Latest news, views & press releases from the world of Inkjet
Written by By Barb Ernster
The market for digital printed fabric graphics continues to grow, responding to creative ideas for new applications, economic factors that demand affordable options, environmental concerns that push the industry in new directions and new technology and equipment that pulls it all together. David Hawkes, Group Product Manager atRoland DGA Corp., says all of its fabric/textile printing products are expanding at an incredible rate, including for signage, wall coverings, upholstery, flags, clothing and even flooring materials. Though the possibilities are endless, the highest growth opportunity in the fabric graphics market is in the area of soft signage. The appeal of this application has to do with the attributes of fabric that make it a great alternative to traditional vinyl signs. It’s much more compact, lightweight and flexible than vinyl for shipping, handling and storage, and it can be draped in creative shapes to frame eye-catching retail and trade show displays. In addition, the ability to combine low cost fabric options with UV printing opens up the world of short-term soft signage.
Mr Edward Chrusciel | 3 May 2012
StarFire SG-1024/M-C is first of a new family of printheads that uniquely incorporates FUJIFILM Dimatix' innovative RediJet™ and VersaDrop™ jetting technologies to shorten startup and ongoing maintenance times and to deliver industrial-speed grayscale printing. FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc. is making its mark on high-performance inkjet printing for demanding scanning and single-pass production applications with the introduction of its new StarFire family of printhead products. The StarFire family features a robust and repairable construction with a high nozzle density well suited for demanding applications such as digital ceramics printing and decoration. The new StarFire SG-1024/M-C is the first model in this new family and is a compact, self-contained unit built to withstand the harsh environment of industrial ceramics production and using field-proven materials to deliver consistent and reliable output over a long service life jetting oil-based ceramic inks and associated maintenance fluids.
Read More ...
Written by Aditya Chandavarkar | 27 March 2012
The use of inkjet printing for ceramic tile manufacture is growing very rapidly in Europe and is outselling conventional “analog” systems. Inkjet inks for ceramic printing tend to cost more than conventional inks, however this is outweighed by the cost saving in print rollers, the time saved in setting up analog systems & reduced inventory levels. From year 2000, when the first machines for inkjet decoration of tiles were shown at Cevisama in Spain, there has been a steady evolution of printer electronics, printing softwares, printheads, inks, pigments and chemicals. Of course, strong competition among different companies has been a catalyst for this.
Ceramic inkjet decoration machines perfectly fit into Read More
Written by Aditya Chandavarkar | 14 March 2012
The recent presentation by Inkjet Forum India at FESPA 2012, Barcelona included an overview of the Indian conventional and digital textile printing market; the future of digital textile printing in India; major digital printing equipment and ink manufacturers present; key issues that need to be addressed for this technology to be successful in India.
Written by Aditya Chandavarkar | 14 September 2011
What makes MS different ?
In 2010 MS introduced their production machines - MS-JP6 and MS-JPK series with printing speeds upto 165 m/hr and 550 m/hr respectively. MS technology is based on
“Single Pass Continuos” technology, this method is really revolutionary for digital printing because it is more efficient and less complicated. A brief explanation of MS technology by Mr Paolo Milini - MS srl, Italy “It involves a line of heads on a crossing bar over the belt of the machine where the textile passes, same as in a traditional cylinder rotary press, each bar will print an individual same colour. So the machine .. read more
Written by Colin Gillman | 01 June 2011
Roland has launched the VersaUV LEJ-640, a roll and flat-bed solution designed to print to flexible and rigid materials and incorporates both white and clear varnish for highly visual and tactile finishes.
A maximum resolution of 1400 x 1400 dpi means that the VersaUV LEJ-640 can output extremely fine dot quality which rivals screen-printing, offset litho and gravure for applications where sharp text and highly detailed graphics are required. The machine’s ability to incorporate white ink and clear varnish makes it suitable for the production of short run packaging and prototypes as well as a vast range of signs and displays.
The LEJ-640 is ventilation ready, featuring a hood for easy connection with an air filtration system. VOC-free inks and LED curing combine to make the VersaUV LEJ-640 ideal for users who want to integrate UV-curable production into their existing facilities without having to add special ventilation and ducting. The machine’s LED curing technology means it can be used in conjunction with delicate materials which, traditionally, have been difficult to cure efficiently. Additionally, the long-life lamps need no warm-up time, making them cost-efficient to use and cool to the touch, leading to a safe printing environment.
Available in a choice of versions with CMYK plus white and clear varnish, CMYK plus two channels of white, or CMYK plus two channels of clear, the VersaUV LEJ-640 also incorporates Roland OnSupport for remote diagnostics. At £45,999 the LEJ-640 also comes with the company’s comprehensive Roland DG Care Service Agreement, and this is complemented by training courses at The Roland Academy which help users to develop innovative and profitable markets for their investments.
By Jo Francis Friday, 27 May 2011
New firm Aeoon Digital Textile aims to shake up the T-shirt printing market with its Aeoon One inkjet printer.
The firm is exhibiting on the stand of manufacturing partner Neolt (A3/A50), the Italian inkjet specialist. The device can print up to 400 T-shirts per hour, making it a viable alternative to existing volume screen print production. "Its potential impact is dramatic because it changes the production dynamics and logistics," said Steve Knight, owner of Aeoon partner firm Digital Direct Technologies. "It’s ideal for just-in-time production, repeat orders and sample prints."
The Aeoon One uses Kyocera heads and is fitted with two platens to allow continuous production – while one T-shirt is printing the other can be unloaded/reloaded.
It costs €168,000, with ink at €80/litre. Aeoon said the average ink cost per t-shirt was €0.05.
Xennia Technology Ltd, the world-leading industrial inkjet solutions provider, introduces today its latest product, XenInx Amethyst, a high quality reactive dye ink for textile printing applications, bringing the benefits of colour saturation and wash fastness to the digital textile printing industry.
XenInx Amethyst is a high performance ink formulated to print onto cotton, silk, viscose and linen fabrics. "Amethyst offers peerless colour vibrancy and intensity," comments Dr. Alfons Wegdam, Xennia's Head of Textiles, "with a wide range of colours available to give a full colour gamut for high quality applications. It has outstanding durability, with excellent wash fastness, perspiration resistance and dry and wet crock fastness. Amethyst has now been introduced into customer systems printing textiles in production volumes. It is a highly significant addition to our portfolio of industry-leading inks."
Dr Wegdam explains further: "XenInx Amethyst enables digital inkjet printing of textiles, with the benefits of reduced production costs from efficient use of materials, excellent print quality and fast response to customer demands, with economies at all print run lengths. Amethyst offers an unparalleled combination of colour and jetting performance with proven printing reliability in industrial environments."
XenInx Amethyst is available in cyan, magenta, yellow, black (CMYK), orange, red and blue. It is designed for textile printing applications including apparel fabrics, soft home furnishings and banners. Amethyst is an environmentally sustainable ink, formulated for use with Xennia printing systems, XenJet inkjet modules and other industrial inkjet systems using Kyocera and other aqueous compatible piezo printheads. Antonino Tricomi, Reggiani's Business Development Director, comments: "XenInx Amethyst has been extensively tested in the Reggiani ReNOIR digital textile printing system and shows excellent printing performance."
Xennia has a long history of developing and supplying inks to OEMs and end users as part of its solutions business. Its XenInx range of performance ink products makes this expertise available to the industry at large. In 2010, Xennia announced the acceleration of its ability to manufacture and supply industrial inkjet inks with the opening of its purpose-built high volume ink manufacturing facility
Written by Adtiya Chandavarkar | 12 May 2011
Xennia’s Aquamarine digital inkjet printing system has been awarded a certificate of recognition as one of the top 10 most popular products of the year by Paper, Film & Foil Converter magazine.
