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OnePlus 5T with 6-inch, Galaxy S8-like curved display to launch in November: Report

  • OnePlus 5T with 6-inch, Galaxy S8-like curved display to launch in November: Report

There have been rumours all over the web that OnePlus will ditch the OnePlus 5T for OnePlus 6 this time. But chances are this is may be just a rumour and not the truth. Reason? A new report claims that OnePlus 5T is real and will be launched by November 2017.

According to a new report from GizmoChina, OnePlus could launch the OnePlus 5T in November with some massive changes from its current flagship phone- the OnePlus 5. The report claims that the upcoming OnePlus 5T will ditch the 5.5-inch full-HD display of the OnePlus 5 and instead sport a LG V30-like  6-inch full HD display with 1080x2160 pixels of resolution. The phone will have very S8-like slim bezels with an aspect ratio of 18:9.

The report also contains an image sample of what the phone could look like. The phone looks similar to the Galaxy S8 with really thin bezels at the top and bottom of the phone. The phone looks taller than usual OnePlus phones. The report claims that OnePlus 5T will be launched in five months after the OnePlus 5, something similar to what we saw with OnePlus 3T. OnePlus launched the 3T version after the five months of the launch of the original OnePlus 3 in the year 2016.

To recall, OnePlus 3T was launched in December 2016 with a price hike in comparison to the OnePlus 3. The 3T was launched at Rs 29,999 while the original OnePlus 3 was launched at Rs 27,999. The 3T comes with a new processor, an improved selfie camera, a new 128GB storage variant and few new colour options.

Also Read: OnePlus 5 out of stock but it's no guarantee of OnePlus 6 early launch

The OnePlus has been launched at starting price of Rs 32,999 in India. The phone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based OxygenOS and is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. There are two variants-one with 6GB RAM and the other with 8GB RAM. The phone comes with dual camera set up.

While there is no confirmation from the company on the launch of OnePlus 5T, the OnePlus 5 which is the OnePlus' flagship phone of this year has already gone out of stock in several markets like US and UK. The Slate Grey variant of the phone shows unavailable in many countries.

Google celebrates adventurer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen's 156th birthday with a doodle

  • Google celebrates adventurer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen's 156th birthday with a doodle

If you visit Google's website today, you will come across a doodle that celebrates adventurer Fridtjof Nansen's 156th birthday. Nansen is known as the first person to lead an expedition across the snow-capped interior of Greenland in 1888, pioneering exploration of an unknown terrain, as well as his work for refugees during his time.

The Google doodle today shows a sketch of Nansen along with a motion sketch of him on skis as he is also remembered for learning how to cross-country ski for as much as 50 miles in one day on minimum supplies. He was born in 1861 in Oslo, Norway and his love for outdoors while growing up led him to take up zoology at the Royal Frederick University 20 years later in 1881.

Following the 1888 expedition, Nansen attempted to become the first person to reach the North Pole, which sadly went unsuccessful. However, Nansen did manage to travel farther north in latitude than any explorer at the time.

Nansen began focusing more on his research at home after World War I in 1914, which forced him to curb his explorations. A few years later, he would become more politically inclined, working to free around half a million prisoners of war and repatriate refugees. His work led him to create a document that was known as the Nansen Passport (also shown in today's doodle) that allowed stateless refugees to cross borders legally and resettle.

Also Read: Google Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 best feature could be the front and back cameras

His efforts in helping refugees relocate, his work for the repatriation of the prisoners of war, and his work to bring succour to millions of Russian affected by famine, among other humanitarian work led him to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.

"Fridtjof Nansen began his career by shattering the boundaries of human exploration, and he brought the same courage and tenacity to his fight to support refugees," Google's blog post reads.

Nansen died at home of a heart attack on May 13, 1930. He is remembered today as one of Norway's leading skiers, his expertise in Greenland and Fram expeditions, as well as his recognition as one of the founders of modern neurology, among other things. You can read more about Nansen's life and work by tapping on the Google Doodle today.

