Xaar marks 25 years as inkjet leader at InPrint 2015

Xaar demonstrated the versatility and flexibility of its innovative technology for a wide range of industrial applications at InPrint 2015. In keeping with the company celebrating 25 years of leading the way in industrial inkjet, Xaar had a significant presence at the event, with new products and applications on show. Xaar also delivered presentations during the InPrint conference programme covering two key industrial print areas: packaging and advanced manufacturing.

Since the company was founded in 1990, Xaar printhead technology has become the number one inkjet choice in a wide range of industrial manufacturing applications, reducing costs and waste and improving process efficiency. Today the latest Xaar 1002 printhead, featuring patented TF Technology, has an unrivalled reputation for print quality and reliability in high-volume production environments in markets as diverse as advanced manufacturing, direct-to-shape packaging, label printing, décor laminates, glass and ceramic tile decoration. Manufacturers know that, even under the harshest operating conditions, the Xaar 1002 printhead delivers outstanding performance when decorating, patterning, depositing functional coatings on, or adding structure to, a variety of industrial and consumer products.

On Stand A32 in Hall 6A Xaar showe a range of products, including the recently-launched Xaar Print Bar System.  The system incorporates the Xaar 1002 family of high-precision industrial printheads and enables owners of analogue label presses to add the benefits of single-pass digital inkjet printing easily and economically. The Xaar Print Bar System is versatile, easy to configure and ideal for personalised, variable data, special effects and short-run printing for many applications, including labels and packaging.  It can handle a wide range of inks and fluids, such as spot colours, protective lacquers, high-build spot varnish, heavily pigmented high-opacity under and over whites, cold foil adhesives, metallics, etc. Xaar also highlighted exciting new applications which are made possible by TF Technology. This patented recirculation technique ensures the Xaar 1002 printhead has an outstanding ability to handle difficult fluids ‒ particularly valuable for high-tech advanced manufacturing applications.  Examples presented at InPrint 2015 include cover lens glass printing for smart phones and tablets. Other examples are antenna tracks and printed circuits that can be manufactured in high volume on ITO-covered PET or glass, using silver nano particle inks. 

The Xaar 501 GS8 printhead was also on display. Designed for high-quality printing of large outdoor banners or indoor point-of-sale material, the Xaar 501 features Xaar PrecisionPlus architecture. Based on the successful Hybrid Side Shooter architecture proven in the Xaar 1002, PrecisionPlus’s more uniform drop formation across the print swathe ensures exceptional print quality for stunning graphics.The Xaar 501 GS8 is the first in the range of printheads using the PrecisionPlus architecture.Whilst this first variant has been optimised with the graphics market in mind, many of the Xaar 501’s features lend themselves to a number of industrial applications. ‘The InPrint show is a great platform for Xaar,’ said Richard Barham, Xaar chief customer officer. ‘Process engineers looking for the latest technology for improving manufacturing efficiencies were very interested to learn more about the part that Xaar’s inkjet technology plays in many industrial processes. Xaar has led the industrial inkjet market for 25 years because its technology is highly versatile and extremely robust.’ A number of OEMs showed innovative solutions for a range of applications, all incorporating Xaar 1002 printheads.

Heidelberg launched a new four-colour version of the Jetmaster Dimension digital 4D print solution for direct printing onto objects, including those with curved surfaces. JetSet Industrial introduced GATE, a new open platform for industrial and OEM inkjet integration and its Xaar-based system at the show as printing onto metal for a variety of applications. Other notable products from Xaar OEMs included the new DIGI 5 modular system from Bergstein Digital BV for product printing; Hymmen’s seven-model Jupiter range of industrial digital printers  for laminates; and the n-jet lab gantry system from Notion Systems for technical applications. Other Xaar partners at InPrint included UV curing specialists Integration Technologies, and ink suppliers: Agfa, Collins Inkjet, INX Digital, Nazdar, Sunjet and Tritron.

Xaar speakers at the InPrint Conference discussed the remarkable ability that inkjet has to transform processes in industries as diverse as packaging and automotive component manufacture. Mark Ritchie’s presentation Future Technological Developments for Inkjet and Advanced Manufacturing Technology focused on the future of functional, rather than decorative, inkjet printing in manufacturing applications. Mark Alexander put the case for inkjet packaging printing in his presentation: To be or not to be? A true story of inkjet in packaging. Finally, Xaar sponsored Pushing the Boundaries of Inkjet Applications, in which Professor Neil Hopkinson, head of Sheffield University’s Centre for Advanced Additive Manufacturing, opened delegates’ eyes to additive manufacturing’s role in the commercial production of quality engineering components, as well as volume production of high-quality fast-moving consumer goods.