The Xennia Aquamarine was voted among the ten most popular products of the year by the subscribers of Paper, Film & Foil Converter’s E-Clips electronic newsletter. The award comes soon after the US launch of the Xennia Aquamarine at Pack Expo 2010 in Chicago. “This is a great accomplishment and we are pleased at the level of interest the Xennia Aquamarine has generated in the industrial decoration industry,” says Hannah O’Brien, Xennia’s Head of Systems and Solutions.
Flexible digital inkjet systems
Specifically designed for industrial decoration applications, the Xennia Aquamarine is a flexible digital inkjet system for high quality, multi-colour printing onto two opposing vertical sides of EPS fishboxes, chill boxes, cartons and other secondary packaging. Hannah O’Brien adds: “There is increasing demand in the packaging industry for economical short print runs, and for simultaneous printing of branding and variable product information. The Xennia Aquamarine offers these capabilities. The system is based on Xennia’s proven inkjet technology and provides a complete production solution enabling package printers to introduce the benefits of digital printing into their business.”
The Xennia Aquamarine features high speed, single pass printing and full colour variable data capability with a 120 mm print height and print speed of up to 1,800 boxes per hour. It is currently being used successfully in the packaging industry in Europe.
Letchworth, UK, Monday October 18th 2010
Just-in-time customized digital package production allows reduced inventories and fast response to market demands. Xennia, the world’s leading industrial inkjet solutions provider, will demonstrate its robust XenJet inkjet module range and versatile industrial inkjet solutions for packaging applications at Pack Expo, Chicago, USA on October 31st - November 3rd 2010. Xennia will showcase its XenJet print engine, fluid control and print software modules – the key elements of any reliable inkjet system – for use in applications such as flexible, box, carton and rigid package printing. The Xennia Sapphire inkjet printing system will demonstrate an example configuration of these modules using XenInx Diamond high performance UV cure ink to print onto a range of packaging substrates including examples of variable data printing (VDP). Xennia’s innovative product portfolio offers solutions for a vast array of industrial markets. Specifically for packaging applications, the Xennia Aquamarine printing system is targeted at high quality, multicolor batch printing of EPS fishboxes, chill boxes, cartons and other secondary packaging. The Aquamarine features high speed, single pass printing and full variable data capability with a 4.7” (120mm) print height and print speed of up to 1,800 boxes per hour. Xennia’s new XenInx Onyx ink show excellent decorative properties and allows digital printing of metallic effects onto packaging. “Pack Expo is a key show and ideal for showcasing Xennia’s proven XenJet inkjet module technology for packaging applications,” says Dr Alan Hudd, Xennia’s Managing Director. “Xennia’s industrial inkjet solutions are flexible and economical for short runs, requiring minimal set up time and cost compared with conventional printing. This allows packaging printers to reduce their inventory and respond quickly to market demands with ‘just-in-time customization’. Xennia’s attendance at Pack Expo will provide the opportunity for OEMs to experience these benefits of digital technology, and understand how to integrate them into their existing systems.” Xennia’s products will be showcased at the Xennia stand at Pack Expo 2010, booth #8511 in the Lower Lakeside Center in Chicago, USA.
For further details on Xennia and its products, please contact:
Dr Tim Phillips, Marketing Manager
+44 1462 705220
Letchworth, UK, Monday 27th September 2010
Xennia announces today that it has released its XenInx Diamond general purpose UV cure CMYK ink set for use in printing systems based around a wide range of printheads.
Xennia has a long history of developing specialist inks for individual customers and supplying inks to OEMs and end users as part of complete production line solutions based around Xennia inkjet modules and printing systems. Xennia launched its XenInx range of high performance ink products earlier in 2010, and recently announced the opening of its large capacity industrial ink production facility. XenInx Diamond CMYK ink, along with a range of other UV cure inks, has now been released for use in third party inkjet printing systems. “XenInx Diamond gives excellent colour performance and good adhesion and durability when printed onto a wide range of non-porous substrates,” said Dr Alan Hudd, Managing Director of Xennia, “This performance is now available for the first time to third party systems based on many industrial piezo printheads for a range of wide format and industrial applications.”