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Dropbox Redesigned After 10 Years With a Focus on Creativity

  • Dropbox Redesigned After 10 Years With a Focus on Creativity

Dropbox is finally adding a bit of colour to its brand, literally. The cloud storage company announced an overhaul after 10 years, with a focus on creativity. "Today we're announcing the biggest change to Dropbox's look in our 10-year history," the company's home page says.

The new design revamp includes a new logo, colour schemes, and typefaces. Dropbox essentially is trying to differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd by stressing on creativity, and pushing itself as "a place for creation." The new Dropbox refresh has been led by Creative Director Aaron Robbs and Nicholas Jitkoff who is VP of Design.

Talking about the new redesign, Dropbox CMO Carolyn Feinstein told Adweek, "At Dropbox, we had for a long time had this quite differentiated, thoughtful, authentic perspective on modern work and our optimistic belief that there is a better way. We play in an increasingly crowded and competitive category. It's really important for us to be able to carve out a unique positioning that feels really true to who we are and true to the impact we want to have in the world."

Dropbox introduced Sharp Grotesk as the new brand typeface. "With 259 fonts, our new typeface Sharp Grotesk gives us lots of versatility, allowing us to 'speak' in a variety of tones. Take a look at the gif to get a better idea," said Robbs and Jitkoff.

Dropbox's Feinstein stressed that the new revamp is heavily inspired by creativity. "What this allows us to do is in different environments express ourselves in a way that makes sense for that situation. Sometimes, especially in products when we want to back up a little bit and put the showcase on the work and people using our products, we will stay really blue and white. In other cases, our palette is much richer and able to flex into different environments in the places we might show up while also giving a nod to the creativity of our users," Feinstein said.

Sundar Pichai on How India Helped Shape Maps and Other Google Products

  • Sundar Pichai on How India Helped Shape Maps and Other Google Products
  • Sundar Pichai on How India Helped Shape Maps and Other Google Products

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai talked about building apps for India
  • A lack of data for Google Maps led the team to improvise on crowdsourcing
  • Google has also created lite versions of apps in India

Ahead of the Pixel launch event, Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke to NDTV about the way the company's teams in India came up with unique solutions to problems, the importance of privacy and security, and a whole lot of other topics. Taking the example of Google Maps, Pichai talked about how the team in India has had to improvise and innovate.

"You know I love using Google Maps, and in India it actually works well," Pichai told NDTV at Google's headquarters in Mountain View last week. "We are constantly trying to make it better, but I think the traffic in India is a challenge so hopefully Maps makes a small difference."

Pichai highlighted that Maps data is hard to find in India, which made Google's job difficult, and how the company overcame this challenge using crowdsourcing.

"That's right, India is where we had this insight, a team from India felt like it's tough to get data around maps," Pichai said, "So they basically said wherever there are missing roads, we actually will let users, just like Wikipedia, edit and complete map routes and so on. So that insight really changed how fast we have been building maps since then."

At the same time, Google has also been releasing lighter versions of various apps for use in India and other developing countries where the infrastructure such as bandwidth and speed is still limited.

"You know, we talked about Maps earlier, and Youtube Go so the ability to cache videos offline and watch it when you want to - we started in India, we are taking it globally," says Pichai. But aside from the lite versions, Google has also shown that it's ready to make apps that are built for local use in India. One example of this is the hyperlocal shopping app Areo, but more recently, the company also made use of the UPI platform in India to release its own payments app.

"We recently launched the product called Google Tez," says Pichai. "We are able to do this in india first because of the digital payments infrastructure that India has done, so we are doing it in India and will take to the rest of the world and say look this is how you do it."

