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“To stay competitive and maximize profit printing sector must look critically at the printing process”

Benevolent Textile Services started its journey in 2001. Since its inception, the company has been focusing on providing textile printing solutions facilitating technical and technological partnerships between customers in Bangladesh and across the world.

SPGPrints becomes a unique printing solution provider around the world. They are now providing rotary printing to digital printing solutions. Their revolutionary technical innovations made them the first to be able to offer high-speed printing of popular designs.

Continuous product innovation has brought them over 300 patents and enabled them to rapidly redefine the digital printing landscape with faster, more reliable and more versatile solutions.

Figure 1: Engr. Ashraful Alam – Founder and President of Benevolent Textile Services.

Benevolent Textile Services is the exclusive agent of SPGPrints B.V- the Netherlands in Bangladesh. Engr. Ashraful Alam, Founder and President of the company, has been successfully leading the company for a long time.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in Textile Engineering and Technology from the Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX) he achieved versatile experiences in several sectors of the textile industry. He had also the opportunity to introduce latest state of the art rotary printing machine, laser engraving system and nova screens developed by SPGPrints B.V., Holland.

In an interview with Textile Today Engr. Ashraful Alam shared his vision for a sustainable and most modern printing segment in Bangladesh.

Textile Today: Kindly share us your journey, how did you start?

Ashraful Alam: Since the beginning of Benevolent Textile Services’ journey, it provides unparalleled technical and technological support to its customers. Benevolent Textile Services offers a range of printing screens, chemicals, thickeners and specialty auxiliaries for textile printing.

Because of our high-performance products and professional services, it has established itself as one of the renowned trading companies, especially in the textile printing sector in Bangladesh.

We represent SPGPrints B.V. – the Netherlands in Bangladesh. SPGPrints is the leading provider of system and application know-how in textile and graphics printing. In Bangladesh, we have brought all of SPGPrints latest technologies like laser engraving technology. Where no water is required.

Besides, we introduced some special screens from NovaScreen®. Nova screens are characterized by high-resolution and open areas and a perfect paste flow. As a result of this, a controlled amount of paste is transferred to the substrate, so you can boost print quality and productivity. With which the printing sector can save 15-20% of printing paste – which is the main costly item in printing. It can also print in less pressure – meaning increasing printing productivity.

Figure 2: Textile Today Team in conversation with Engr. Ashraful Alam.

Textile Today: How do you see the prospect of Digital Printing in Bangladesh?

Ashraful Alam:  In my analysis, Digital Printing has a very good future in Bangladesh. Now a number of Bangladeshi companies are successfully running reactive digital printing though initially, it was not so easy. I want to say that Bangladesh is already experienced in reactive digital printing.

Very few companies have started pigment digital printing though there are some challenges in pigment digital printing. But still, no company has started ACID and Disperse (not sublimation, direct disperse printing) printing. If we want to make high-end products like swimwear, outerwear, innerwear for big brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, etc. I think it is the best time to invest in this.

In the end, I want to say as we are representing SPGPRINTS B.V, we are offering our JAVELIN series both for Reactive, Acid & Disperse digital printing. We can support anyone with our strong technical team.

Textile Today: How is Benevolent Textile Services contributing to the national and global printing sector? How do you position your company in the sector?

Ashraful Alam: As a technology-providing company, I can proudly say we are one of the leading companies in the printing sector in terms of sustainable printing with reduced cost.

We teach our employees to ensure that. Besides, we have introduced special screens. So that they know the art of better printing techniques at less cost and less environmental impact. In terms of providing the newest printing technology, we are certainly one of the top companies.

Textile Today: How textile finishing can be done using less chemicals to save environmental pollution?

Ashraful Alam: Actually, there are various types of textiles finishing like mechanical finishing, chemical finishing, and enzyme finishing. For mechanical finishing, we do not need any chemicals like raising, sueding, calendaring, shrinking, compacting, etc.

In addition, we have done some research on textile chemicals’ environmental impact. For example, in the traditional method, we use different softeners to soften a garment fabric, etc. which increases the load in the affluent. And adversely impacting the environment.

Whereas, in newer technologies – developed by some of the leading textile chemical technology providers – they have developed a sustainable calendaring process. Where textile factories can produce the same calendaring effect in the finished fabrics – without being hazardous to the environment.

A lot of intensive research has been performed in the last decade in the field of textiles along with technical textiles. This has resulted in increased knowledge of the possibilities of this process regarding demands as wettability, shrinkage resistance of wool, dyeability, printability, coating and washability of conventional and technical textile.

