Industrial digital printer

Industrial digital printer

Industrial Digital Printers can be divided into a variety of different categories. As the industry becomes more mature, and the number of manufacturers increases, the line between the broad descriptions becomes less defined.

Digital Printers are sometimes erroneously referred to as being “Digital Printing Presses”. The term Printing Press refers to the nature of the process where there is contact between the system that applies the ink to the substrate and substrate itself where the inks is pressed onto the substrate. Digital Printers however are non-impact printing processes, the devices used “fire” drops of ink from the print heads to the substrate.

Categories

Here is a broad outline of classes of digital printers in the graphic arts segment of the printing industry.

High volume

These systems print at speeds measured at between 200 to 400 square metres per hour.

uper wide format

These printers are generally roll-to-roll and have a print bed that is 2m to 5m wide. Mostly used for printing billboards and generally have the capability of printing between 60 to 160 square metres per hour. Traditionally these were manufactured by western manufacturers, however recently Korean and Chinese printer manufacturers are starting to creep into this category with more reliable faster printers.

Wide format

These printers are most commonly manufactured in Korea and China with India starting to develop printers as well. These machines are now available from 0,9 metres to 3 metres wide. Generally they are capable of printing from 10 to 60 square metres per hour.

High resolution

A new range of printers that started out at 0.9 metres wide and generally stopped at 1.6 metres wide. Recently 2 and 3 metre wide printers have entered the market.

Print Heads

At this point in time these printers use printers using PZT crystals as micro-pumps to eject the droplets from the nozzles. The crystals deform to generate a “shock wave” in the fluid inks which in turn ejects a drop from the nozzle. A combination of surface tension, capillary pressure and other complex fluid dynamics ensures that the fluid is refilled ready for the next fire cycle.


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