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Hi all, well this is my first ever post here, although I've been a frequent visitor for at least 6 months now, maybe more I can't remember. I've used this forum for research of DTG, users experience with various companies, and based upon that made the decision to go with DTG Kiosk.

Well first of all I would like to Thank Rodney, and all the members here for all their work and input on these forums, you do a great job and have helped me out no end with everything I've read here.

Ok, now I've read the forum rules, and I understand it fully I'm hoping that the following will be taken as review of my experience, and constructive criticism, in a view to possibly helping others in the future with their choice to buy either DTG or embroidery products from YES LTD.

Before you read the full post, I would like to say I did still buy a Kiosk and I am pleased with it.

Here is my experience:

Well first of all I contacted many companies for viewing and samples of the machines including end products various machines have made, some companies where slower than others in getting back to me, and some like CAD Systems - Europe's distributor of T-jet never even got back to after numerous attempts to make contact.


YES LTD, where by far the quickest and most responsive, inviting the next time to come and see the DTG Kiosk, Express and Bullet machines. I was impressed with the white inks, as my business mainly revolves around dark garments, the prints where pretty spot on, they used my graphics to test with along with their own, to show me how our end products can look.

Mark the sales chap there was pretty spot on too, got back to me as and when requested, but then again his job is sales, and every sale is money in the bank.

Right here was the first problem, although the prints were excellent on the eyes, I took them home and washed them to make sure this was the right product for me, ohh dear the prints where sticking together and coming off, I explained this to them, they stated it could be a pre-treat problem, sent me some more out. Same again, and then again.

Now we had a problem, but still I kept faith, I then went down there with the samples which was sticking together and coming off. Upon meeting one of the Directors (I won't mention his name to save him embarrassment), he kept insisting this had only happened once before with a customer whom came in a few days before me, and that it must be a machine wash problem, I confirmed the setting of my washing machine, 40 degrees, etc, etc, the soap powder used. He then asked if I had used a tumble Dryer, no as my answer. He then insisted it had to be one of these factors and that it couldn't be fault of the machine, however he would launch further investigation into it. although indirectly he was calling me a lier, and saying the fault must lay with me, but yet all my screen printed stuff in those same washes where fine.

Ok, so I then receive a phone call, "We've sorted that problem", they blamed something I seem to recall it being a batch of inks. I then requested another sample. Great it was perfect, it washed over and over again with no problem.

Ok, so the order went in, I decided on a Kiosk with a view to expansion should the business continue to grow as it has done.

They got the training in, in quick time too and I had the machine by the end of the week, fantastic. I had the machine before Christmas, and the Christmas sales where good on these T-shirts, not to mention the hoods too.

But there were of course teething problems, I told them I was away for a month over Christmas, they said just let them know and they would talk me through the shut down procedure, I did, but they didn't tell me I needed spare bottles to move the inks into whilst I flushed the system, so hay ho, I had no spare bottles, but the tech guy talked me through how I could do it and leave it standing, The white ink when back into the original bottle, the pipes leading to the head where flushed and clean, the other cmyk inks however remained in the bottle for a month. Hey they said this should be fine.

Ohh when I got the machine, they also sold me a spray gun for applying pre-treat, forgot to change the plug thought didn't they so it was fine to work in the European two pin plug, but not the UK's three pin plug. At my expense I bought one of those little adaptors.

Now lets rewind a little to when I first got the machine.

The first prints where good, I use still getting used to the print pro software settings to get more vibrant colours, and all was going good, then about 3 hours in, my prints where looking faded, I tried more pre-treat it was ok, you see they advise to water the pre-treat down 50/50 I find it better to have 75/25 at least I know my prints will be better. but still I had problem with prints, so did a test bar print, noticed some nozzles not firing, called tech support and spoke to Tony he advised how to clean further. I did and it was fine.

Right did all the recommended close down of the machine, then a clean when I'm ready to start again, but hey ho had problems with the print again. Another test print of the bars, and notice nozzles not firing, did a clean it again, it was fine for a short while, then it would start again.

