Posts tagged: Xaar

Cefla Finishing Acquires a Majority Stake in JetSet Industrial

Ron Gilboa
 Aug 4, 2016

Today, Cefla Finishing group announced that it had acquired a majority stake (60%) in JetSet Industrial S.r.l., a manufacturer and integrator of inkjet printing systems for a range of applications and industries. JetSet Industrial’s move into inkjet printing started in 2012 in Bergamo, Italy, which is also home of several other inkjet equipment suppliers.

Still a start-up in many ways, JetSet is a bespoke supplier of decorative printing systems for ceramic, glass, textiles, and woodworking materials. JetSet has the skill set to integrated technology as well as develop materials in support of their printing technologies. This makes the company a turn-key supplier to its customers. According to Hoovers.com, the company has eleven employees and generated $2.15 million in revenues in the past year. JetSet has also invested heavily in their core capabilities for inkjet system integration.

JetSet Wave Integrated Color Single-Pass Print Head Module

JetSet Wave Integrated Color Single-Pass Print Head Module

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2016 Development of Digital Ceramic Printing in China: A CEO’s Perspective

Ron Gilboa
 Feb 22, 2016

InfoTrends has been tracking the ceramic tile industry’s adoption of digital printing technology for several years. China is the primary producer of ceramic tiles on a worldwide basis. According to an industry review by the China Building Ceramics & Sanitaryware Association, there are now over 3,600 ceramic tile production lines in operation in China in just under 1,500 facilities. With about 12 billion square meters produced worldwide 2014/2015 this market is estimated to grow at about 3% in subsequent years. Asia-Pacific region accounts for the majority (70%) of the total most is produced in China.

This market was destined to take advantage of the benefits inherent to digital printing technologies such as reduced make ready, design latitude, timely manufacturing and cost reduction. Spearheading these efforts are companies such as Xaar and Fuji Dimatix and few others. These companies, along with ceramic ink manufacturers, developed by a range of ceramic inks that meet the unique characteristics needed for inkjet printing. The initial success in Europe naturally spread to the Chinese market as well which is the focus of this blog.

We had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with Stella Hu, CEO of Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co. Ltd., a leading Chinese supplier digital printing technologies. This interview provided an unique perspective on the current market status and future expectations for the digital ceramics printing in China.

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

In 1994, Stella set up a successful print shop in Shanghai that offered top-quality local services. Compromising on quality was never an option, so the company ran top-of-the-line VUTEk and Scitex machines. At that time, there were very few local manufacturers of wide format printers. Stella spent the next 6 years studying the machines and developing applications.

Once Stella had fully experienced the fun of digital printing with extensive applications, she set her sights on developing a new brand of digital inkjet solutions based on her insights on industry and client needs. She launched Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd. in 2001. The Shanghai-based company developed and introduced its first wide format solvent printer in 2002, and has since continued with product innovations. The company now offers digital inkjet ceramic printers, grand format solvent UV flatbeds, and roll-to-roll inkjet printing systems for graphics and industrial applications.

During our interview, Mrs. Hu offered her perspective on digital printing within the Chinese ceramic tile market.

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InPrint 2015 – demonstrating that print is much more than ink on paper

Ralf Schlozer
 Dec 21, 2015

November 2015 saw the second instalment of InPrint, the industrial print show and conference. A total of 3,400 visitors from 68 countries came to the Munich Trade Fair Centre. Compared to the previous event in Hannover, the numbers of exhibitors, attendees and foot print increased by a third.

InPrint focussed on three fields of application: functional, decorative and packaging printing. Unlike traditional printing shows, InPrint has a different attendee profile: Typical visitors to InPrint are companies such as system integrators, materials developers, and manufacturers interested in providing solutions for the industrial/decorative print market. But even if you do not intend on integrating a custom press, the show is a good opportunity to get informed on where printing technology is being used beyond document printing. Print service providers, who visit InPrint, have been able to expand their horizon while visiting vendor booths as well as attending the conference with its extensive program.

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Brewing in Belgium: KHS & Martens Brouwerij Ramp Up ‘Direct-to-Shape’ Printing

Bob Leahey
 Aug 19, 2015

Color digital printing for packaging got a boost in Europe recently when a brewer long known for innovation, Martens Brouwerij (Belgium) publicized its use of a direct-to-shape print system to print PET bottles in full color, starting in June 2015. Called “Direct Print Powered by KHS™”, the system is engineered and built by KHS (Germany), a global supplier of filling and packaging solutions to the drinks industry, and commercialized by a wholly-owned KHS subsidiary, NMP Systems. The system, based on Xaar 1002 heads, Read more »

Xaar making a Comeback in China Wide Format

Other Posts
 Jul 14, 2014

Rapper L.L. Cool J has a lyric that goes “don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years” and that is kind of what Xaar would probably say about its new print head launch:  that Xaar is a major supplier to the wide format digital graphics market and China is an important part of that. However, Xaar led the emergence of the large wide format graphics business in China in its early days, but as the segment became increasingly commoditized many Chinese wide format printer manufacturers expanded their wide format equipment portfolios.

 

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Xaar 1002: Future Proofing Industrial Digital Print

Bob Leahey
 Mar 19, 2014

Last week piezo inkjet head manufacturer Xaar plc (Cambridge, UK) announced the commercial availability of the Xaar 1002 piezo inkjet head for use with both UV curing and ceramic inks. The news is significant because Xaar has more than twenty OEM customers using its Xaar 1001 head for industrial printing applications; the first batches of Xaar 1002 head have been shipped to OEMs and over time will completely replace Xaar 1001, which is now out of production.

