Over the past couple of days here at FESPA 2013 we’ve had a great opportunity to get a glimpse at the future of industrial printing. Many times Tim and I were approached by customers and vendors alike the industrial printing topic is top of mind. However producers as well as vendors define industrial printing in ways that center on applications their products produce. Some consider packaging, laminates, textiles, and others ceramic tiles as industrial applications. But let me offer another perspective, an industrial application is one where a transition from short run custom printing for pilot projects, or prototypes is converted to a manufacturing process that integrates management, workflow, and an integrated digital printing solution that is used for full production runs.
Several examples at FESPA illustrate this trend in enabling production lines with digital printing including some that we have covered before such as the HP Scitex FB10000, and a few that we will discuss in this blog from Kornit, MS SRL, Reggiani as well as Inca Digital mentioned in this blog as well.
Kornit who became a key sponsor at FESPA 2013 is celebrating a new brand campaign promoting their 1,000 systems, in 100 countries under a new brand identity. However beyond the new brand look and feel Kornit develops and supports the textile and garment industries with innovation in Ink and printing solutions. On the Ink front the company released their NeoPigment printing process that enables digital textile printing customers to benefit from pigment ink while avoiding its drawbacks. NeoPigment water based ink is environmentally-friendly 100% biodegradable, and toxin free. This ink is suitable for printing on multiple fabric types, has a wide color gamut as well as long-term durability. At the same time, NeoPigment reduces production costs by eliminating the need for offline pre-treatment. NeoPigment inks meet industry`s fastness standards, such as washing and rubbing, and show exceptional UV fastness.
Taking advantage of the new ink is Kornit’s product line for direct garment decoration, as well as their Allegro roll to roll textile printing system are an example of digital printing crossing the threshold to full short run manufacturing. The allegro is an inkjet printing system utilizing NeoPigment jetted trough Fuji Dimatix Polaris print heads Print Heads Spectra Polaris with up to 64 heads / 8 heads per channel a maximum of 7 colors + Inline ink fixation channel, printing resolution 400-1200 dpi and printing speed 400 m2/h in high speed mode with a maximum printing width 1.80 meter. This system can print on woven / knitted / non-Woven media such as Cotton, Linen, Viscose, Polyester, Nylon, Silk, Wool, and blends such as 50/50 Cotton/Polyester. At the show the seating area in the picture below was printed and then upholstered using Kornit printed upholstery.
MS Printing Solutions known for their solutions in textile manufacturing demonstrated at FESPA the MS JP7 aimed at paper printing. The system is capable of up to 335 linear feet per minute system for paper printing. With up to 16 printing heads this system prints at 600 Dpi x 600 dpi resolutions with 16 Gray levels and variable drop size from 4pcl to 72pcl at 1.8 meter wide. The system has an open ink system that can support custom color inks and open architecture print management software that supports high volume production and tracking. Again another example of production ready digital printer that enables manufacturing capacity in a solution that can become an integral part of a production line for wall coverings or laminate core patterns.
Reggiani’s ReNOIR Digital Printing Machine, is another example of manufacturing scale digital printing system. The printer is intended for paper printing with up to 8 process colors, variable drop size (4, 7, 12 and 18 pcl), 3 printing widths 1.8, 2.4, 3.4 m, up to 400 m2/h at a maximum resolution of 2400 x 2400 dpi with three printing widths and numerous printing modes to meet production and quality needs. ReNOIR is able to process any kind of substrate. Thanks to a tailor-made blanket and an embedded dryer, Huntsman & DuPont inks (Reactive, Acid, Disperse) and in line polymerization.