I must of logged over 30 hours on the phone to tech support before Christmas, but hey support was spot on, patient, willing to help, and of course friendly. Well except three of four occasions, when tech support where busy, I left a message and no one returned to my call, so I had to call again.

Anyway this problem of nozzles not firing kept happening, mainly on the whites, but this is more than likely because the white ink was set to multi-shot dot, and I'm led to believe it's also thicker than the other colour inks.

You wouldn't believe the amount of ink I've had to waste on test prints, yeah there only little bars, but it all mounts up, then there is also the automatic head cleans as well. Boy these inks are expensive the white ink alone for a litre costs £160, I believe that's something like $300+ - Liquid money ehh.

Ok, I have my break away, a month later I come back.

The same bloody problem, continuous head cleans, both manual and automatic as advised in the correct manor.

Now here is the part that drove me to finally post today, I feel other potential customers to this market should know and it will help in their decision to buy and from which company.

Ok I get a decent size order in Saturday, I close the printer Saturday as you are advised too, Did a few jobs Sunday, and closed the printer as recommended, didn't do anything Monday except the normal clean and to ensure there was cleaning solution in the bay (where the head sits when not in use). Then early hour Tuesday I went to work on an order (the decent size one), ok there was no magenta firing at all now. I did all the cleaning stuff again, still no joy, and again and guess what again. I then closed the printer and cleaned it as recommended, waited for tech support to open. I called, they were all in a meeting, was told the meeting was nearly over, approx 1 or more hours later, still no reply, I call back again to speak to Andy, he advised me of a way to flush the head, I tried that, no and some of the nozzles then started to fire but not enough, I then called back for more advice, tried that didn't work, called back again to speak to Gordon, he spoke me though back flushing of the plastic bay thingie above the head (I can't remember the name of it for the life of me now, lol).

I got more nozzles to fire, but still not enough, we then agreed for me to bring it in the next day, so I did, cost me some fuel too, wasn't best please about that.

Right we're on Wednesday now, well that's if you've not fallen asleep reading this, lol. We arrive and Gordon spends a fair few hours looking at it, and hey this guy was spot on. I then had one of the Directors in - You remember the one above which indirectly called me a lier.

I mention all these problems, his tech support are aware of them, he then mentions the head is not covered under the warranty, you can see the ££££ signs in his eyes. It's £325 for a new hear, approx $640 USD I believe.

This was a persistent problem from the first time it was plugged in, he showed me a sample bar print from when the machine was made available and the bars looked great, but the prints wasn't.

He then said he would go 50/50 with me on the cost of a new head, he then said he didn't know what the cause was, but indirectly again implied it was my fault. Do all you readers see the pattern emerging here. Any way we had a heated debate, and brought up all these points, but still he was not budging, I said how about I pay £100, as this was not my fault, he said no of course, and then continued with indirectly calling my a lier again, when I brought this point up he then stated "I'm not having this conversation any more", you should of seen the fire in my eyes, if this machine didn't need fixing, well I'm sure you know what I was thinking then and still am.

I'm fuming that I'm having to pay for a persistent problem which occurred from purchase to be fixed.

Now I'm a small business, I don't let any one touch the machine, after all it cost me approx £12,000 without heat press, and I'm gonna make sure nothing happens to it, heck it got more care and attention than my partner, which she didn't like lol. (I just did a currency conversion that's, $24,622.43 USD)
That's a lot of money.

All in all I have to thank Tony, Andy and especially Gordon the tech support, if it wasn't for them I would never of used this company.

Although I haven't mentioned Tony's name enough, he was there from the start with Mark (sales guy), talking me through everything. And as for the owner of the company, well I'm sure you know my opinion, but I guess it's your decision. There are as they say always two sides to a coin/story, and if you ever decide to use this company, I'm sure you'll make your own mind up.

It's also a shame about the staff member whom resigned from YES LTD today, I guess bumping heads wasn't his favourite too.

Any way lets sum this one up now, ohh boy what an essay.

The DTG Kiosk, fantastic machine when it's working correctly, even with all the head aches, I still feel it was the right decision, I would recommend it to others in the industry.

Right, now I guess it's time to get my first T-shirt off since the new head has been added.