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OnePlus 6 release date revealed: Likely to crash Samsung Galaxy S9's party

  • OnePlus 6 release date revealed: Likely to crash Samsung Galaxy S9's party

OnePlus has established quite a name for itself in the highly competitive industry. In fact, it is now as popular as big brands like Apple, Samsung and others. While these big players had a spectacular year with the launch of some of the best smartphones we've ever seen, OnePlus had

Logistics industry needs to digitise

  • Logistics industry needs to digitise

  • Logistics is the mainstay of any economy and a vital driver of economic progress as it encompasses the management of flow of goods from the place of initiation to the place of consumption.
  • The sector, estimated to be worth $260 billion in India and growing at 14 per cent over the past five years, consists of shipping, port-services, warehousing, rail, road and air freight, express cargo and other value-added services.
  • According to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), the logistics market in India is expected to grow to $397 billion by 2020. Inducements provided by the Government, e-commerce diffusion and Goods and Service Tax (GST) will help the sector grow further, with a shift from high-cost to a leaner-cost alternative through streamlining of expenses, purging of intermediaries and technology implementation.
  • This is likely with substantial development and upgrading envisaged in infrastructure, reworking of technology and reinforced by a varying regulatory situation. Over the last two decades the Indian logistics sector has evolved from mere transportation services to fully cohesive service providers.
  • Going forward, the drift towards assimilation of these service providers is expected to continue and new players/trade models are expected to materialize within the digitization and automation of business processes, implementation of GST and growth in the third party logistics and/or fourth party logistics service scene.
  • Logistics in India is characterised by an incompetent system, sheathing infrastructure, lower average trucking speeds, congestion and blockages in surface transport, and other issues. Transportation costs in India are high on account of a combination of factors such as vehicle quality, stressed drivers, overloading, poor road infrastructure, low average speeds and excessive taxes and toll. The core issues faced by the logistics sector in India are as follows:
  • Absence of digital culture: Absence of a digital culture, requirement to have clear vision and guidance from top management about the direction of digital operations, hesitation in initiating high financial investments in digital operations and data security, training personnel are the top challenges.
  • Upgrading IT systems: Outdated IT systems, processes, and technological proficiencies are the key hurdles and require upgrading in many organisations. It is essential to enhance IT astuteness and develop infrastructure to realise functioning competencies.
  • Prevailing systems do not have proficiencies to handle more refined information trends, systematic procedures and processes that can be used to deliver advance business acumen and prudence required in the logistics industry. Investments in digitizing the logistics industry will benefit both market players and the end users.
  • E-commerce is the future of logistics. With customers moving towards digital services, the logistics sector needs to offer pioneering solutions to meet customer demands at competitive prices.
  • Establishing data analytics: Data analytics is crucial to logistics companies. The volume of data assembled by transportation and logistics companies has commercial and strategic value.
  • For instance, data bank of customers ordering taxis could be considered in forecasting varied public transportation facilities, information can be leveraged for evolving cost efficacies, assuring timely delivery, anticipating hitches and having back-up strategies. Data analytics is also pertinent to the security concerns that all companies face in the sector.
  • The assimilation of data from multiple sources such as surveillance cameras, passenger data, and biometrics into the systems enables risk identification and avoidance which is vital for setting up robust organizations and establishing governance structures.
  • Connectivity bottleneck: The transit time for movement of cargo through road and shipping set-ups is sluggish. In terms of transportation through shipping channels, these involve extensive customs sanction procedures and number of intermediaries required for carrying goods in/out of the country.
  • The road network is affected due to poor infrastructure as national highways comprise only two per cent of the road network. Toll collection, interstate checkpoints and other stoppages lead to higher transit times.
  • Uncomplimentary mix: The movement of goods is tilted towards road networks as there is under investment in railways, resulting in redundant railway sliding, capacity constraints and unavailability of cargo centers near trade pivots.
  • Inland waterways are affected due to insufficient passage access between inland waterways and linkages to coastal shipping. Although air is the fastest transportation mode, it continues to have a dimunutive share in the transportation pie and has insufficient connectivity and lack of cargo terminals.
  • The incapacity to offer last mile connection leads organisations to prefer road as a mean of transportation.