XenInx Diamond is a general purpose CMYK UV cure ink set, with high vibrancy and extended colour gamut combined with reliable jetting in a range of industrial piezo printheads. The ink shows good flexibility, adhesion and durability, with high levels of chemical, abrasion and temperature resistance and good lightfastness. Diamond is designed for printing onto a wide variety of rigid and flexible graphics, packaging and label substrates as well as most plastics, glass and metal foil. Alan Hudd comments: “Diamond has proven printing reliability, even in very demanding production environments, with excellent dwell performance, easy start up and minimal need for printhead maintenance.” XenInx Diamond is part of a range of UV cure inks now available from Xennia, including XenInx Moonstone, a high opacity white spot colour and undercoat ink, and XenInx Lazurite, a high durability clearcoat.
For further details on Xennia and its products, please contact:
Dr Tim Phillips, Marketing Manager
+44 1462 705220
Xennia Technology Ltd is a major driving force in the world of inkjet printing, with over 14 years in the industrial inkjet industry. As the world’s leading industrial inkjet solutions provider, Xennia has been instrumental in revolutionising outdated manufacturing processes by creating reliable inkjet products and processes for markets like textiles, ceramics, packaging, product decoration, bio/healthcare and printed electronics. Xennia solutions comprise research and development capabilities, printers and printing modules, software and printing fluids. Xennia’s headquarters, R&D and manufacturing operations are located in Letchworth, UK, with regional sales offices in the USA and China. For more information about Xennia, please visit www.xennia.com. Xennia is part of TenCate, the specialist materials company, headquartered in the Netherlands, which combines textile technology with related chemical processes and material technology in the development and production of functional materials with distinctive characteristics. TenCate is a global company with revenue of circa €1 billion, listed on the NYSE Euronext (AMX). For more information about TenCate, please visit www.tencate.com.
WRITTEN BY COLIN GILLMAN | 07 OCTOBER 2010
EFI has announced the US launch of two new entry-level production wide-format digital inkjet UV printers, the Rastek H652 UV hybrid and the Rastek T1000 UV flatbed, both are aimed at production print shop environments.
Scott Schinlever, vice president and general manager of EFI Rastek and EFI ink business says: “The Rastek H652 and T1000 offer stunning grayscale print quality up to 1200 dpi along with white ink capabilities, all at production speeds. This provides print shops the opportunity to expand their offerings into new, unique applications to both grow and differentiate their businesses.”
EFI says its Rastek H652 UV hybrid builds on the success of the popular H650, adding nearly twice the speed without sacrificing image quality. Reaching speeds of up to 455 square feet per hour in grayscale print quality with resolution up to 1200 dpi, the new Rastek H652 handles a wide range of rigid and flexible materials up to 1.8 inches thick and 64 inches wide, making it the perfect, affordable entry-level production UV hybrid solution for businesses that want to offer wide-format applications ranging from banners and billboards to posters and POS graphics.
The Rastek T1000 flatbed has a 52” x 98” vacuum table which the company says enables quick and easy handling of materials up two inches thick, including difficult-to-handle substrates. With speeds up to 460 square feet per hour and grayscale print quality with resolution up to 1200 dpi, EFI says the T1000 is ideal for creating head-turning posters, point-of-purchase advertisements including lenticular, along with specialty industrial applications such as membrane switches and packaging applications.
WRITTEN BY COLIN GILLMAN | 05 OCTOBER 2010
Mimaki Engineering Co. Ltd. of Nagano, Japan has announced the launch of two new UV LED curing large format printers – the JFX-1631plus and JFX-1615plus which the company says will be shipped in Europe from November.
The Mimaki JFX plus series will be introduced in two different sizes: JFX-1615plus featuring a maximum print size of 1,602 x 1,500 mm and JFX-1631plus with a maximum print size of 1,602 x 3,100 mm.