I hope you have all found this post informal, constructive and that it may help in your decision of purchasing a DTG Machine.

Now I have a question, you know my feelings, lol. I'm led to belive that all DTG inks will work in different machines, what company other than YES LTD would you recommend to purchase inks from. Or what about imports from American based company,

Once again thank you to Rodney and all the guys on here for posting, your posts have been a great help to me.

Kind Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I now just like to add that after the head change, my graphics are now sharp, bright and beutiful, just like the original sample they shown me, but not like what I was getting from my machine when I first bought it.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience Tim.

I hope things will smooth out and you can start to reclaim some of your expenses soon.
 

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I hope so too, it's been a bit of an ordeal. but now the prints are much better, as I said it was never this good when I first got it.

One thing I forgot to mention is I got the Kiosk at the end of November 2006, was away for one month, so it's only really be used for about 2 months, with it being this new a head problem in theory should not of arose, but hey ho technology ehh, lol.

Thank you John for taking the time out to read my lengthy post, it was going to be longer but I thought I would skip some of the more minor stuff and keep it shorter, lol.

Take care
 

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I don't know much about your RIP software - Pro Print - which is what has the profiles for the inks that your machine is using. Do you know what manufacturer(s) your inks come from? Here in the U.S., the DTG distributors use a different software that is profiled for R&H CMYK Inks and Dupont White Inks. Colman & Company (Colman and Company - Discount Commercial Embroidery Supplies - Machine Embroidery Supplies Catalog) sells inks in Florida and I believe that Mesa Distributors (Apparel Decorating Equipment from MESA Distributors) sells the inks in Texas. You can also get the same inks for All American Suppy (Welcome to Direct Digital Master - Home of the Flexi-Jet direct to garment digital printer) in Pennsylvania. I was told in order to buy ink from US Screen (U.S. Screen Print and Inkjet Technology) in Arizona, you need to have a serial number for their machine - but you can confirm this. That is the main companies that would be selling these two lines of ink in the U.S. The Brother, Kornit and Sawgrass machines use their own special inks, so they will not work for you. I don't know much about the companies outside the U.S. Hope this helps and wish you problem free printing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the information, it's a great starting point for me.

With regards to the manufacturer of the inks, I'll see if I can check. I think the name they pop on the containers is a generic name.

Thanks again for your input.

Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Rodney,

I don't have images of the first prints, but I should still have some of them in my stock room or shop. What we do is rather than waste them, we sell them at a really low price, we label them as miss prints, so the customer is aware there not the real quality. This way we get some of the costs back.

I'll call one of my staff tomorrow and ask if we still have some.

Take care
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Rodney,

Sorry for the delay. I checked with my staff, and they have confirmed all the miss-prints were sold.
 

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gmax,

DTG is now using a much better rip solution by iproof systems here in the US. I am positive that it is available overseas though. You might ask if you can try that rip to see if it helps you with color and white ink too. I have been around that rip for quite a while and can tell you that the color profiles are fantastic and the support is great too. They are constantly adding updated features and improvements that make life much better for the operators. Might be a first step to seeing some improvement.

As mark said, they have profiles for both ink sets but I am a fan of the R&H inks.

Just some food for thought,

Tom
 

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Hi Tom,

mmmmm, you known when I was preparing to buy the machine, I had many questions about the software, and the reply to YES was a long the lines of "We are working with the software development side to make this a better RIP solution", they had no plans to change to another software, in-fact one of the guys said he has personal input into the software, and he thinks it is far superior.

Do you think this was a fob off?

When I get a bit of time I'll try and look into the RIP software you mention.

Thanks once again.

Take care
 

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Thanks Tom,

Ok I have another problem, wondering if you guys have any info or suggestions.

Early in my first post I mentioned their samples after wash would stick together and then as you pulled them away it would rip some of the print off.

Well now it's happened to some I've printed my the DTG Kiosk, I noticed it with a T-shirt I printed for myself, I had the T-shirt on twice, then washed it, and certain parts stuck together.

Info on my designs:

Well there pretty detailed graphics, dark art, Gothic type, and use a fair bit of white ink, but only in one pass using multishot for the white base.

