ColorGATE Digital Output Solutions GmbH

ColorGATE, n-art-m, and STAEDTLER Announce Cooperation in Industrial Printing

ColorGATE GmbH, n-art-m GmbH, and STAEDTLER Mars GmbH & Co. KG have agreed on a joint cooperation to serve the industrial printing sector. The three companies are targeting machine builders and OEM´s that are looking for experienced and aligned partners for the development of specialized industrial printing systems. Regardless of whether they are only requiring components for a digital printing system or seeking a complete tailor-made solution. The main objective of the cooperation partners is to become the prime address for the target audience in the search for customized solutions “Made in Germany”.

“Our target is to jointly develop digital printing solutions for the industrial sector. The customers’ requirements are central in this matter,” stated Arthur Noll, Managing Director of n-art-m. ColorGATE´s Managing Director Thomas Kirschner added:” From the consultancy, to the concept design, right up to the installation and after sales services, all potential buyers can count on the longstanding experience of all involved cooperation partners.” Jens Reuter, Director Marketing Sales at STAEDTLER pointed out:” Tailor-made solutions, which are able to integrate right into an existing production line, are today’s requirements in the market, and we are able to deliver such solutions.” 

Industrial Printing designates the segment of an industrial production process, which is characterized by the application of an ink or a liquid onto any desired product by using inkjet technology to decorate or add a new function to it. The main advantages are obvious. Production volumes down to batch size “1” are possible, as well as the continuous change of décors or imprints for a product without the need to retrofit the printing systems. Individualized products and packaging can be produced without increasing costs. In addition, the provisioning of material and the production of wastage can be limited to a minimum, which again leads to cost reductions and also positively contributes to a company’s environmental record.

Industrial Inkjet applications will become more and more important over the upcoming years. It is nontrivial for interested parties to find a “single-source” solution, because of the need to coordinate several disciplines and specialists required for the development of an industrial printing project. From the software, which is taking control of all electronical components of the print process, to the development of customized print units, which can be further individualized according to the respective production environment and -requirements, up to the advancement of highly specialized inks, which are not only excelling by their reliability and color, but also by their very good processing features: All these features and processes have to be mastered and rightfully coordinated. This knowledge and know how will now be accumulated by this strong cooperation.

ColorGATE is delivering solutions for excellent Color Management and comprehensive driver solutions for digital printing systems of the entire digital imaging sector, for more than 15 years. The Productionserver 8 RIP Software is reflecting ColorGATE´s role as the technology-leader in the field of Color Management and is also the foundation for ambi-tious industrial printing applications. The main focus lies on the best possible color reproduction, including a high consistency of follow-up print outs. This will be ensured, by build in quality assurance mechanisms, which can be integrated into any inline production process.

SmartControl IP OS, the Industrial Printing Operating System (IP OS) developed by ColorGATE, is controlling all components of a printing system, such as the print head control-lers, the ink supply systems and dryers as well as the motion controllers via SmartControl Touch a customizable touchscreen based application for an easy to operate control workflow of the printing process. SmartControl Server carries out the print data preparation and distribution to the print heads via their controllers. Its scalable architecture supports cost-effective multi-pass as well as high-performance single-pass print systems. SmartControl Server is a stand-alone Windows application, which can be distributed on several print servers and run in a master-slave mode. This allows building extremely powerful and complex print systems. It provides interfaces to PLC´s (Programmable Logic Controllers) to synchronize motion control units and other connected systems for heating or drying. Today, these mentioned solutions are already successfully in use in application fields such as the digital décor printing in the wood material industry, the ceramic printing for tile production, as well as in the packaging printing by using direct-to-object technology.

The planning and the design of custom digital printing systems for the industrial use, meaning the utilization in a working production line, are the strong points of n-art-m. All process steps for the decoration of products within a fabrication process are considered, starting from the material feed bringing up of material, via the printing up to the drying of the imprint or décor via heat or UV. n-art-m released with Portal OneofTen their first digital printing system, which can be utilized independently or in an inline production line. Additionally, it is modularly expandable.

n-art-m is supporting the print heads of leading manufacturers, such as Kyocera, Ricoh or Seiko and is favoring to apply the print heads in the multi-pass mode versus single-pass mode, where the product is only fed once under the print heads. The benefits of the multi-pass method are in their lower costs, as lesser number of print heads is necessary for large formats compared to the single-pass structure. Furthermore, dropped out print head nozzles can be compensated by an intelligent control scheme, which results in   higher print quality and consistency of the whole process. Several of such units can be coupled in parallel to print numerous products simultaneously for an overall higher productivity. Additionally, a failure of one print head is not leading to a hold of the entire production line.

As one of the oldest industrial companies in Germany, with its headquarters in Nurem-berg, Germany, STAEDTLER values its longstanding tradition as a pencil maker by developing new innovative products with high brand quality based on their decades-long experience and advancements regarding research and development. This is why; STAEDTLER is one of the leading ink manufacturers in the evolving industrial printing market. Particularly, in the     design-, fashion and decoration segment, STAEDTLER stands out with its Lumocolor Jet ink, the first water-based ink in the market, which enables the decoration of leather via inkjet technology without changing the look and feel of the final product. This is a new milestone for the shoe-, apparel- and automotive- or furniture industry. The Lumocolor Jet inks are also suitable for non-absorbing and uncoated materials, which is a perfect fit for a deployment in packaging printing. Aside from that, STAEDTLER is distributing inks for marking & coding purposes for continuous inkjet printers. STAEDTLER´s main focus in this segment lies in selling white and special inks to printer manufacturers as OEM products.

No matter if, a company has come to a conclusion about its own strategy concerning industrial printing, but is facing difficulties putting it into practice, or if an overall plan is needed, these cooperation partners are in every possible scenario the right contacts for a successful project realization. They also welcome additional manufacturers and suppliers of industrial printing solutions to join this cooperation to further foster the knowledge and know how foundation for the customers´ benefits.