The company says the two new models will be some 80% faster than the existing JFX-1631 model due to a newly implemented post-curing unit.
In addition, the JFX plus series can be optionally equipped with a roll unit for uninterrupted web printing.
WRITTEN BY Aditya Chandavarkar | 17 AUGUST 2010
UV-curable inks have been used in the conventional printing sectors of offset, screen, flexo and gravure for much more than a decade, and in all of these processes UV inks continue to win market share from other ink types, often accounting for 20% or more of the ink market in such sectors. It is well known that energy-curable inks and coatings provide valuable emissions control advantages but the real market drivers are improved product performance and increased production efficiency. Specifically, traditional energy-curable (e.g. UV&EB) systems provide increased energy savings, faster production rates and floor space savings. Also, low odor/low extractable materials, zero volatile organic content (VOC) and virtually zero hazardous air pollutants are key advantages.
By contrast, the introduction of UV inks into inkjet has come very late in the day. Stowe, Caiger and Fuchs have described the benefits for UV-inkjet systems in their research. They suggested that the potential benefits specific to UV inkjet are zero solvents/VOCs, which facilitates long nozzle open times, hence greater jetting reliability. The life expectancy of the inkjet print head is increased because there is no drying or clogging in nozzles associated with the use of UV-cure inks. Compared to jetting solvent-based formulations, UV inks offer significant head reliability and performance in this area. Instantaneous drying upon exposure to UV radiation as opposed to water or solvent evaporation increases production efficiency. They also suggested that improved opacity and decreased dot gain resulted in improved print quality. At the same time, final prints exhibited increased weatherability, scratch and chemical resistance and decreased odor and taint.
More than 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% hovers below the age of 35. Moreover, with a large number of malls, retail outlets opening and the automobile sector booming there is tremendous opportunity for indoor/outdoor marketing media which translates into a lot of printing. The solvent inkjet printing system is relatively toxic both for the printer, print buyer and the public. The cost factor (per sqft model) still makes the solvent inkjet printing systems favorites. However, with the benefits of UV digital printing as mentioned before it is slowly receiving the much needed recognition and acceptance from the market. Another advantage of UV digital printing process is that it can be housed in a closed AC environment. This is very important from an Indian perspective as the environment is dusty and fast UV curing coupled with closed AC environments will prevent dust settling onto high quality prints. People, organisations & corporate houses are starting to be concerned about the eco-friendly parameters of the printing techniques, which is why they are considering UV as an option to conventional digital printing using solvent inks.
“the future for UV digital printing in India is bright and it is the way to go. It is next best to being green”
Ravi Jasra a leading printer using UV digital printing technology feels that “the future for UV digital printing in India is bright and it is the way to go. It is next best to being green”. Mr Ravi Jasra through his company Jasras has been using UV digital printing technology from the past 2 years to print on innovative substrates including stone, wood, steel, glass and a wide range of rigid and flexible substrate.
“UV inkjet technology on the rise in India, picking up well”
“Consumer mindset should change from cost/sqft to quality and properties achieved”
Paresh Shetty of HP believes UV inkjet printing is on the rise and it is only matter of mindset of the printers and the consumers to make this technology successful in India. Corporate houses are already going for UV technology compared to Solvent, as it is a more sustainable option.
“UV printing is the step forward to go as it is a faster and safer option”
“Cost-effective inks is the key”
Kishore Musale, Chairman of Classic Stripes Pvt. Ltd is an enthusiastic supporter of UV inkjet printing technology and is translating the same into investment in this technology.
The digital printing industry in India is accepting and understanding the benefits of UV inkjet printing. However this technology needs to be handled with care, proper HSE precautions should be adhered to by the ink manufacturers and printers. If proper care is taken this technology is definitely safer that solvent. The final outcome & quality should determine the ink technology used to print and dependence on the cost/sqft model should be decreased. Volumes are still high for solvent but UV is slowly eating into its market. The success of UV digital printing technology in India will depend on how well it is accepted and with what frequency it is pushed into the market.
