Fujifilm Dimatix Ink-jet Technology Demo Draws Crowds at Drupa
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY—June 6, 2008—Here at Drupa 2008, Fujifilm Dimatix, the world’s leading supplier of drop-on-demand inkjet printheads for industrial applications, has been drawing crowds to their stand B03 in Hall 8b with a novel demonstration of printing technology.
The attraction? A piezoelectric drop-on-demand inkjet concept press - dubbed the XP-200 - built specifically for operation here at Drupa by the Fujifilm Dimatix Technology Integration (DTI) group. The purpose-built XP-200 prints images and text in a single pass onto items with unusual and often irregular surfaces - from sponge, sandpaper, leather and wood, to circuit boards - as the objects pass under the printhead array at a rate of 200 feet per minute.
This unusual printing press is merely one example of the inkjet systems the Fujifilm Dimatix Technology Integration (DTI) group designs and builds using Fujifilm Dimatix standard inkjet printheads and related components for customers whose unique requirements are not addressed by commercially available printer products. Owing to the flexibility of Fujifilm Dimatix inkjet technology, DTI also is able to install these systems inline at the most optimal point on a manufacturer’s production line.
The XP-200 is based on DTI’s MerlinTM D general-purpose controller and integrated with a standard materials transport mechanism. DTI engineers outfitted it with standard Fujifilm Dimatix Galaxy printheads clustered into a 4-quad by 4-color array affectionately called “Sweet 16.”
The system stands about 8 feet high and 12 feet long, much of it to house a printhead cluster elevator, transport mechanism and UV curing unit. It even features edge detection technology, allowing objects randomly spaced on the transport belt to be printed accurately as they fly under the printhead cluster.
During the many live demonstrations held every day, the XP-200 decorates one set of about 12 different items that together represent a broad range of textures, materials, and types. These sample products are decorated at 400 x 400 dpi with UV-curable process-color inks as they move along a conveyor belt through an integrated UV curing unit at a speed of up to 200 feet/minute then handed out to visitors who have come to Drupa from 127 countries. (The limit of 200 feet/minute is primarily for attendee safety; DTI has built production systems that operate at rates faster than 800 feet/minute.)