High-speed industrial inkjet technology is expanding into décor applications including laminate flooring, furniture, doors, and more.
In January, EFI announced plans to develop a single-pass line for the décor market at its Connect user conference. The new EFI Cubik print line was revealed to the public in May at the Ligna 2017 woodworking show in Hannover, Germany. Based on EFI Cretaprint’s single-pass line for the ceramic tile industry, Cubik is envisioned not as a single model but as a family of single-pass printers built for specific segments of the décor industry. As with the Cretaprint line, EFI will be leveraging its printer, ink, and color management capabilities to provide fully integrated systems in each market it addresses.
Limited details about the Cubik unit displayed at the Ligna show were available at press time, but it featured a 71.4-inch print width and was printing images directly to a variety of wood products and laminates at speeds up to 246 linear feet per minute. The system used UV LED inks and can be configured with up to eight printing bars, allowing for a variety of decoration effects beyond CMYK printing.
As reported in the June/July 2016 issue, four companies are currently manufacturing single-pass textile inkjet systems: MS Printing Solutions (the LaRio), Konica Minolta (the Nassenger SP-1), Atexco (the Honghua Vega-1), and SPGPrints (the Pike). SPGPrints recently announced two new Pike models for the décor market at the 2017 Heimtextil show in Frankfurt, Germany.
Unlike the original Pike system, which uses water-based inks for textile applications, the two new models both use UV-curable inks. The Pike 700 printer uses a 27.6-inch central impression cylinder with fixed-array printheads and curing units to apply graphic images, textures, and protective coatings to the laminating foils used to make floors, wall panels, and countertops. Surfaces such as stone, wood, brick, and ceramic tiles can be printed and then finished with gloss, matte, satin, or silk coatings. Textures can also be added to enhance the look and feel of the laminated surfaces. The second new Pike model, at 51.2 inches wide, is designed to directly print doors, tabletops, ceiling tiles, and panels.
Both new Pike printers use SPGPrints’ Archer variable-drop technology. SPGPrints is currently working on a line of printers for wallpaper manufacturers.
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