Digital printing and finishing have always been closely aligned. However, a new agreement between CMYUK, the UK’s largest independent supplier of wide format digital printers, cutters and materials with Wrexham-based AE Sewing Machines has created an even greater symbiosis that will significantly benefit PSPs.
CMYUK has become the exclusive distributor for the Advanced Sewing Automation ASA 3010 TPL – KC in the UK and Ireland.
The ASA 3010 TPL – KC is a conveyorised industrial sewing machine system, designed and manufactured by AE Sewing Machines specifically for digitally printed signs and banners. It provides highest quality finishes to fabric and PVC textiles ensuring that flat seams are achieved for applications such as silicon/PVC beading or keder attaching, hemming, Velcro and the like.
For CMYUK it’s another valuable addition to its carefully curated suite of products for the digital wide format printed textile community.
“The ASA 3010 TPL – KC complements our professional, finishing solutions, and ensures that as our customers move deeper into digital textile applications, we’ve got the equipment and know-how to support them every step of the way,” says CMYUK Director, Robin East.
For AE Sewing Machines, the partnership establishes its presence in yet another burgeoning market sector.
Says John Gerrard, MD and founder of AE Sewing Machines, “We strive to provide the most innovative and convenient sewing solutions. Our range of conveyorised machines increases productivity and makes sewing banners and signs easier.
“The conveyor takes the weight of the material, minimising the risk of repetitive strain injuries and maximising productivity. This makes operators approximately five times more efficient, as it takes far less time to sew.”
The ASA 3010 TPL – KC comprises a twin needle lockstitch head from the world’s number one sewing machine manufacturer Juki, attached to AE Sewing Machines’ ASA tactile and robust conveyor. Built from the highest-quality British-made components, the conveyor measures 3m x 1m, has powdered coated steel covers, and lockable wheels.
However, what puts it head and shoulders above the competition is the ability for the sewing machine and conveyor to work in unison controlled centrally from AE Sewing’s Advanced Sewing Automation 7” touch screen.
“What we’ve actually done which is unique to us is to be able to fully synchronised the sewing machine to the conveyor belt, to make sure the graphic is transported, straight and even,” says Gerrard. “The belt is made from a high-grip silicon, which ensures that the graphic adheres to it, and remains flat.”
To ensure full synchronicity between both parts of the system, stitch size selection and conveyor speed are coterminous resulting in greater ease of use, increased productivity and reduction of sewing errors.
Says Gerrard, “If you change the stitch size on any sewing machine, the fabric goes through the sewing machine very, very quick, then very, very slow. Our competitors have to change the speed ratio of the conveyor to match the sewing speed, which is fine if you’ve got an experienced operative. What we’ve done is to include stitch buttons on our control panel, which means if you select stitch size four for example, the belt is automatically synchronised and adjusts itself without operator intervention.”
Best for PSPs
The system is designed for simplicity of operation and versatility. There are additional fittings that can be purchased such as attachments for different sized hems. These are easy to fit as they slot into place thanks to the magnetic guidance system that requires no adjustments. “It’s just a question of threading the needles appropriately and away you go,” says Gerrard.
Operators for this system don’t need to be fully qualified sewing operatives in order to use it. In fact, the ASA 3010 TPL – KC was developed in the knowledge that skilled sewing operatives are few and far between and training takes just two hours.
“It’s here where PSPs can score bringing their sewing needs in-house, which can be serviced by experts from the industrial sewing markets through CMYUK,” says East.
It is the support that Gerrard feels is a problem when it comes to industrial sewing in the UK. “There are other competitors out there that offer similar machines, but there is little support. Sewing machines are a completely new type of machinery for printing. When you use a sewing machine, there' are lots of different things going on. There’s very few trained engineers now left in the UK. Therefore, if you’re buying a sewing machine, and don't get the support from the supplier, it's money down the drain. We have fully trained engineers and we can offer a high level of support – this is so important.”
Concludes East: “We carefully curate the products we offer evaluating what will drive textile printing profitably, and how we can support its adoption by our customer base. Our partnership with AE Sewing Machines reflects this ethos.”