Written by Dave MacDonald | 24th Septemeber 2010
PET (polyester based) window films have until now proven a step too far for high quality print reproduction but after years of research and development, DigiGlass™ have perfected the process and now boast one of the most effective promotional mediums for glazed areas. DigiGlass™ allows any image to be digitally printed to an optically clear (PET) substrate which can then be applied to clear glass as a form of ‘transparent wallpaper for glass’. Subject to the design, there is no loss of light or clarity in the undecorated areas of the glass. The graphics appear to be part of the glass or printed directly onto the glass. The benefits over traditional vinyl are numerous. Security is improved with PET grades available from shatter proof to bomb proof and serious energy savings can be made through the UV filtering and solar glare reducing qualities of the base film.
However, the real breakthrough was in the design process. Unlike traditional print on paper or white vinyl, the PET film is optically clear and with no white base to print on, images appear flat and lifeless. DigiGlass™ have perfected techniques to incorporate white into the design of the image area, retaining the optically clear base but enhancing the printed image. Working in conjunction with the latest UV ink jet technology, they have married their unique design process with multi-hit UV print on to the polyester based film delivering the most outstanding graphical reproduction. Once the technical side had been perfected, Digiglass then successfully achieved a UK Class ‘O’ Fire rating for its digitally printed PET films – the only company in the world to do so. They also boast a range of digitally printed wallcoverings, a unique solid box construction canvas frame look alike that can be washed and never sags and other general signage products.
Already boasting major clients including RBS, Britannia, NatWest, Glaxo Smithkline and John Lewis among others, Digiglass are rapidly creating a new and exciting market.
For further information:
Contact: Dave Macdonald, Director
Phone: +44(0)1624 675007
Written by Aditya Chandavarkar | 11 June 2010
The market for digital printing technologies in India is moving out of the preliminary stages and is now beginning to gain significant momentum. A PIRA international report states that the Indian digital printing market is forecast to reach US$ 177.3 million (approximately Rs 860 crore) by 2012. Digital printing processes, mainly based on inkjet systems, are also making inroads into the textile printing sector, where screen printing continues to retain a strong grip. However, in this financial year, some three or four digital textile printing machines are being installed every month throughout India. This shows an immense growth when compared to the last year and in Gujarat alone there is a huge demand from the textile industry towards a move towards digital print production.
The reason that India is poised to become a lucrative market for digital textile printing technologies is mostly due to the high trajectory growth of its apparel and textile industry. This is driven by the favourable demographic/economic factors such as the rise in disposable incomes and an upwards shift towards more branded apparel. This is reflected by the domestic textile and apparel market having grown by some 6.5% recently. Exports also show significant growth and are up by 12% growth with many international retailers looking at India now as the best alternative to China for the sourcing of apparel products.
There is still a great deal of work to be done to update printers in India more frequently about new products and new product innovations. Digital textile printing technology now needs to be adopted in combination with conventional screen printing techniques for it to ultimately succeed in India. Recently in Tirupur, the knitwear capital of India, a unique combination of a digital printing station and a screen printing machine was installed and this amalgamation of analogue and digital production is creating many new and innovative printing applications.
India needs more innovative marketing strategies from equipment manufacturers to help spread the awareness of the many advantages of digital printing technology to conventional screen printers. We also need more local digital textile ink manufacturers to improve their logistics and provide increased profitability to the printer. If nurtured appropriately, digital textile printing in India will be a truly great industry to be associated with in the coming years.
Director Silversheen Inks & Coatings Pvt. Ltd.
Written by Aditya Chandavarkar | 11 November 2011
The digital textile printing technology has moved out of its initial phase of bringing stability to the technology and now is more focused on production speeds. The majority of the digital textile machine manufacturers are targeting higher production rates per hour. The Konica Minolta PRO 1000 (Fig. 1) with was recently showcased at the ITMA show is claimed to have the highest productivity in the world for a scanning printer with a print speed in excess of 1000sqm/hour. Another interesting development is Read More
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