Like the plasma treatment has an explosive increase in interest. Most notably, this technology enables the most up-to-date effects like water repellency, fire retardant fabric, anti-bacterial finish, etc.

Plasma treatments use in industrial applications, for example in the medical, biomedical, automobile, electronics, semiconductor and textile industry. So, I will say these types of sustainable technologies will certainly dominate the printing market.

Textile Today: What are the specialties of Rotary screen engraving machines?

Ashraful Alam: If I elaborate on the Rotary screen engraving machines, over the years, its technology has evolved greatly from films to inject engraving to present laser Rotary screen engraving technology.

In laser, there are two methods: 1. Direct laser engraving 2. Laser exposing.

In laser exposing, everything is conventional except the laser expose using a diode. Laser exposing is the negative imaging of a screen using unique direct exposing technology. The entire workflow remains the same as with all other exposing technologies like film or ink-masking. This makes the system especially suitable for customers who already have this wet process but who want to improve their quality of output.

Direct laser engraving is the latest Rotary screen engraving technology. Direct Laser Engraving is a single-step dry process – simply engrave your coated screen with your desired design and print. It eliminates costly consumables like film or ink and time-consuming processes like exposing and washing.

SPGPrints’ Direct Laser Engraving (DLE) solutions are unique regarding the quality of engraving with CO2 lasers allowing the engraving of plates and seamless printing forms for several applications. Various materials like polymer, elastomer, and lacquer can be engraved independently of their color for the flexo, dry offset, screen-printing and embossing applications.

It is crucial to get the most suitable rotary screen engraving machine that can provide your printing business with many benefits. Specialties of rotary screen engraving depend on the usage of the software. At Benevolent Textile Services, we use the best available software. Here we use different modules for color separation, creative coloring, etc.

In our printing sector, people are still dependent on Photoshop and Illustrator – but these are not textile-based. Whereas, our engraving software are based on textile. This ensures accurate color, designers can easily manipulate designs. Another benefit is the raster file, which means it is made up of pixels. When the image–engraved by the laser machine line by line, point by point – is ready, the design will come out automatically.

Textile Today: Digital engraving is becoming popular in the Bangladesh printing industry. How does laser engraving bring an individual design or a personal touch to a product? How is it helping to satisfy buyers?

Ashraful Alam: As I said, you can print and submit your sample faster in direct digital laser engraving. Because you have polymerized screens in the stocks. This process is fully automated, meaning eliminating human error. Here, sharpness is highest and response is faster. This is how you can satisfy buyers.

Textile Today: What prospect do you see for the country’s printing sector? How it can reap the benefit from the ongoing corona situation?

Ashraful Alam: I believe textile printing has a bright future. The sector is growing simultaneously with the Readymade Garments (RMG) industry. Although, in the last decade, the local conventional printing units have been invested heavily.

However, with the rise of sustainable purchase behavior among fashion consumers – the demand for newer sustainable printing technologies and methods will certainly grow.

Bangladesh is passing a transitional period from average and low-quality print to higher and more sophisticated printing qualities. In this context, I can tell that we have an optimistic future ahead. It is very crucial to predetermine the market or buyer you want to work with. Since if you chose a brand that gives mass orders, then rotary is the solution. For short and specialized quantities, digital and flatbed are ideal.

I must say unethical competition to get orders is putting immense pressure not only on the printers but also on the technology providers. To get out of this scenario, the printing sector must look critically at the printing process which is ultimately draining our profit. For example, we are not reusing the printing paste or automatic color kitchen. There are dispensing systems that will accurately dispense color ( 1gm difference).

I can proudly say that one of the leading printing factories is using our printing paste technology, and they save around 20-25% printing paste. We must use water stripping technology – this ensures the reuse of rotary screens up to 7-8 times. Meaning we have to invest in these kinds of technologies to save cost in the process leaving unethical competition among ourselves for orders.

Textile Today: How can new entrepreneurs enter into the printing segment? What kinds of the business strategy should they follow?

Ashraful Alam: In my opinion, new entrepreneurs should come with new concepts and new products. As for investing in the printing sector, new entrepreneurs should get three digital printing machines – reactive, acid, and disperse to cover all the areas. With the complementary of flatbed printing machine. Expansion depends on the growth prospects, and flatbed can be complementary regarding investment.

With 3 printing machines, roughly 1800 meters of fabric can be printed daily. So, this will be a very good combination of reactive, acid, and disperse for polyamide printing.

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If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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