Special Report

printing, by opening up new possibilities, which was clear to see upon its unveiling later in the day.

The future of retail

I must admit I was truly fascinated by what the third speaker had to say. Dr Jörg Wallner, a futurist at think tank 2b AHEAD, took centre stage to talk about the future of retail. And what he talked about really was futuristic and hard to comprehend at this moment in time. He ran through how technology is changing in home, with virtual wardrobes that will select and order clothes at the touch of a button, to toilets that will be able to analyse your health. He said the future is mobile and businesses need to adapt.

Visitors were invited to feel the difference between a screen printed 100% polyester T and one printed with the new Poly Pro

digital printing, the best time to go digital was five years ago, the second best time is now,” and thatʼs how Ronen ended his presentation with that interesting proposition.

New technology

Next up was Kobi Mann, Kornitʼs vice president of Consumables & Application Development. His topic of choice was ʻThe Revolutionary NeoPoly Technologyʼ, which as the name suggested focused on Kornitʼs unique printing process. Kobi began his talk by providing a brief overview of how Kornitʼs products have evolved since the introduction of the Storm in 2004. This printerʼs capabilities were limited to printing only 15 T shirts an hour. “As time progressed we have created a process that reduces the cost per print and a reduction in waste,” explained Kobi.

Now in 2019, Kornit looks to shake up the digital printing market with the Atlas (a next-generation, super-industrial DTG printer utilising NeoPigment technology) which was launched in January and the aforementioned Poly Pro. Both printers signify a breakthrough in technology. Polyester sportswear is the one of the fastest growing apparel markets in the world, and Kobi explained that as a technology provider, Kornit needs to respond to this, hence the development of the Poly Pro, which prints on 100% polyester with ease. “People are wearing much more synthetic material today. Cotton is no longer sustainable,” explained Kobi.

The Poly Pro overcomes one of the biggest problems of printing polyester – dye migration – with its enhanced curing mechanism and NeoPoly technology. No blocker or additional steps are required. The printer communicates with the textiles that are being printed. Kobi concluded that the Poly Pro is sure to change the landscape of digital textile

Jörg explained that we are living in a mobile world, one where users no longer have the distinction between their online and offline worlds. He predicted that by 2022 there will be one trillion connected devices worldwide.

Jörg gave examples of two retailers that were using technology and connected devices to change the way that consumers shop. One Chinese retailer, called Suning has opened five retail stores in the country that are completely automated and unmanned. The stores are powered by facial recognition technology and a smartphone app. Shoppers can link their bank account to the app and get billed for anything they purchase by simply walking out of the store with the items. Also in China, KFC allows diners to pay for their food by smiling.

The futurist ended his fascinating insight into the future of retail by stating that we are currently at a tipping point in society and businesses should start now to reinvent themselves in a world where technology is ever present. He said itʼs better to make this happen now, rather than stand by and then afterwards ask what happened. Just do something was his final bit of advice.

Digital transformation On stage first after lunch was Tansy Fall, head of content at World Textile Information Network, with her topic ʻDigital transformation of the textile and apparel value chainʼ. She began by saying that digital transformation moves business into a new era.

She said there has to be a reason for change and cited Burberry as an example. In 2017, the brand burnt £28m worth of stock in order to protect its brand and as a result has now changed its practices due to this unsustainable business model. Tansy stressed that itʼs important the supply chain changes its practices to become more sustainable and that in doing so should consider people, planet and profit along the way. The way Tansy sees the digital transformation of the supply chain is

From top: Ronen Samuel, CEO, Kornit Digital, Kobi Mann, VP Consumables & Application Development, Kornit Digital and Dr Jörg Wallner, futurist with think tank 2b AHEAD

May 2019 | 27 |

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