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Drupa 2016: A New Age for Single-Pass Printing?

(June/July 2016) posted on Wed Jul 13, 2016

As digital short-run capabilities meet analog productivity, production across the imaging industry may be poised for a change.

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By Eileen Fritsch

For industrial inkjet applications, Konica Minolta and Industrial Inkjet Ltd showed the XYPrint 300 – a high-accuracy inkjet system for process development, print research, direct-product decoration, material deposition, and low-volume production. The system can be configured for either single- or multi-pass printing.

Fujifilm announced a new branding campaign to package its expertise in printheads, inks, and image-optimization technologies as “Fujifilm Inkjet Technology.” The company showed how the latest generation of Samba printheads can be used to build single-pass inkjet systems that provide stable jetting and ultra-sharp print quality on a wide range of printing papers. Fujifilm Inkjet Technology includes extended FM screening optimized for inkjet and an automatic, on-the-fly image compensation function that controls inconsistencies in ink deposition.

Heidelberg introduced the Primefire 106, a new industrial inkjet printer developed in partnership with Fujifilm for printing B1-sized (27.8 x 39.4 inch) packaging materials. The Primefire 106 uses Fujifilm’s new seven-color inks (CMYK, orange, green, and violet) with Heidelberg’s varnish to create high-definition images that meet regulations for food packaging safety.

Heidelberg also makes the Omnifire series of direct-to-shape printers. The Omnifire 250 has a four-axis robotic system to handle smaller objects with rounded surfaces, such as balls, drinking bottles, and smartphone cases. At InPrint 2016, Heidelberg plans to introduce the Omnifire 1000 direct-to-shape (“4D”) printer. It uses a six-axis robotic handling system to decorate irregularly shaped items of up to 35.3 cubic feet.

Xaar showcased its Xaar Print Bar System and the new Xaar 1003 family of printheads. The Xaar Print Bar System can add single-pass inkjet capabilities to analog roll-to-roll or sheet-fed presses. “It can be easily integrated into a wide range of web or sheet-fed press configurations – and at any point on the press,” says the company's Gillian Ewers. The system can handle a wide range of inks and fluids, including spot colors, protective lacquers, high-build spot varnish, heavily pigmented under-surface whites, cold foil adhesives, metallics, and more. The Xaar Print Bar can be configured from 2.8 to 22 inches wide (at 2.8-inch increments) and operated at up to nearly 3000 linear feet per minute.

The Xaar 1003 printheads are designed for long, maintenance-free production runs on industrial inkjet systems and available in three versions: the 1003 GS12 for rich colors and higher speeds on ceramics; the 1003 GS6 for fine-detail printing; and the 1003 GS40 for special effects.


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