Belgian high-performance sportswear specialist Bioracer needed to meet the demanding everyday requirements of elite athletes, and this meant finding a RIP solution that could handle the pace.
As one of Europe’s leading personalized sports textiles companies, Bioracer specializes in aerodynamic and highly technical cycling, skating and triathlon apparel. The Belgian company was founded in 1984 and has always had a mission to use technology and the optimum mix of materials to manufacture the best cycling suits on the market. This quest for the perfect sports textile product started with the development of its biomechanical bike fitting system and combining different new technologies, such as the first seamless cycling pad and seamless aerosuits, that would enable Bioracer to develop products to improve cycling performance.
To produce these high-performance textiles, Bioracer selects the best possible materials: soft and resistant fabrics, inks with good color penetration, quality sublimation papers, accurate printers and a RIP that can print complex graphics with precision and ensure color consistency over time and projects.
Bioracer moved from screen to digital printing as the mass customization market grew; the company had more and more demand for short runs of printed textiles with complex designs and intricate logos, and transitioned to digital production in 2008. Today, 75% of
production is digital, while screen is used for larger order quantities.
“Our clients are quite demanding and perceptive of the quality of color and design reproduction,” states Danny Segers, chief operating officer at Bioracer. “That means, from a technical point of view, we need to have the best RIP, ink, paper and media combination.” Bioracer is equipped with ten Roland FP-740 sublimation printers and a Caldera RIP. “The Caldera and Roland combination enables us to deliver the same color and patterns with complete consistency, even when a client orders a few more units months after we produced the first series.”
The quest for color consistency
Having tested a few other RIPs, Bioracer made the move to a full Caldera production solution, not only for its color consistency but also for gradient reproduction and workflow integration. “Caldera’s management of gradients was the best: before using this solution, we could not match the gradients across jobs,” says Segers.
“The workflow was also a key point for choosing VisualRIP+. With this solution we can clearly see how many units were printed and how many are left to print when the media roll is finished. Before, we would come back in the morning, see the media roll empty and not know how much was left to print. We also use CostProof to monitor the costs of our jobs.”