Heat pressed as recommended by YES LTD at 180degrees for 90 seconds. as I said recommended by them.

When this first happened with their samples, I thought maybe it needed a little longer on the heat press or maybe a higher heat, but YES LTD assured me it didn't, in fact if you read up they tried bunking the blame on my poor washing machine skills.

They then said they had problems with their heat press, once fixed I had another sample which it happened too, then they blamed the inks, and then the last sample worked perfect. <--- this bit was before I bought the Kiosk.

So could it be the inks, or heat, or perhaps it needs more time under the heat?

I've contacted then and I'm awaiting a reply, just thought I post here to see if you guys know anything I should.

PS the prints look really good now, just not sure about the wash-ability
 

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180 degrees for 90 secs does not sound like it is hot enough when using white ink. I would contact SWF east or mesa to confirm that setting. I know with the R&H inks when using white it is more liek 325 for 30 secs per layer for proper curing. I do think that people vary off that but it may be based off their press operations and quality. If the press has hot spots it can really cause issues in the results which could also be part of your sticking problem with part of your designs. If you have the hot spots it might actually show up in different spots based on the amount or white ink printed in certain areas.

Lots of variables with the white ink stuff man,

Tom
 

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Hi Chris,

Thanks for your comments.

Hi Tom,

I should of mentioned it's degrees centigrade (°C) not fahrenheit, I'm not 100% on how 180°C converts to fahrenheit, but I think it's 356 fahrenheit.

Anyway after speaking with tech support they've made a few suggestions as detailed below:

+ Try using less pre-treat, as over use could cause this
+ Try a double press, IE two presses of 90 seconds at 180°C
+ Then try a combination of both if it still doesn't work.

When the printer was with tech support the other day, they did some print offs then, I have these so will try washing these too and seeing if it happens to them, as if it does then I know it's not something I'm doing, as you would imagine they did everything correct.

Any how, I'll try and then re-post here the result, in-case it helps anyone in the future.

Take care.
 

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Hi guys,

Right, I've not washed the above tests as yet, but I have washed the two samples that tech support did, along with three I did after I got the machine back.

On the tech support prints, they where both sides of two t-shirts, making 4 prints in total.

The three that have been washed that I did are fine, 3 out of the four sides that tech support did have stuck together, and when you separate them it pulls the print off, white ink as-well.

So this obviously leads me to think this is not a fault through my own doing, based upon the advice of how to treat and press a t-shirt, but of course it could still be something wrong in the process its self. Which in my mind makes me think that the manufacturers may not of given these machines the full testing they should have before being made available on the market - At at least this information is not being shared.

Finding information on DTG on-line is rather few and far between, that's understandable it's a newish technology.

The only other info I can find about prints coming off was found on T-shirtforums, but was a T-jet machine:

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/direct-garment-dtg-inkjet-printing/t5900.html

Adam from that thread posted the following:

If you go to DTGForums.com you can find this same problem across several DTG Print models. It seems to be a common problem and the reason is usually the ink not being either: 1. Pre-treated correctly or 2. Pressed long / hot enough.

I've also received samples where they were not pressed at all and most of the ink washed right out.

DTGForums has several different washability tests so you can see how bright the colors look after being printed and washed.

I wouldnt base your decision on one sample you have.
Anyway I'll post the results of my latest test prints shortly.
 

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Tim,

you are correct in your findings, there has been a real void in truth in advertising in regards to white ink printing with the lower end garment printers.

The person I think has been the most upfront is Don at DTG East. He will tell you straight up that it really takes time to get through the learning curve. I know that he really pushes and encourages new customers to go through their free training as it can really expedite the timeline. Did you take the time to go through the training they offered? Even if you have been an owner for a while you can still go at no cost other than travel expenses.

There are many of us who have steadfastly said that the white ink part of the process is no where near prime time yet and I still stand by that statement. Telling people what they want to hear is easy, telling them the truth takes more integrity for sure.

I hope it all comes together for you but it just may be down the road a ways yet. I think there must be a major combination of hardware and ink breakthroughs before we will see that day.

Tom
 
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