  • Inferior calibration: The logistics sector in India has been impacted by inferior calibration of goods and containerisation of logistics traffic, impeding swiftness and swelling transportation costs. The key progress drivers are:
  • GST: The Goods and Services Tax will streamline the tax structure and improve turnaround time for trucks, expediting cargo movement resulting in enhancement of operational efficiency through quicker and enlarged number of deliveries and reduction in logistics costs incurred due to stoppage at various check-posts and tolls. GST is likely to result in (i) consolidation of warehousing network and shift towards a 'Hub & Spoke' model; (ii) higher degree of tax compliance; and (iii) creation of a level playing field between express and traditional transport services through input tax credit.
  • Technology reforming delivery systems: Logistics sector depends on the seven Rs which are: Right Cost, Right Place, Right Product, Right Quality, Right Condition, Right Customer, and Right Time. The internet is funneling a new age of outstanding evolution in supply-chain swiftness and cost decline through data sharing and logistics harmonisation between trading partners and service providers. The logistics opportunities are driving a market revolution from customary logistics concepts to a new era of digital logistics.
  • The Internet of Things ("IoT") and big data analytics are streamlining supply chain functions of organizations for just in time inventory and provide predictive analysis to manage procurement processes. The accessibility to information anytime in any place is one of the foremost benefits of digitization and the IoT. Technology is enabling logistics firms to enlarge partnerships and communication which results in better flexibility, steadfastness and efficacy and eradicates ineptitudes to enhance the processes. Digitisation drive in logistics sector is in motion and set to fast-track. In view of rising customer demands, every company in transportation and logistics needs to implement digitisation and data analytics.
  • E-commerce and evolving logistics networks: Initiation of ecommerce has led to establishment of multisource networks for sellers. Ecommerce trades pose a distinct challenge to the traditional logistics channel. In e-commerce inventory arrives in bulk but needs to be disseminated into different stock keeping units.
  • The delivery to forward channels is varied and in smaller lots. The intricacy of this procedure increases with thousands of dealers, numerous warehouses and widespread sales network across continents, increasing the risk of erroneous orders. Logistics network companies are also expected to process the payment through delivery and manage the complex converse logistics in case of return of merchandise.
  • Handling these actions involves skill and standardisation to coordinate business processes with real time access and acumen to inventory management. With extreme competition in the e-commerce sector and emphasis on swift supply of merchandise the supply network has been put under enormous stress.
  • For meeting this growing demand of e-commerce logistics new networks and companies have arisen with diverse commercial simulations and catering entirely to e-commerce.
  • Infrastructure development: Government has augmented its speed of road construction to improve a robust road infrastructure linkage. Pursuant to enactment of the National Waterways Act, Government is desirous of evolving new national waterways as greener and more cost-effective options and starting routes in which adjoining vicinities can be serviced.
  • Dedicated freight corridors: The Government has sanctioned erection of freight corridors for increasing freight handling capability. Completion of these corridors will increase logistics adeptness, reduce costs and transit time. To succeed, logistics and transport sector companies must nurture a digital culture.
  • They must assess digital maturing and set clear short-term and long-term targets. Plans need to be developed for attracting persons and refining methods as well for executing new technologies. The future of logistics industry is expected to change tremendously with adoption of new innovations using IT, big data, and advanced analytics.
  • They must consider how best data analytics can be consolidated to derive value that can be used to (i) understand consumer behavior; (ii) improve services being currently offered; (iii) develop new product and/or services; and (iv) provide innovative end to end solutions to end users at competitive prices. Infrastructure development should be planned to enhance appropriate linkages of diverse means of transport and attain complete and secure multimodal combinations.
  • For improving storing facilities, decreasing transportation overheads and boosting efficacy of complete logistics set-up, multimodal logistic parks should be developed and unified throughout the country with focus on last mile connectivity. The move towards digitisation is evolving and unlikely to inverse.
  • New preferences and strategies across enterprise logistics processes, augmented by adoption of new innovations using IT, digital interfaces and data based innovative services is changing market dynamics. Digital competencies are very vital.
  • These require time and attention and a stage-by-stage methodology to be adopted and implemented with considered swiftness. Companies that recognise this changing scenario and invest prudently in process change and support digital logistics technologies will realize immense benefits. Those that falter may find themselves at competitive disadvantage that may be very difficult to overcome.

