Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thinking of Buying Direct-to-Garment? Read This First.

Key Questions Regarding How GO/OKI Transfer Solutions Compare to Direct-to-Garment (DTG /D2) are as Follows:

Q: Does the company offer both printers for printing light garments as well as dark or black garments?
GO/OKI: We offer a full range of printers starting with the GO UNO, a printer developed specifically for imaging up to 11”x17” light garments, the 711WT for imaging letter sized dark or black shirts with white and the pro920WT for imaging 11”x17” dark or black shirts.
DTG: Most providers offer both CMYK only and CMYK White printers, but in some cases only CMYK capable printers.

Q: What is the price of the GO/OKI printers and complete systems?
GO/OKI: Pricing for the UNO is $2,195, $3,395 for the 711WT and $7,495 for the 920WT. Complete t-shirt systems range from $2,995 up to $8,995. A user can get into the t-shirt business at a product cost of only $2,995.
DTG: Comparable DTG systems range from $20,000 to over $40,000…and yes the GO/OKI solution offers virtually the same capability at a much lower cost.

Q:Does the cotton garment need to be pre-coated for white to adhere?
GO/OKI: Unlike direct-to-garment printers the GO/OKI transfer solution does not require pre-coating of the garment to be able to use white.
DTG: At trade shows it is rare that DTG providers even tell potential customers that they recommend a precoating device costing between $3,500 and $7,000 for imaging white, and the precoating adds processing steps (in fact here is a dirty secret: at trade shows these vendors precoat their black shirts so a user does not see them coating…take your own jersey to the show and ask them to image it). By the way, adding the precoater adds to the the cost of the printing system of between $15,000 to $35,000. 

Q:How long does it take a DTG unit to image a garment?
GO/OKI: Imaging one transfer sheet using any of the GO/OKI is about two seconds a sheet.
DTG: printers average two to five minutes for just imaging the shirt not including precoating or any heat press steps.

Q:What other substrates other than cotton can a DTG printer print?
GO/OKI: LED printers with toner offer the ability to transfer to most fabrics.
DTG: DTG is limited to cotton.

Q: Does the DTG printer offer the capability to image on hard surface materials such as mugs, acrylic, metal, leather, wood and many other substrates?
GO/OKI: LED printers has the ability using transfer papers for imaging to the widest array of substrates in the industry.
DTG: DTG printers are generally limited to imaging cotton based substrates.

Q: What daily maintenance is required of the DTG unit?
GO/OKI: Our printers do not require any type of ongoing daily maintenance. Even if the printer is not used for an extended period of time, it will work without any issues.
DTG: DTG products have a daily morning and evening routine to ensure the printer does not clog. Additionally, if the printer is not going to be used for any period of time, there is a complete in-depth procedure which must be implemented to ensure the printer does not clog and ruin the ink delivery system and printheads.

Q: What is the cost for a new DTG printhead and the cost for the technician to come change it?
GO/OKI: The LED array is warranted for five years.
DTG: If a DTG printhead goes bad, the cost to replace it ranges from $2,000 to $3,500 depending upon the type of printhead. Additionally if the printhead is out of warranty, there is a service charge of between $400 to $1,000 to replace it.

Q:How much DTG ink is wasted on cleaning and flushing?
GO/OKI: With the LED printers is no toner wastage used for head cleanings or flushing.
DTG: It is estimated that between 5-10% of ink is used by DTG printers to clean, flush and keep the printhead moist so that it does not clog.

Q: What is the average cost for imaging a CMYK and CMYK plus White using DTG?
GO/OKI: CMYK images cost about $.50 for paper and toner and approximately $1.50 with white for letter sized images.
DTG: DTG costs an average of $.75 for CMYK and $1.75 for CMYK plus white for the same sized images.

Q: How long does it take to train on the DTG RIP software and how intuitive is it?
GO/OKI: The OKI/GO solution uses an onboard Adobe RIP which is just like using a normal desktop printer. There is very little training needed for its use.
DTG: Most DTG units use a complicated software RIP which must be used with a server and where the training to use the RIP is between one to three days.

Q: What type of warranty is offered?
GO/OKI: Our warranty includes a one year onsite warranty.
DTG: Most DTG providers offer a parts only warranty and in some cases, do not cover the ink delivery or printhead at all.

Q: Does your DTG provider offer you a complete system, including heat presses, mug presses, paper, toner and other accessories?
GO/OKI: Graphics One offers the most complete range of accessories for not only LED transfer systems but also dye sublimation and other printing systems for unique applications. As part of this offering GO has transfer papers and film, heat presses, color management, blanks and a variety of other products all supported by GO.
DTG: Generally DTG providers generally do not offer the complete system, only the printer and sometimes the pre-coating machine.


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