Robustelli will develop and manufacture textile printers that use Epson's inkjet technology. Robustelli plans to begin offering its new printers to textile printing factories worldwide in May, focusing initially on Italy's Como region, globally renowned as a supplier of prestigious brand-name items in the textile printing market. Epson has also agreed to develop and manufacture special inks for textile printers. The inks will be supplied by way of FOR.TEX S.r.l., which is based in Como.
The agreement with Robustelli outlines the terms of Epson's cooperation in the development, manufacture, and marketing by Robustelli of industrial digital inkjet printers for the mass production of printed textiles. Specifically, Epson will provide the core inkjet technology - including the piezo print head and textile inks - that comprises an inkjet textile printer. With technical assistance and support from Epson, Robustelli will develop, manufacture, and market low-cost, highly reliable industrial digital inkjet textile printers for mass production applications, which will save space and be easy to maintain. Robustelli plans to expand sales globally from the Como region and across Europe.
Under the agreement, FOR.TEX will be responsible for the sales and marketing of ink formulated specifically by Epson to suit the unique characteristics of both the fabric and the Robustelli inkjet textile printers.
Robustelli expects to release the "Monna LisaTM," the first product developed under the cooperative agreement, on May 29, 2003. Epson has already prepared two types of specialty ink: 10 colors of acidic ink formulated for use on silk, nylon, and wool; and 11 colors of reactive ink formulated for use on cottons. It is now developing a series of new inks such as dispersing ink for polyester, and pigment inks for a wide range of fabrics. FOR.TEX will sell the ink packs under the "GenestaTM" name.
Robustelli expects to sell 500 of the new inkjet textile printers over the next three years, for applications in mass production and in sample creation.
Note. Monna LisaTM is a registered trademark of F. Lli Robustelli S.r.l. GenestaTM is a registered trademark of FOR.TEX S.r.l.
May 26, 2003