all-new maintenance system on the GTX600
(Source: Brother International Corporation)
Brother’s optional software development kit (SDK) offers advanced workflow solutions, enabling users to connect web-to-print file creation, in-house production software, and barcoding technology. It also creates the proper print settings for each individual garment. Shipping labels can be generated and printed in conjunction with production. The software even stores garment thickness information, telling the printer what platen height to use.
The intelligent platen height system adjusts automatically based on stored information supplied by the software and the quick-change platen system allows for fast platen changes. The platen is transported using AC servo motors with a screw-drive and solid linear rails. Dual platen height (high/low) sensors adjust platen heights for optimized printing. The printer includes the adult platen, however six sizes are available: Adult (14" x 16"), youth (10" x 12"), baby (7" x 8"), oversized (16" x 18"), XL (18" x 22"), and XXL (24" x 24").
Brother’s Digital Line all-in-one pretreatment system (launched in 2021) can be paired with one or more GTX600 printers and conveyor dryers to maximize workflow efficiency. The system includes a pre-treat unit, FireFly conveyor dryer, and a heat press unit. The system can process up to 220 pretreated garments per hour (based on a 60-second cure time and 5-second heat press) and requires only one operator. Barcode scanning will determine the pretreatment amount, spray area dimensions, curing time and temperature, as well as heat press time.
Based on real production data, one GTX600, a digital line, and conveyor dryer can produce 427 dark garments in 7 hours of production. When using three GTX600 printers, a Digital Line pretreatment system, and conveyor dryer, up to 1,275 dark shirts can be produced in the same amount of time.
The GTX600 easily falls into the emerging commercial high-end DTG printer category; it could be argued that it achieves industrial level production. Given the scalability of using complimentary equipment, Brother has provided a singular system for mass DTG production.
Harry Kira, Director of Product Development for Industrial Products at Brother International Corporation, says that: “Using feedback collected from customers over many years of R&D, we are excited to introduce our first mass production DTG printer. Our GTX600 builds on our industry-leading, in-house designed printheads, ink, and printer manufacturing to allow for shops wanting solutions to run 24/7 to grow or expand their on-demand printing needs. Combined with our Digital Line pretreat system, customers will see a higher output with low staffing needs.”
The available automation tools, enhanced features, and reduced impact on the environment will certainly cause heads to turn with the new GTX600.
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