While Xaar improved its 1001 head since its launch in 2007, the Xaar 1002 is the first truly new successor to it. The new head is outwardly almost identical to the earlier one but, according to Xaar, contains 90% new components. At its heart, for instance, the 1002 head has the same number of nozzles–one thousand–but the nozzles are based on a new design and new manufacturing, changes that Xaar says ensure straighter jetting and other enhancements.

Xaar 1002 Piezo Inkjet Printhead
Xaar 1002 Piezo Inkjet Printhead

Xaar has had great success Read more »

Xennia Inks approved for All Xaar Ceramic Inkjet Printers

Ron Gilboa
 Feb 12, 2014

Inkjet technology supplier Xennia (UK) announced last week that its XenInx Zircon inks for ceramic tile printing have received formal approval for use in all models of the Xaar 1001 re-circulating printheads. The Xaar 1001 inkjet heads are widely used inkjet heads in color digital presses now operating at tile manufacturers globally. The XenInx Zircon inks are the latest generation of digital inks from Xennia for ceramic tile printing in use with numerous production lines, built by Xennia or other manufactures, using Xaar 1001 print heads.

XenInk Digiital Ceramic Tiles

XenInx Digital Ceramic Tiles

 

XenInk Color Pallette

XenInx Color Pallette

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Collins Inkjet Targets Kodak’s Legacy Versamark Inkjet Customers

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 9, 2013

Shortly before PRINT 2013 Collins Ink Corporation changed its name to Collins Inkjet Corporation in a move that the company said reflected “Collins’ expansion into printer upgrades, parts, and support.” At PRINT 13 Collins made it clear exactly what it meant by that statement when it announced that it would refurbish Kodak Versamark equipment, beginning with Kodak’s 5120 and 6240 print heads. Readers will likely recall that Collins, formerly a close Kodak partner and ink supplier, severed the relationship in a contentious battle beginning in October of 2011. (See “Collins Ink Terminates Agreement with Kodak Versamark”.)

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Collins Ink Terminates Agreement with Kodak Versamark

Jim Hamilton
 Oct 14, 2011

In an announcement that it posted on its web site on Tuesday, Collins Ink stated that it was ending its agreement to provide inkjet ink to Kodak Versamark printers. It said that its customers would be able to purchase Collins-branded inks directly from Collins at prices that it noted would be lower than Kodak’s.

In response to the Collins announcement Kodak released the following statement, which was published nearly in its entirety in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

“Collins Ink abruptly and without justification breached its contract to supply inks for Kodak Versamark digital printing systems. This shows a tremendous disregard for our customers’ needs. Ensuring a continuous supply of matched, high-quality inks with inkjet printheads for our Versamark customers is of utmost importance to Kodak, and we are committed to delivering an uninterrupted flow of ink.”

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New Testing Standards Group Will Help Digital Label Technology

Bob Leahey
 Oct 20, 2010

FINAT, the international association for self-adhesive label industry, announced this month that it has taken the first steps to achieve standardized testing methods for digital printing of labels. FINAT has begun establishing a picked group of industry representatives to form a “task force” dedicated to this topic.

The news from FINAT, which is based in The Netherlands and has 600 members from around the world, is a sign of the importance and maturity of digital technology in the label industry, which is now has well over 1,300 color digital presses base on EP or inkjet. While color digital presses have thus come into their own in the market that was once exclusively served by analog presses, there is a gap between digital and analog in terms of print testing. For analog technology such as offset, letterpress, flexo or gravure presses, the industry has well established testing equipment, procedures and standards, one that are accepted by the key supplier categories such as media and press manufacturers and by converters and their customers.

Color digital technology, though, is younger than analog, and most of the standard printability tests and procedures have not yet been fully tried. It is also possible that such tests may need to be modified or new tests developed for use in judging digital printing of labels and packaging. FINAT is aiming to close the gap, and make digital technology as well and uniformly tested as analog technology. Their overall goal is to make digital label printing a more globally standardized technology in terms of printability, performance standards, test methods and procedures.

InfoTrends believes this initiative by FINAT is very helpful one. While vendors of color digital technology have collectively achieved good success in the label market, they are a disparate group. They include not just two major technology categories, EP and inkjet, but subcategories of technologies within them, defined by toner technology (liquid or dry toned) and inkjet heads (Epson, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Panasonic, Toshiba TEC, Xaar). There is a lot to judge and compare, such as image resolution and color matching, among other items.

What will a better, standardized testing do for color digital technology? A key benefit will be greater acceptability of digitally printed labels among brand owners. Some share of brand owners still rate digital output as marginal compared to analog, and top consumer brands are especially demanding in terms of color matching and other features. These companies seek consistency and fidelity; standardized testing will enhance the reputation of color digital.

The move by FINAT is spurred by IGT Testing Systems, a print testing specialist based in Switzerland, and Mike Fairley, a key industry consultant with Tarsus Group, the organizer of Label Expo. FINAT is now in the midst of establishing the task force, which it says will represent different disciplines. FINAT’s Wilco de Groot is chairman of the group, and will soon make recommendations about its further recruitment.

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