Printing on demand with the Mimaki TPC-1000 sublimation printer/cutting plotter
The Shirthouse retail chain is well aware that the market for personalised gifts is growing steadily. Personal photographs on cushions, coffee mugs, boxer shorts, biscuit tins,
T-shirts – you name it, they’ve got examples of it at the Shirthouse retail chain, in a range of attractive shops. The chain currently comprises of six shops, all based in the western half of Switzerland. Each Shirthouse shop has been equipped with a Mimaki TPC-1000 and heat transfer press.
Shirthouse sells solutions with distinctive added value. The company is in a position to charge more for its gifts, because people can have their personal prints on plain gifts within 15 minutes if there are not too many customers. The Mimaki is directly positioned behind the counter, making it possible to print on demand. The shops display many appealing examples of printed gifts to give customers ideas and to show them what is available. If customers prefer to use non-personal designs they can find inspiration in sample books made by the shop sales staff. The success of the Shirthouse concept is, to a large extent, generated by the company’s shop assistants, who create the designs, operate the equipment, produce samples, give advice and ultimately sell the products.
Mimaki behind the counter
Each Shirthouse outlet is equipped with a Mimaki TPC-1000, a one m wide integrated sublimation printer/cutting plotter, which offers a myriad of possibilities. Both small and large items, ranging from coffee mugs to T-shirts, can be printed without any problem using sublimation transfer print. Customers bring a USB stick, CD or photograph and select a gift to print. The shop assistant then makes the photograph or image ready for production and prints it onto sublimation transfer paper. Using a heat transfer press, the image is transferred immediately onto the item, which is then ready to take away.
Preferred choice TPC-1000
The retail chain opted for the Mimaki TPC-1000 for a number of reasons. Manager René Brandenberger explains: “Before we purchased the Mimaki’s we used colour copiers. However, their poor colour intensity was a disadvantage. Moreover, it is nice to be able to print larger items and thus to enlarge our product range. The copiers’ maximum scope was A3, whereas the TPC-1000 can print up to A0 format. The integrated cutting feature is also useful to contour cut logos etc. We feel that the TPC is ideal, as a machine wider than one m would be difficult to install and a narrower machine would reduce the printing range. We are also particularly pleased with the level of service provided by Mimaki dealer Dinos. The company provides excellent support and in-house training, attends initial production sessions, subsequently follows up developments and gives useful tips.”
Shirthouse shops are packed with examples of sublimated gifts for the customer to choose from, including T-shirts, baby shirts, biscuit tins, towels, coffee mugs, cushions, puzzles, ties, mouse mats, boxer shorts, aprons, ornamental cases, bags, caps, umbrellas etc.\