Hymmen Saturn – Innovation in Digital Décor Printing

Ron Gilboa
May 1, 2019

On April 8th, Germany-based print technology manufacturer Hymmen announced a new partnership with Ricoh to create a new product family in addition to its long-running Jupiter printing line. Keeping with its astrological naming pattern, Hymmen named it Saturn digital printing line – aimed toward addressing the needs of decorative paper printing. This new development comes on the heels of Hymmens’ ongoing growth in print volume with the Jupiter product line. According to Hymmen’s estimates, it printed 90 Million M2 in 2018 in a range of applications – including foils, flooring, doors, decorative laminates, and digital lacquer embossing.

Hymmen Digitally Printed Décor

Hymmen Digitally Printed Décor

What is the Saturn Digital Printing Line?

Designed for the industrial space, the Saturn is a single pass water-based ink print system that is being created to work with both small and large batch production. The hardware will print at speeds of 15-35 meters per minute and has an effective working width of 700, 1,400, or 2,300 millimeters. Thanks to its Ricoh MH5421 MF printheads, the Saturn will achieve resolution of up to 1,200 dpi. All prints processed by the Saturn will have the standard CMYK color options, with optional future expansion up to eight colors for gamut expansion and special applications.

Figure 1: The Saturn Digital Printing Line Product Specifications 

Saturn Digital Printing Line

Source: Hymmen 

Saturn –  Water-Based Inks

The Hymmen Jupiter product line use UV curable inks. The use of UV curable inks allowed direct printing on a range of surfaces using scalable single pass printhead configurations. However, for impregnated laminate products, the company needed a water-based solution, namely Saturn. Saturn’s use of water-based pigment inks, formulated for décor applications, is suitable for impregnation and expanding Hymman’ solution reach further in the décor paper market. Décor paper is used in the manufacturing of impregnated laminates such as High Pressure Laminates (HPL). Additionally, Hymmen touts the use of water-based inks as environmentally friendly.

Meeting the Client Demand for Customization

The Saturn’s unveiling signals a shift in approaching decorative surface printing. Typically, décor papers are manufactured in centralized locations and then distributed to the impregnation facilities for further processing. Saturn was designed to change the dynamic of this supply chain. It is aimed at the local production of décor paper, on-demand and batch production, meeting  demand while reducing without the logistical overhead – such as shipping and warehousing.

External vs. internal printing

Source: Hymmen 

The machine has also been engineered to compliment existing workflows, rather than requiring clients to invest in full-on replacement print processes.

Aiding in ensuring both Jupiter and Saturn-based systems produce high quality output is another innovation from Hymmen: Automatic Color Calibration (ACC). This is an inline scanning system that is used to provide critical information to users about output quality, including defect detection and color density shifts. After producing a base system calibration, the ACC will monitor production and alert the users if shifts in quality occur. This is critical for seamless repeatable production, as well as the identification of quality issues early during production stages before the décor layers are integrated into fully assembled products. Additionally, this is an effective way to ensure that producers meet their service level agreements (SLA), ensuring customer satisfaction and an error free supply chain.

Hymmen and Ricoh

To meet the goals intended for Saturn, Hymmen partnered with Ricoh. Ricoh has a rich background, not only in printhead technology but in writing engine integration. Writing engines are integrated printheads, fluid management, electronic drives, and the software needed to create a successful consistent print output. This type of solution allows suppliers such as Hymmen to develop products faster and focus on their served industry segments. Ricoh has an experienced integration team, as well as world-wide support, that will ensure Hymmen customers are consistently updated regarding Ricoh’s technological applications. Moreover, working with Ricoh will enable Hymmen to benefit from solutions such as ColorGate. Acquired by Ricoh in 2018, ColorGate provides color management and processing solutions that allow for repeatable and consisted color output, as well as the development of color profiles to meet the range of different output media used.

Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

The woodworking industry is a vast segment that is now turning its attention to the growing demand for customization. With an estimated world demand for decorative laminates reaching 11 billion M2 according to Freedoina research.  Suppliers such as Hymmen are enabling the transition to mass customization using inkjet-based industrial solutions. In the past decade, digital printing technology has made its way into the woodworking industry. This journey is long in the making and requires not only a large investment in technology but also financial stamina and market education.

This announcement by Hymmen signals that technology suppliers are addressing not only technological innovation in print but also the understanding that, for digital print to succeed, it needs to address the critical elements that will make significant improvements to the supply chain. Just short run printing as replacement for analog print technology may not suffice – as analog technologies are optimized and are proven. However, offering on location printing just in time makes a fundamental change to the way décor suppliers have worked in the past. A change that can yield improved time to market, reduce inventory, and provide quality output. Though digital print transition is logical, it also represents change and change is not always easy.
We view these solutions from Hymmen and Ricoh, as well as the telltale signs that the woodworking segment is taking note and is looking to embrace the benefits of digital printing across a range of applications.

New InfoTrends Studies

More blogs from

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux