SMAKE – the textile printing company of the online generation

Noga Chen
August 15, 2018
Order, print, dispatch – all this happens at SMAKE within minutes. The textile printing company and its intelligent shop system are a best-practice example when it comes to industry 4.0 and digitisation. Apart from innovation and inventive spirit, SMAKE is also renowned worldwide for high-quality, sustainable and individualised textiles of any kind.

Mark Busche, founder and managing director of SMAKE
Perfectly coordinated workflow ensures production and delivery with zero defects
Based in Castrop-Rauxel (Ruhr area), SMAKE works especially for small to large online shops. In the background. On demand. A Kornit printing system such as the Storm II fits perfectly into the workflow due to its integrated pre-treatment.
When an order arrives at SMAKE, it is registered in the barcode-supported workflow system. The barcode is attached to the garment, identifies it and provides all workstations with complete information on the order. The workflow begins
The procedure at each station: scan – check – execute, all within the shortest time, and error-free. At the start of the printing process, the Kornit Storm II reads the information and projects the design with the Gate EPS, a system developed by SMAKE itself, onto the t-shirt. One click and the design will be printed directly on the textile, followed by the drying procedure, and then directly by quality control. If the end product matches the barcode information, it is dispatched in neutral packaging. This way, SMAKE drop shipping customers, who sell textiles via their online shops, can attend to their customers in almost no time at all.
From Cape Town to the Ruhr area, from surfing equipment to textile printing

Kornit Storm II operated by SMAKE.
“We started in Cape Town in 1995. Originally we wanted to import surfing equipment and clothing to Europe. But we didn’t like the quality”, company founder and managing director Mark Busche explains the step towards self-production. “So, we just began our own production in Germany. We started with embroidery on clothes, and 2013, we took up direct-to-garment printing. The only supplier we’ve ever thought about is Kornit – their machines were and still are the most advanced.”
SMAKE focuses on optimising the production process
Thanks to the SMAKE workflow, the entire system – from order to delivery of the textiles – functions error-free, from order acceptance and t-shirt printing to dispatch. It sounds simple because it is that easy.
All routes are kept as short as possible because SMAKE concentrates on the optimisation of the production process. And they have become so good at it that an order leaves the company within a few hours after it has arrived.
“The decisive advantage is the integrated pre-treatment process”
The Kornit Storm II is indispensable for this: „The decisive advantage is the integrated pre-treatment process,” says Mark Busche. The Shirt is stretched into the machine and is pre-treated and printed in a single step. “That saves an enormous amount of time and is characteristic of the efficient SMAKE work mode.”
Sustainability is more important than low prices

Kornit inks are Ökotex-certified
In the past, good prices were the most crucial factor for end customers – today, their main focus is on sustainability. “We print a lot of organic shirts. So it’s a good thing that the Kornit inks are Ökotex-certified, are on the GOTS positive list and are therefore very eco-friendly.”
So far, so good – but what is still left to do? “Regarding the ordering and delivery procedure, there’s really not much to optimise at the moment”, explains Max Heedemann, responsible for sales and marketing. Nevertheless, the wheel never stands still. “But there is a lot to do, all the time, because the world spins faster everyday, these days especially in the area of digitisation. We need to maintain our spearheading role by keeping abreast of what’s going on, to question ourselves again and again and to improve our processes continuously by doing so.”
“We are oriented towards the international market”
Of course, the Kornit systems are not the only ones responsible for the success of SMAKE. “We are oriented towards the international market and use the most efficient work routes to supply our customers all over the world. Germany considers itself to be a highly advanced industrial country, but other countries are far ahead of us,” says Mark Busche.
In the future, SMAKE plans to also distribute the Gate EPS, the system the company has developed for the placement of printing designs. This allows every producer to use his Kornit machine even more efficiently – following the example of SMAKE.