Although there have been production PODS used in the direct-to-garment printing (D2) market for many years, they are rapidly gaining in popularity due to the increasing size of the D2 market, technological improvements, and the overall reduction in the price and operating costs of D2 printers.
So, what are D2 PODS, or direct-to-garment print-on-demand systems? The short answer is they are a group of two or more D2 printers, usually clustered around a conveyor dryer for curing, and operated by one or more people making this a complete D2 production unit.
The use of PODS in D2 production has many advantages. PODS allow the user to quickly scale up depending on production volume by adding a single D2 printer to an existing PODS or by adding whole PODS units.
The PODS process is very effective because the D2 operator can load and unload garments while a shirt prints on another machine. This keeps all the printers in the PODS busy and ensures an efficient workflow as none of the printers or operators are ever idle. Additionally, this process helps reduce labor costs.
PODS also give the owner redundancy and backup. In the event one printer goes down, there are other units in the PODS available to continue printing. When facing an equipment breakdown, most business owners know it is always a lot better to be able to produce something rather than nothing at all.
Source: Matt Rhome
For more information on PODS, check out Rhome's full-length article in the most recent issue of Printwear.