Tighter delivery turns mean that shop owners are even more focused on automation. In this week’s The BIG Idea podcast, textile industry veteran Danny Sweem, president and CEO of M&R, chats about the direction he wants to take the company since founding industry legend Rich Hoffman handed him the reins: helping printers automate their processes even more and reduce downtime. “Printers have to do something differently,” Sweem says. “We’re developing machines to help decorators transition quickly and efficiently from one job to the next—reducing those friction points.”

Sweem’s also thrilled M&R is working to marry digital systems with analog screen printing. For example, its Digital Squeegee allows screen printers to use printing techniques only available through DTG technology in combination with screen-printed effects like puff or glitter inks. The Digital Squeegee integrates with newer M&R automatic textile presses with functions routed through the presses’ control systems.

“With the Digital Squeegee, every shirt can look a little different,” Sweem says. “Your productivity is at the level of screen printing, but it’s digital. This is a paradigm shift in the industry. There’s going to be a supply-and-demand shift: Demand will overwhelm the capacity for digital printing.”

On the sustainability side, M&R has an eye on internally managing its processes to be more environmentally friendly, such as air quality in and outside its facility. Plus, the company has a lot of exciting equipment updates. “We’re developing a new manual press using leftover waste materials,” Sweem says. M&R’s new Sprint 3000 dryer is even more energy-efficient than the Sprint 2000. “Plus, stay tuned for our new dryer for water-based ink with a much smaller footprint,” Sweem says.

Listen to the entire The BIG Idea podcast, hosted by Marshall Atkinson.