The Romanian company Sprint has invested €2.4 million in textile screen printing, transfer printing, embroidery and DTG printing, in order to meet the growing demand for solid relationships with existing customers and also to serve new potential customers.
In recent years we have seen more and more printing activities being moved from Western to Eastern Europe, in particular to Poland and Romania.
Mr. Reidar van der Kolk, Director of Screen Products Benelux, came into contact with the company Sprint via Wim D’haese, a Belgian entrepreneur who has been active for many years in the field of promotional articles, and intended to set up a large textile printing company in Romania.
Screen Products Benelux, importer and supplier for the sign and screenprint industry, was selected to deliver the installation of the necessary equipment as a turn- key project.
Van der Kolk: “They wanted one point of contact, for the application for a grant and also because of the maintenance and service in the future. We guarantee action within 24 hours.
Our company is based in Badhoevedorp, near Schiphol in Holland, but because there are good flight connections with Romania a mechanic of ours can be on site within half a day in the unlikely event of a fault. That was also a plus for doing business with us.”
We walk together with General Manager Ciprian Fălăuş through the brand new textile printing company Sprint in Baia Mare in the Northwest of Romania.
“We don’t work for end customers, but only print for suppliers and re-sellers,” assures Fălăuş. Production in this location started in June 2014, but the total investment of €2.4 million in equipment is being conducted in two phases. For six months, however, there have been 12 multi-colour screenprinting carousels from M & R, including six fully automatic screenprinting machines. “We can screenprint up to 18 colours,” says Fălăuş.
Furthermore, a major effort was made in an automated prepress workflow with the i-Image STE Computer-To-Screen (CTS) facilities. “We were the first in Europe with M&R and CTS and have done many tests. In the end it’s all about optimum pre-press. If a screen goes into the production process, then it should be good.”
A fully automatic screen-washing system by Grünig cleans the used screens. “Environmentally responsible and with a high effectiveness, we make sure all ‘ghosting’ is removed from the screens.” In the field of environmental management they work according to the international standard ISO 14001 and also comply with ISO 9001 quality management.
They have opted for electric drying tunnels, because Romania depends on Russian gas and the neighbours sometimes have the habit of unexpectedly turning off the gas.
Newman Roller Frames
Newman Roller Frames have been chosen to work partly with American‘high-tension screens’ because some clients in the Benelux have set high-quality standards for specific jobs.
These Newman Roller Frames, with the possibility of retensioning, offer a certain reassurance that the pre-stressed high-tension polyester mesh can continuously be kept at the correct tension of 40 Newton. Fălăuş:
“With an aluminium window this isn’t possible. There you can stretch up to 30 Newton and with a high circulation, the tension gradually decreases, whereas re-tensioning is not possible.”
Textile refining can take place further with three six-head and three eight-head embroidery machines by Tajima. Furthermore, 20 automatic transfer presses with Transmatic double heating plates are at the company’s disposal. With these machines Sprint makes digital(on Roland machines) and screenprinted (on four Hanky screenprinting machines) transfers, which automatically get powder-coated, for sports and workwear.
Wim D’haese, originally from the leather industry, has worked for almost a quarter of a century in promotional articles and is the owner of the Samdam Group. They have offices in different countries, including Belgium, France, Romania and Hong Kong. Samdam Solutions, with its head office in Aalst, Belgium, delivers as a distributor of promotional products, premiums, advertising products, gifts, promotional textiles and workwear. Amongst others, the facilities of Sprint in Baia Mare, Romania, is a company used for the personalisation of the textiles. “Samdam is just one of the many customers we have,” says Sprint General Manager, Ciprian Fălăuş.
Kornit Storm II
The combination of screen printing and embroidery is further supplemented with a Direct-To-Garment printer. Sprint has invested in a Kornit Storm II with a specific dryer for water-based inks. The capacity for printing dark shirts with an image of 30 cm × 20 cm lies in practice at around 90 to 100 pieces per hour, says Fălăuş. The machine is in a conditioned room with a constant temperature and relative humidity of 60%.“This saves lots of purges and thus money”. Fălăuş says that a lot of time is put into making own ICC profiles for the Storm II. “If you figure out how much spray you need as pre-treatment on a dark shirt in combination with the right ICC profile, you can save substantially on ink, in particular white ink. That is our experience. Less spray means less ink consumption.”
When we visited Sprint, the company had 34 employees. “But it’s our ambition to grow to 65 employees before the end of this year. With six automatic screenprint carrousels, our all-round trained workers and the flexibility to produce 24 hours a day, we have a huge capacity,” informs Fălăuş, who indicates he wants to print more for customers from Western Europe. Transport is no problem according to him. “We have our own trucks and via international package delivery services we can deliver everywhere. Customers also have the opportunity to keep their textiles in stock with us. They only pay a tariff per pallet in the warehouse we rent, inclusive of all handling”.