Q+A MEET TONY NASCHBERGER OF ZIMMER, AUSTRIA, DIGITAL PRINT MACHINE MANUFACTURERS
Meet Tony Naschberger, MD of Zimmer Austria, Founded in 1876
Makers of fine digital printing machines with an eye not only for innovation but also heritage and product quality. Zimmer is based in Austria but has also sales and service offices in Spartanburg, SC and Shanghai, China.
We caught up with Tony and asked him to share his inspiring story….
Tell us a little about your Company’s history
How did you start in business?
Zimmer is a family business which was started in 1876 – so more than 140 years ago. Right now, we have 2 manufacturing plants – one in Kufstein Austria where we concentrate on digital printing and one in Klagenfurt-Austria where we build analogue machines such as textile screen printers, dryers, steamers and coating lines.
How long have you been making printing machinery?
Printing machines are built for over 120 years by now.
What milestones has your company achieved?
Zimmer invented the Magnet System – famous in Textile Screen Printing machines and ChromoJET – the digital printer which revolutionised carpet printing.
How did you come to make Digital print machines and when did you start?
Zimmer started with ChromoJET printers in 1976 – so more than 40 years ago. About 10 years ago we started with piezo based inkjet printers.
Now we have gained a lot of experience. All our electronics and software, we are doing in house to enable us to work out special applications and to handle different inks and fluids.
What machinery is in your current range?
In principle we offer printing systems for 5 fields:
Floorcovering - carpets, mats, carpet tiles, needlepunch, woven carpets.
Textile - upholstery, terry products, blankets, fleece, bed-sheeting, curtains, decoration
Narrow fabrics - belting, ribbons…
Technical textiles and special applications - camouflage, outdoor textiles
OEM products using our ChromoJET valve technology, 3-D printing, digital coating
Zimmers speciality are custom made printers and complex print lines
The type of printer and ink selection is always based on the application and its fastness demands. Here we cover all aspects of industrial printing.
Print width is ranging from single pass for narrow fabrics, up to 5.4 m (18ft) for broadloom carpet using multi-pass systems.
We offer printer with for all applications and ink classes.
Acid for polyamide and wool.
Disperse and direct sublimation for polyester.
Reactive for cotton, terry products…
Vat inks for cellulosic fibres which require highest fastness levels work wear, camouflage)
Pigment mainly for polycotton but also for many other blends of fibres as well as for non-textile based substrates.
Which is your favourite, how wide and how fast is it?
Favourite: Our 4 and 5 m wide carpet printers with 6 colours and 96 printheads. I like the Colaris.12-2200 which is a 2.2 m (7ft) wide printer with 12 or 6 colors and 1 or 2 heads per color.
This model is extremely flexible as it can print roll-to-roll or piece by piece. It is available for all ink classes – especially for pigment prints we see a wide range of applications. This printer is perfect for entry level pigment solutions.
It can do about 100 m2 or 120 square yard per hour.
What are its main advantages as a machine?
All our printers are for industrial use and are built for 24/7 operation.
Ink heating and cooling system to guarantee best jetting performance
Ink circulation system – especially needed for pigment inks and other jetting fluids with high solid content. Print heads with different drop-sizes ranging from 7 pl up to 80 pl.
Scratch proof nozzles - We also offer a printhead cleaning and repairing service which brings down operating cost considerably.
How do you see the Digital Print Market developing?
What ink types will make progress?
Pigment printing will be the future for many textile applications. Rub-fastness, brilliancy and softness have improved a lot and are matching market demand already. Pigment printing process has high potential for simplification by use of jet-able printing pre-and post-coatings.
What speeds do clients demand?
For many applications, flexibility comes first, rather than speed. All our printers are prepared to handle up to 12 colors. This allows either to use up to 12 primary colors or to set up the printer for double speed using only 6 colors. So we offer the most flexible system in the market.
Which markets will grow?
Ink jet printing will revolutionize many markets. Products will be custom made on site. Delivery time will come down.
Production will get closer to the user.
What new processes are there in the pipeline?
In our technology center in Kufstein, Austria we are working permanently on different processes, either to get better penetration for high pile products or to simplify processes for pigment inks, or to reach highest fastness properties using VAT inks.
Do Zimmer offer inks?
Our philosophy is that customer should have the freedom to choose from different ink suppliers. Ink should be a local business. Therefore, we cooperate with local ink suppliers in China, India, Europe, Middle East and America.
There is also not one ink supplier who has the best inks for everything. In some cases, we also have to mix supplier to get the best results regarding fastness for individual applications.