Konica Minolta Launches bizhub PRESS C1100 and bizhub PRESS C1085

  • Konica Minolta Launches bizhub PRESS C1100 and bizhub PRESS C1085

  • Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Ltd. today announces the launch of the bizhub PRESS C1100 and bizhub PRESS C1085 color digital presses which set a new standard in productivity, these next generation digital presses combine market-leading speeds with a wide range of substrate handling and finishing options for superior flexibility and performance.
  • Ideal for commercial printers and print service providers, the bizhub PRESS C1100 and bizhub PRESS C1085 are Konica Minolta’s next generation of digital presses, boasting upto 100 pages per minute (ppm) and upto 85 ppm respectively. The new digital presses do not compromise quality for speed however, delivering reliably accurate registration and color consistency regardless of print job length or complexity. In addition, flexible substrate handling and inline finishing options provide professional looking output while enabling more effective workflow management.The bizhub PRESS C1100 and bizhub PRESS C1085 also feature enhanced Simitri® HDE toner, S.E.A.D. IV screen processing to continuously maintain image stability over long press runs, air suction (vacuum) paper feeding for spot-on registration and reliable paper handling and hybrid decurling (zig zag plus moisture) for consistently flat output.Speaking on the occasion Yuji Nakata MD Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. says “The bizhub PRESS C1100 series is a new platform, built upon the success of our previous generations of digital presses, with expanded capabilities, flexibility and speeds to further drive productivity. We are confident that these new bizhub PRESS would improve the customer experience of Konica Minolta products & solutions. We constantly strive to provide Konica Minolta customers with high efficiency and world class products & solutions. Launching of this new range of bizhub PRESS is a step further in that pursuit”.“Konica Minolta has always provided competitive products that provide consistently high quality and meet user demands. The new bizhub PRESS C1100 and C1085 series sets a new benchmark in the colour production printer market. It will help us boost the productivity for improved workflow performance” says Mr. V. Balakrishnan, EGM (Marketing) Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Pvt. Ltd..Mr. Kuldeep Malhotra, EGM (Sales) Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. says, “Relationship that we share with our esteemed customers has built on trust over the years. This new series bizhub PRESS is the best in its class on productivity and will help our customers to maximise the profitability & return of investment. We will further strengthen our sales & service delivery to enhance customer satisfaction”.About Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Pvt. Ltd.:
  • Konica Minolta Business Solutions is a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies from the desktop to the print shop. Konica Minolta is the global developer, manufacturer of multi-functional peripherals (MFPs), printers, equipment for production print systems and graphic arts, equipment for healthcare systems, measuring instruments for industrial and healthcare applications, inkjet print heads and textile printers for industrial use, and related consumables and solution services. It is also engaged in the development, manufacturing and sale of electronic materials (including TAC films), lighting source panels, functional films (including heat insulation films), and optical products (including lens units).
     

Google Tez wallet and payments app launched; here's what you can do with it

  • Google Tez wallet and payments app launched; here's what you can do with it

  • Google on Monday finally launched in India its UPI-backed payments application, Tez (fast in Hindi), which will allow you to securely pay for goods and services both online and offline, and also make person-to-person transactions.
  • “Send money to friends, instantly receive payments directly to your bank account and pay the nearby café with Tez, Google's new digital payment app for India,” the description of the Tez app reads on Google’s Play Store.
  • The internet search giant had been working with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to build the app in accordance with its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard. Tez is similar to NPCI’s own BHIM app, currently the most used UPI payments app in India.
  • Google is said to be working with multiple Indian banks for Tez and will allow users to transfer money to any UPI-enabled bank account. Like BHIM, users will also be able to transfer money to other users by saving their account numbers and IFSC codes.
  • Going forward, Google says, Tez will also allow you to pay bills on its platform through credit and debit cards.
  • “Tez works with all major Indian banks and with a vast majority of smartphones, so you can pay or get paid by almost anyone. Tez offers language support for English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu,” the app’s Play Store description added.

