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Miele to Optimize Eastern Tech Pretreatment Technology

Eastern Tech, a global inks and coating manufacturer operating facilities in Orange, CT and Shanghai, China, began using Miele Professional in 2020 to wash test inks. Encouraging results sparked Eastern Tech’s interest in using washer-extractors for other uses and the company currently uses a variety of Miele machines to support their continued expansion.

Founded in 1992 to develop water-based pigmented ink for writing instruments, Eastern Tech currently operates facilities in Orange, CT and Shanghai, China. The company has a global distribution to over 50 countries. In 2009, Eastern Tech expanded their product offering by launching the Digital Technologies division to develop inkjet inks and coatings. They provide custom chemistries and innovative processes for OEM applications and private-label partnerships.

Through the FIREBIRD Ink™ and CheaterTee™ retail sites, Eastern Tech offers the complete solution for the Direct-To-Garment (DTG) industry with its inks, pretreatment coatings, and fully pretreated garments.

Eastern Tech’s FIREBIRD Industrial Processing (FIP) system advances the ability to print onto more garments. As they were growing their operation, they were interested in speeding up the pretreatment “spraying” system and optimizing the amount used. Instead of treating shirts individually, they determined that they could use washer-extractors to process a whole case of shirts in a single load. While they had initially used a different brand washer for the pretreatment process, they soon found that it wasn’t as reliable or as precise as what they needed.

Eastern Tech and Miele

Eastern Tech has since been using Miele Professional washers for their pretreatment and dryers for when the garments are coated. Miele equipment offers Eastern Tech:

Precision. With this specific application, the accuracy of coatings is vital. Eastern Tech can rely on the exact precision of the washer and extractor to ensure all clothing is pretreated and ready for the next step in the process.

Programmability. Miele washers can fit a variety of applications with controls that are freely and fully programmable. While there are pre-programmed controls, there are also individual programs that increase the versatility of the machine.

High quality results. Miele’s patented Honeycomb Drum results in the extended life of garments. The perforations and ribs allow water to fully soak the garments and the structure of the drum allows garments to glide gently on a thin film of water.

Service and support. Miele Professional North America is based in Princeton, New Jersey, with a network of sales professionals across the country to support the purchase, installation, training and service needs of customers.

“Miele has kept us up to speed on any equipment developments, and in some cases, has even given us a preview of what’s coming,” said Marc Troiani, product manager for DTG Pretreatment Application. “They’ve made sure that we always have all the tools available and that we are able to get the most out of the machines.”

One major benefit of the relationship between Eastern Tech and Miele Professional is the knowledge exchange and mutual ‘education-first’ mindset. The direct connection with the Miele team, specifically application specialists John Lubas and Paulo Rocha, has helped continuously improve operations.

There’s a very good knowledge exchange going on because we’ve been able to do some rigorous testing,” said Troiani. “We felt like we were in good hands and that we had a real partner with Miele. There has been such a collaborative spirit in our work with them.”

Now, Eastern Tech pretreatment is automatically pumped into the Miele system, fully coating the garments and extracting any excess pretreatment to be reused.

The patented Pretreatment Reuse System (PRS) was developed in-house and sits behind the unit. Eastern Tech worked in conjunction with Miele to optimize integration so the operator can use the typical Miele functions and buttons to divert pretreatment back through the loop and drum.

“The washer first coats all the garments, then when you go to extract them, you get the precise amount of coating on the garment to the exact level that you need it,” says Troiani. “With the Miele washers, it’s very precise, we can set the type of pickup that we want and extract repeatedly and very accurately.”

Eastern Tech sees more growth ahead. They are currently building a new facility and have plans to continue to grow their relationship with Miele. Their technical coating process is also being used for new applications like coating garments with a permethrin encapsulated polymer for their insect-repellent clothing brand, Hyker Apparel™.

Other applications include thermoregulating, antimicrobial, and aromatherapy treatments. “There are a lot of finishes that go into textiles, but one of the issues is that a lot of these have to be applied at the mill level,” said Emma Vannorsdall, product manager. “We’re pioneering using Miele technology and the ability to reapply finishes post-cut and sew production.”

To learn more about how Miele washers and dryers can help your business, speak with a Miele Professional at 866-781-5053.

For more information, visit the company’s web site:  Miele