“There are endless possibilities”: A Q&A with Sharon Donovich, Project Manager for Kornit Allegro direct-to-fabric print system
As we prepare to bring Kornit’s many print systems to SGIA Expo 2018, our largest exhibition of the year, we catch up with Sharon Donovich, Product Manager for the Kornit Allegro, to gain insights into the dynamic value presented by that system. Sharon will be joining us for the event in Las Vegas, and is our top expert for roll-to-roll digital direct-to-fabric printing and its associated best practices.
Question: There are many systems out there for printing to whole-cloth fabrics, roll to roll. What makes Kornit Allegro stand out from the pack? What do these machines offer that can’t be matched elsewhere?
Sharon: Indeed, the competitors are offering printing platforms at multiple price points, speeds, and with multiple ink configurations. Kornit Allegro is an all-in-one system that does not require additional equipment, processes, chemicals, or labor to produce the finished fabric.
Other competitors do offer pigment solutions, and while their quality is improving, they still struggle with the process, which is one of our key advantages. With other systems, you still need additional steps to achieve strong pigment print quality. Pigment-based ink is suitable for a broader range of substrates than dye-based digital ink, and Kornit Allegro prints have the best wash fastness for pigment ink.
Kornit Allegro uses one ink set for multiple fabric types—woven and knits, natural fibers, synthetics, and blends. At six to ten minutes, it delivers the fastest complete process, from file to finished fabric. And this machine offers the smallest footprint, making it a perfect fit for someone who wants to add a textile printer to their business.
Q: There’s been a lot of talk about “microfactory” production, and its benefits as a model for assembling goods in the e-commerce age. Can you explain what a microfactory is, and how Kornit Allegro aligns with that approach?
S: As the textile industry is now expected to respond to trends and customer needs in no time, shorter runs, one-offs, and the ability to print on demand are driving the microfactory concept, which brings the complete manufacturing process under one roof.
Kornit Allegro is the most cost-effective solution to answer those trends, allowing: enablement of short-run production and personalized prints; richer and vivid design; close-to-market distribution; elimination of waste inventory management; and reversal of the supply model, from supply-and-demand to demand-and-supply.
Q: Do you see any applications for which the Allegro might provide a perfect solution—applications most people might not have considered?
S: Actually, there are endless possibilities, whether in the apparel area, from babies—yes, our ink is safe for babies—through “athleisure,” and fashion, or home décor, for pillows, blankets, and more can be for DIY or even military. Endless possibilities.
Q: What would you tell someone whose primary concern is sustainability?
S: I’d tell them this is the perfect solution—a dry printing process with zero water waste, and just-in-time production with no inventory to become obsolete. Can’t beat that.
Q: Why does Kornit Allegro only use Kornit-branded inks?
S: Kornit patented “Fixation on the Fly,” which means the fixation fluid integrates directly into the printhead nozzles—smaller drops dispersed on the designated print area only. This system is complemented by, and works only with, Kornit inks that are tailored to Kornit Allegro. Kornit wants to ensure its customers receive a complete, tested, perfect solution.
Q: Why has Kornit focused on neon inks as of late?
S: Kornit Allegro is the only pigment system that offers neon colors, which enhance the color gamut, allow additional and more creative printing modes, and extend opportunities to new applications and products.
Q: Can you describe a customer who succeeds with this system, and how they’ve been able to integrate this technology into a profitable manufacturing operation?
S: There are different success stories with Kornit Allegro. On one hand, it is tailored to serve the online business model, for short runs, quick turnaround, and endless possibilities; we have very successful e-commerce customers who cannot do what they are doing without this system. On the other hand, customers who are fabric manufacturers and want to extend their abilities, also find it very easy to integrate Kornit Allegro into their production process.
Planning to attend SGIA Expo 2018, October 18-20 in Las Vegas? Visit us at Booth 1815, and see for yourself how Kornit Allegro can transform your print operation for long-term profitability and opportunity.