Apple launches three new iPhones: All you need to know

  • Apple launches three new iPhones: All you need to know

  • Apple on Sept. 12 unveiled the iPhone X, a radically redesigned smartphone that eliminates the traditional home button for a so-called edge-to-edge display, alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models at an event in company's Steve Jobs Theater, located within the brand new Apple Park "spaceship" campus.
  • The iPhone X, pronounced as iPhone 10, will be available at a starting price of Rs 89,900 in India. It is Apple's most expensive iPhone ever built. The phone will come in two colours, space grey and silver, and will be available for pre-orders from Oct. 27. It will be shipped to all major markets, including India, on Nov. 3.
  • (Photo: Apple)
  • "This is the iPhone X. It's the biggest leap of forward since the original iPhone," Apple Chief Executive Timothy D. Cook said. It would "set the path for the next decade," Cook added.
  • The iPhone X is the first redesigned Apple smartphone in three years, which integrates a range of notable features, including infrared facial recognition, wireless charging and advanced camera capabilities. That's the reason why Apple says it is the blueprint for "the future of the smartphones."
  • The iPhone X is approximately the same size as the iPhone 7, but because Apple has dropped the home button, the screen occupies the entire front of the phone. The 5.8-inch screen uses the new OLED Super Retina display, producing better image quality than the previously used technology, LCD.
  • The model does not include the home button, which means there is no Touch ID fingerprint scanner, which was introduced in 2013 with the launch of iPhone 5s. However, the screen is housed with True Depth camera system for the facial recognition system that will allow users to unlock the device and make payments. The True Depth system housed in the screen projects an IR dot map onto the face to map it in order to create a detailed 3D-image of an owner's face, and as a result, has been claimed to be more secure than the Touch ID sensor by a factor of 20.
  • Also, since the home button is gone, users will indeed need to learn a few gestures to operate the handset. To go to home, user will need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. To see other apps, swipe up from the bottom and hold - there you'll find the multitasking pane. To wake the device, you will only need to tap the screen or lift the iPhone. However, to unlock, as aforementioned, user will need to look at it.
  • The iPhone X operates on Apple's latest processor, A11 Bionic with an integrated Neural Engine for face recognition. The processor is an upgrade from last year's A10 as it comes with not four but six-cores. In Apple testing, A11 was seen performing 70 per cent faster than A10, also extending battery life by additional two hours as what has been witnessed on iPhone 7.
  • (Photo: Apple)
  • Additionally, Apple has introduced wireless charging in the iPhone X support system. The technology uses a plate within the back of the phone to accept an inductive charge from a pad or a piece of furniture, further reducing the task to charge an iPhone using a power cable and adapter.
  • (Photo: Apple)
  • At the rear, Apple iPhone X is featuring the familiar dual camera system with 12MP sensors and optical image stabilisation, first introduced on iPhone 7 Plus. But this time, the dual rear camera is oriented vertically rather than horizontally. Additionally, Apple has included a Portrait Mode that allows users to artificially blur the background to create a shallow depth of field, as done using a DSLR camera.
  • "This is the first iPhone created for AR. The cameras are individually calibrated in the factory which makes a huge difference for AR plus AR benefits from the new A11 Bionic chip," Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said.
  • Apple has also added Animojis, which are animated 3D animal emojis that use face tracking feature to create personalised expression.
  • Alongside the iPhone X, Apple also announced iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus - upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus model, launched in 2016.
  • Similar to the premium iPhone X model, the two smartphone will operate on six-core A11 processor, but without the Neural Engine fitted to the iPhone X. The handsets essentially look similar to their predecessor, with exception of glass bodies on the front and back. Apple claims that the glass on the back is the "most durable glass ever in a smartphone".
  • On the camera front, Apple has improved camera sensor and included a new motions sensor in the two phones in order to support augmented reality-based apps.
  • Additionally, the models also support wireless charging like the iPhone X.
  • The new Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will come in three colours, and will be available at a starting price of Rs 64,000 and Rs 73,000 respectively for the 64GB version. Interestingly, Apple will start taking pre-orders for the iPhone 8 line earlier than the iPhone X, reportedly from Sept 15. Globally, the two models are slated to be shipped from Sept. 22, but in India they will hit stores on Sept. 29.

