The company invested in the 3.2m-wide inkjet machine, which was installed this summer, in response to growing demand for textiles-based soft signage banners, as opposed to those printed on PVC.

According to Pixartprinting managing director Alessandro Tenderini, textiles offer a number of “unbeatable advantages” over PVC. “Disposal of the materials is simpler than PVC, the materials are lighter, easily foldable and transportable. They suffer less creasing and may be used more times than PVC banners,” he said.

Pixartprinting has produced a range of textiles products, including flags, posters and expo graphics, since 2007, but a recent increase in demand has required the company to boost production capacity at its facility in Quarto d’Altino, near Venice.

According to the printer, the Rhotex 320 “was the only system that matched our specific needs, such as around-the-clock productivity, image quality, reliability and process automatisation”.

The Rhotex 320 prints in six colours at speeds of up to 110sqm/hr and a resolution of 600dpi. It employs water-based dispersed-dye inks, which Durst says ensures it is an environmentally friendly option. “Many European countries are heavily regulated by environmental laws, which inevitably result in standard PVC materials being replaced by environmentally friendly textiles,” said Tenderini.

Durst Italy sales director Alberto Bassanello added: “We are only at the beginning. Textiles printing has still not been fully explored and may have applications in many areas.”