• From the official debut of the new Tiger-1800 MkII to the dedicated international open house in the Tradate showroom and the recent launch of the new company website, Mimaki Bompan Textile has broken into the digital textile printing market and is attracting a great deal of attention. We discussed the company’s strategic transformation into a total solution provider for digital textile with its Sales Director Marco Vanzini.

Approximately two years from its foundation, Mimaki Bompan Textile is today at the forefront of digital textile printing. Shall we look back at its origins?

Mimaki Bompan Textile stemmed from a desire to create a Mimaki reference point for the digital textile printing sector. Given the digital textile printing boom of recent years, and the vast range of Mimaki solutions – from sign & graphics to industrial products and textiles themselves – historically marketed in Italy by exclusive partner Bompan, the need arose to create a structure dedicated solely to the digital textile printing market, a real technology hub for all operators in this sector.

What was your strategy and what were the stages of this project?

Strategically, our objective was achieved by making two important investments: firstly, the acquisition, in 2016, of the Italian company La Meccanica Costruzioni Tessili, specialised in textile printing presses, which allowed us to expand our digital textile portfolio by introducing mid-range to high-end printing platforms. Secondly, the creation – in Tradate (Varese), near the Como textile district – of separate headquarters, a multi-purpose space with a showroom that could highlight our technological offering and serve as a reference demo centre for our stakeholders.

The joint venture between Mimaki and Bompan was announced in summer 2017, while Mimaki Bompan Textile became operational in early 2018. Last year, we worked to consolidate our sales force and support structure. The launch of the second generation Tiger series (Tiger-1800 MkII) and its presentation at an international open house in our showroom last January has been the last step on a journey that has seen Mimaki Bompan Textile gradually establish itself as a total solution provider in the digital textile sector.

What is the company’s focus today?

We operate on several levels. Conceived as a multifunctional hub, Mimaki Bompan Textile opens its vast showroom and demo facilities to all textile industry operators – at international level – who may be interested in viewing and testing Mimaki machines. A full range of solutions is on display, allowing us to operate across the entire spectrum of digital textile, from clothing and furnishing to sportswear and soft signage, and to address a broad market, from textile printing to large-format print providers.

Commercially, Mimaki Bompan Textile focuses on the Italian market, where it promotes and sells digital textile printing solutions and provides dedicated assistance and support services. After all, the Italian textile market is distinguished by its excellence: its needs and expectations in terms of print quality, creativity and timing flexibility are generally higher, thus requiring a specific strategy.

Could you describe Mimaki Bompan Textile’s technological offering?

Our portfolio is constantly expanding. To date, as far as the printing process is concerned, we have a dozen models available. Tiger is our flagship digital textile series, resulting from the acquisition of La Meccanica and extensive research and development carried out over the last two years by the Mimaki team. It’s an industrial-type solution designed for medium to high volumes. In addition to Tiger, there is the TS (Textile Sublimation) series for sublimation printing and the TX series for direct-to-fabric digital printing. With these solutions, we can address all segments of the digital textile market, from entry level to industrial production.

But we haven’t stopped at the printing process. Our range for digital textile printing extends to pre- and post-printing solutions. As a result of Mimaki’s acquisition of Australian-based Rimslow, specialised in fabric pretreatment and finishing systems, we can provide a complete, end-to-end digital ecosystem for digital textile printing. This product line consists of a fabric pretreatment system, a steaming machine and a washing machine for printed fabrics, all adapted both electronically and mechanically. The advantage of these systems – whose production recently relocated to Mimaki La Meccanica’s Bergamo plant – is their extreme flexibility for handling smaller volumes, efficiently and at low costs.

Digital textile printing is a highly competitive sector – think of the concentration of scanning and single-pass printing technology suppliers in the area between Como and Bergamo alone. What is your strategy for standing out from the competition?

Mimaki Bompan Textile has twenty years of experience in the digital textile printing arena behind it. This gives us two important advantages to begin with: on the one hand, we know the market very well (while also being well known to companies in the textile sector, many of which started out on the digital textile adventure using our plotters) on the other hand, with regards to technology, we can draw on the expertise gained throughout these years, a heritage based on extensive research and development for thousands and thousands of plotters all over the world. There aren’t many competing companies that can boast a similar pedigree, especially in terms of software and electronics. This experience has allowed us to develop cutting-edge software to address some of the main digital textile production challenges. For example, we have an application that simplifies the process of migrating from an entry-level or sampling plotter to a medium- to high-productivity plotter, ensuring a perfect match for colours and designs. Not to mention software for maximising print quality by fully exploiting the speed of the machines and ensuring their reliability over time – from MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System), an anti-banding system that allows the ink drops to be arranged based on colour, density and print speed so as to achieve good quality in a single printing pass, to NRS (Nozzle Recovery System) that replaces clogged or damaged nozzles without interrupting production. In the case of the Tiger series, Mimaki’s electronic know-how complements the mechanical skills of La Meccanica – ‘Fusion of innovation and design’ is the slogan used to launch the second generation – for solutions that fully embody Mimaki’s and Mimaki Bompan Textile’s mission for the digital textile printing sector: addressing niches while focusing on premium quality.

There is a third cornerstone to our strategy, which further differentiates us from our competitors: in-house dye production. This allows us to approach our customers as a complete supplier and single interlocutor for both purchasing and support, with all the resulting advantages – above all in terms of support, efficiency and responsiveness in resolving any production issues.

This last point leads us on to a very important topic for printing companies: support.

Our goal – which coincides with Mimaki’s goal – is to position ourselves not only as a technology provider but as a total solution provider. Our entire structure is geared to assisting our clients in every respect, not least in the after-sales context. Thanks to a highly skilled team of technicians from both Mimaki and Mimaki La Meccanica, we offer efficient and professional support services. And, above all, we provide a whole series of information and training activities, hosted in our showroom, to help customers optimise their use of Mimaki printing systems and increase their productivity – along with strategic sessions to inspire companies and encourage them to diversify, enter new markets and grow.

What is the role of Mimaki Bompan Textile’s new website?

Our new, recently launched website is an additional tool available to our stakeholders. Prospects interested in learning about our technologies as well as seasoned users of our machines can find all kinds of information on the Mimaki digital textile portfolio and download technical data sheets for specific products, printing systems and inks. After all, the internet has become one of the main tools for product research at the investment stage, making company websites a kind of parallel and complementary promotion and sales channel.

In addition, to further enhance our visibility, we have recently launched a social media campaign on LinkedIn and Facebook.

More information about Mimaki Bompan Textile and its extensive solutions portfolio is available at www.mimakibompan.com.

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