Textile printing -The latest trends and opportunities in 2017

  • Textile printing -The latest trends and opportunities in 2017

Rob Fletcher takes a closer look at the textile print market and picks out the technology that can help you gain an advantage. Print is undoubtedly one of the most varied, creative and innovative industries in the world. While the industry is split into a whole host of different markets, some of these are split into further, separate areas, thus demonstrating the amount of work available.

Due to the different types of work on offer, one of the most diversified markets is textile print. Ranging from t-shirts and dresses, to flags and cushion covers, those active in this sector take on all sorts of projects, and while this may be positive in that there is lots of business to be won, it can also mean print service providers  (PSPs) can face heavy demand from all categories of customers.

One of the most effective ways of dealing with this is by investing in new kit, and in the textile print sector, there are plenty of options on offer from some of the largest manufacturers in the industry. Here, we take a look at some of the latest solutions available and examine the benefits they can offer to PSPs.

Rapid growth in a busy market

Epson is one of the most respected manufacturers in the print market and is able to offer technology solutions for various types of work, including textile print.

Heather Kendle, markets development manager for Epson Europe, says that the expansion of digital print has led to growth within the textile print market, and the company has seen a significant spurt in demand for its products as a result.

“The digital textile market is very buoyant and growing,” Kendle said. “The rapid growth of digital printing in the textile industry for both décor applications, and fashion is very much driven by the design and business opportunities it enables.”

Kendle added: “The trend for fast fashion and bespoke décor is well known, but it is far from established, and we are only experiencing the start of a trend that will grow significantly over the next few years. Sales of our SureColor SC-F2000 direct-to-garment printer have exploded across Europe – but as well as T-shirt printing being an active market, which it has been for many years, it’s more because companies want a printer they can depend on to work all day, every day, that needs very little maintenance and, of course, produces superb-quality products.”

Aside from the SC-F2000, Epson can also offer the SureColor SC-F9200; a 64-inch device that has been designed for high-quality production of textiles for clothing and sportswear, décor and home furnishing textiles, as well as soft signage and flags. The machine can hit speeds of 100 sqm/hr in draft mode, 56 sqm/hr when in production mode, and 27 sqm/hr in quality mode.

Also featured in the SureColor range is the desktop Epson SureColor SC-F2000 direct-to-garment printer for the on-demand printing of a variety of garments, as well as tea towels, aprons, cushions, tote bags and other applications.

In addition, Epson has recently been working with For.Tex on the Monna Lisa, a new digital direct-to-fabric production printer available in widths of 180, 220 and 320 cm.

Focusing on areas of growth

Elsewhere, Mimaki is another major manufacturer equipped with a wide range of solutions for textile printing. Yuji Ikeda, general manager of global marketing at Mimaki Engineering, said the market is growing and believes it will continue to do so at a “remarkable pace”.

Ikeda added: “The biggest area of growth potential is in the digital printing of textiles, which today only accounts for about three per cent of textile printing worldwide. There are several aspects to textile printing that will drive increased demand for digital print technologies. First, there is no question that there is growing demand for shorter runs, faster deliveries, and more customised production of textile products across the board.”

 

Focusing in on the different sectors within the wider textile print market, Ikeda picks out areas that are experiencing the most expansion: “The fastest growth would most likely come from the fashion and apparel sector. Faster time-to-market demand from the ‘Fast Fashion’ industry has been a key driver and will continue to contribute to the surge in the adoption of digital textile printing technology.”

“Additionally, the home textiles segment seems to be quite promising, while we have noticed quite a positive growth in soft signage and flag printing in recent years.”

With this in mind, Ikeda highlights some of the solutions on offer from Mimaki, such as the Tiger-1800B, which has been developed on the back of the firm’s acquisition of Italian printer manufacturer La Meccanica.

Also available from Mimaki is the Tx300P-1800, which now features dual ink capability that allows users to simultaneously load textile pigment ink for cotton and hemp materials, as well as sublimation dye ink for polyester-based fabrics.

Ikeda went on to say that for industry members keen to learn more about the various machines available from Mimaki, the manufacturer plans to show off a host of solutions, including those mentioned here, at FESPA 2017 : “Our broad product portfolio has always been one of our strengths. For a show as important as FESPA, we will definitely bring our latest offerings.”

Succeeding in a growing market

Another leading manufacturer that has noted growth in the textile print sector is Mutoh, whose commercial marketing manager, Nick Decock, identified the key areas as short run on-demand, medium production and local digital production of garments, upholstery, fashion, interior deco fabrics and home textiles. Certain technologies are suitable for different types of work.

Decock added: “There are two digital textile print techniques. The first one is digital transfer, which means printing an image in mirror onto transfer paper and transferring the image to polyester based textile via a calendar. The second technique is direct printing to textile; this can be done using direct sublimation inks for direct printing onto polyester based textiles. With water-based pigmented inks, you can print to natural fibres such as cotton, and after printing, you only need to fix the prints before using them. Digital inkjet printing on textiles is now mature technology.”

The basic speeds of wide-format digital transfer and direct textile printers has now reached an acceptable level for short run production, one offs as well as sampling. With conventional textile printing equipment, longer runs are needed. “The current trend in the industry is delocalisation of production allowing local printing of short runs, often for articles that can be ordered online.”

Decock picked out some of the options from Mutoh, such as the ValueJet 1938TX next generation, digital piezo drop-on-demand direct-to textile printer that can print directly on a range of fabrics up to 3.5mm wide at speeds of up to 40 sqm/hr.

Mutoh also offers two desktop direct-to-garment printers in the form of the VJ-404GT, which offers CMYK printing possibilities for the digital production of white or light coloured garments, and the ValueJet 405GT that both CMYK plus white printing possibilities for the digital production of dark coloured and light coloured garments.

In addition, visitors to FESPA 2017 in May will be amongst the first in the world to see the new ValueJet 1948WX high speed digital transfer printer, which will feature on its booth (Stand A15, Hall A1). The new machine can print at speeds of more than 100 sqm/hr.

Getting active in the sportswear sector

Also active in this sector is Roland DG, Mark Elvidge, business development manager for the manufacturer’s UK arm, said the firm’s Texart dye-sublimation printer and ink range of solutions can help PSPs access key work in this market.

Elvidge observed: “With the trend for shortening fashion cycles and the desire for personalised and customised items, the demand for digital printers which can accommodate efficient high-mix, shorter-runs and design prototyping continues to increase. Roland’s Texart range delivers exactly this. Looking at specific sectors, sportswear is particularly buoyant. Last year Roland launched its fluorescent Texart inks and Roland DG Fluor Color Library and these are proving hugely popular as sportswear and leisurewear manufacturers continue to embrace the craze for neon.”

Elvidge went on to highlight other solutions from Roland DG, such as the updated RIP software. Included with Texart printers, ErgoSoft Roland Edition 2 has more than 40 new features and enhancements compared to the previous version, and Elvidge said has enjoyed a warm response from the market.

In terms of Roland DG hardware, visitors to FESPA 2017 will be able to see the high-production Texart XT-640 dye-sublimation printer in action on Stand E20 in Hall B7 of the show. The machine is available with a four- or eight-colour ink configuration, which the manufacturer said will allow users to take on a whole range of textile work.

It is clear that textile print, in particular the digital side of the sector, offers a host of expansion opportunities for print companies. However, when it comes to choosing the technology to take on work, this can be a difficult process, due to the amount of options on offer.

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