MS Printing – Success Story Providencia

When the pandemic hit Mexico in March, digital printing company Providencia saw business decline. But instead of closing the hatches and withdrawing from the storm, Providencia did what it always did – it took a risk. The company has innovated a new product and opened a new department. In the following six months, more than 50 million antiviral face masks were printed. In the words of Jose Antonio Torre Lamuño Providencia’s CEO, “We were brave and I think that’s part of Providencia’s success.”

Construction – a vertical strategy
When Providencia opened its doors 62 years ago, it was making a product out of one fabric – acrylic blankets. The company was founded in 1958 by Jose Antonio’s grandparents. “My father was president of the company after my grandfather,” he says. “He was an incredible visionary and expanded the group. And now I’m the third generation. “

Jose Antonio joined the family business after graduating in 2002. However, he had already gained work experience with the company. “I took part in projects as a student – I loved what my family did. When I got down to it, I wanted to bring in new ideas, new products. The world was changing at that time – acrylic prices were rising and we decided to change our business so that we could print on polyester. Switching from acrylic to polyester meant changing temperatures and printing parameters – even the size of the yarn was different. But we took that risk instead of turning our factory into a warehouse for products from China. “

This replacement opened the door to a multitude of options as the company expanded its product line and became more innovative with the new material. “It was a big challenge as it meant adapting the whole factory and reinventing ourselves – but from the start we were a vertical company. We try to integrate as much as possible so that all products and processes are under our control. “The company now develops its own fabrics and inks, prints, cuts and manufactures and operates its own logistics.

The future was digital
With a new production method and a license granted by Disney to print Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters, the prerequisites for the expansion of Providencia’s business were in place. First came 10 new dye sub-printers for blanket printing, then a number of machines that could print directly. This was really a new departure as with a tall stack, printing directly onto blankets was a major challenge and risk to the printheads.

“The answer for us,” says Jose Antonio, “was to make a blanket without a pile that we could print on directly, and after that development we opened a new department for pillows, sheets and other textiles. Solving the challenge with the ceilings enabled us to innovate new products, expand our portfolio and grow the company. Blankets have always been a seasonal winter product, but now we made items that could be sold all year round. “

When specialist knowledge becomes a product
Providencia continued to invest in new machines as the business grew and they developed unmatched expertise in direct printing on fabric. This resulted in another innovation – the introduction of ProvidenciaPrints to offer external customers a vertical digital printing service. As one of the most advanced digital printing companies in America, Providencia had the technology, innovation and human resources to create a unique offering – a full range of solutions for printing on synthetic and natural fibers.

“At that point, we were ready to buy our most important machine to date – the MS LaRIO,” explains Jose Antonio. “This put us in a unique position as we had the first LaRIO on the continent.”

The MS LaRIO is the world’s first digital single-pass machine and when it was launched in 2010 it changed the paradigm of digital textile printing. It can print at speeds of up to 120 meters per minute and is the ideal choice for companies that require a combination of volume and quality results.

It was Providencia’s biggest risk so far. According to Jose Antonio, Luigi Milini from MS came to us and said, ‘It’s fantastic that you have the LaRIO, but what are you going to use it for?’ We explained the project to him and he said: “Oh my god, you are brave – but you will be successful!” And he was right – it was the right decision. “

The company split its fleet of machines between Providencia, which prints its own blankets and other household textiles, and ProvidenciaPrints, which offers a complete digital printing solution. “Not only did we have the LaRIO 180 width, we also had 220 and 240 width printing. We were able to offer both direct and sublimation printing on a variety of fabrics that no one else did America could do at the time. “

Think big
With the LaRIO and the rest of the fleet, which includes two MS JP4 and one JP4 320, ProvidenciaPrints has a capacity of 750,000 line meters per week. This is supplemented by a further 750,000 line meters from their own operations, which means that the group can produce 1.5 million meters per week. This makes it the largest printing company on the American continent and one of the largest in the world.

The Providencia team are experts in digital printing and the company continues to grow having just bought a 320-width Mini Lario. “This gives us a choice between full width printing or 2 x 160 width printing – so we have a large number of meters every day. And there we are now. “

One of the things Jose Antonio values ​​about working with MS is the level of service. “Of course we have third-party printers, but the service we get from MS is fantastic compared to other companies – I think it’s part of the MS DNA. And the machines are amazing too – ready to print 40, 50, 60 thousand line meters per day – you can’t do that with any other machine. “Despite the industry-wide revenue and volume challenges due to the COVID pandemic, MS and Dover Digital Printing (DDP) have kept their service levels constant. “Dover’s strategy is long-term. Despite the near-term challenges in the marketplace, Dover continues to support investments and expand resources and capabilities in the digital printing platform and customer service, ”said Abhi Agrawal, President of Dover Digital Printing.

Look to the future
Capable of producing fashion, active wear, underwear, shoes, household fabrics, swimwear, accessories and more for its customers, ProvidenciaPrints is a leader in direct printing of clothing and developing new and exciting inks and finishes.

With the pandemic, their latest innovation has come – the development of antiviral thermal seal masks using bio-nanotechnology. In seven months they printed 50 million and are the largest corporate, fashion and Disney mask company in America. “We’re very proud of this product,” says Jose Antonio, “and we’re the first company Disney trusts in masks because of our digital printing capabilities, technology and accuracy. These things together make a fantastic product, and this new division has allowed us to continue expanding even during the pandemic. “

When it comes to the future, Jose Antonio is optimistic. “Markets are changing and people like us who focus on creating products with added value, differentiation and innovation are the people who will succeed. The fact that we are 100% vertically integrated gives us a huge advantage and makes us unique. This enables us to be closer to our end customers and to offer a more flexible service. I think people will be careful buying giant runs from overseas. We are only seven hours by truck from the US border and can offer short runs with a wide variety of products. Most importantly, we have a fantastic team of 2,000 people working for the group – innovators and printing pioneers, all of whom are very committed to the success of Providencia. We are never satisfied and we are always moving forward. “

MS printing solution information
A long family history, now reaching its 4th generation, full of experience and passion.

Tradition is very important to MS and with this deep knowledge of our industry we firmly believe in the success of innovation. MS’s knowledge and experience enable us to develop innovative products for the demanding and constantly changing market of digital textile printing. Our modern technologies allow us to improve every aspect of textile printing, from performance to addressing key environmental issues. The versatility of these digital technologies also opens the way for various printed applications such as paper and plastic substrates.