Technology development overview
High-speed inkjet printing printing technology is a non-contact printing technology, and its development and application are limited by inkjet accuracy, the adaptability of the substrate to ink, the stability of the overall system, and the constraints of unit printing cost and productivity.
At present, the common high-speed inkjet printing technology on the market mainly focuses on the thermal foam inkjet technology represented by HP, and the piezoelectric inkjet technology represented by Japanese manufacturers such as Canon Océ. (Founder also uses this type of on-demand piezoelectric inkjet technology. Ink technology), and continuous inkjet technology represented by Kodak. The development of inkjet printing technology mainly began with the development of the principle of inkjet print head technology.
1. Thermal foam inkjet technology
The thermal foam inkjet head has thousands of nozzles per inch, and the nozzles are quite fine, which can produce rich harmony colors and smooth mesh tone, and the image quality is relatively fine. The initial ink jet velocity is high, the frequency is fast, and the printing speed is high. The ink path is simple and there is no need to recycle ink, and no waste liquid is produced in production. The disadvantage is that the inkjet head has a certain life span and needs to be replaced, leading to increased costs. And HP has invested a lot of research and development efforts in this area to increase the service life of the nozzle and reduce the cost of manufacturing the nozzle.
2. Piezoelectric inkjet technology
The piezoelectric inkjet technology effectively adjusts the size and usage of ink droplets by controlling the voltage. Compared with thermal foam inkjet technology, piezoelectric inkjet technology has the advantages of relatively regular ink droplet shape, controllable ink droplet size, and relatively long service life of the inkjet head. However, its printing speed is inversely proportional to its resolution, and its productivity is generally low. The cost of inkjet heads made by piezoelectric inkjet technology is relatively high. The disadvantage is that once the nozzles are blocked, the cost of dredging or replacing the inkjet heads is high, and it is not easy to operate.
3. Continuous inkjet technology
The continuous inkjet system has the advantages of high frequency response and high-speed printing. However, the structure of the inkjet print head in this way is more complicated and requires a pressurizing device, a charging electrode, and a deflection electric field, making it difficult to mass produce. At the same time, due to the complexity of the print head structure, it must be printed and dried separately in a single color group. If four colors are printed at the same time, the quality of the paper will be very high, otherwise the color registration will be inaccurate due to the deformation of the paper .
At present, various manufacturers are improving inkjet technology in various ways.
HP mainly increased investment in improving its inkjet printing technology from two aspects. First, the 2400dpi nozzle technology was officially released in February 2015, and the installation and operation of the customer site was realized in November of the same year. Through the 2400dpi high-resolution print head technology, the problems of large particles and color transition separation lines that often occur in inkjets have been greatly improved, and the printing quality has been very close to the level of offset printing. HP will showcase its high-resolution inkjet models at drupa2016. The second is the online pre-coating technology. As we all know, one of the main problems of inkjet is "picking paper", and the special inkjet paper is usually foreign brand and expensive. And HP's "adhesive" (that is, on-demand coating) technology can achieve good color saturation and prevent print-through on ordinary offset paper. However, because water-based ink is difficult to absorb by coated paper, the printing effect is usually not good. A few days ago, HP has officially released online pre-coating technology and coating fluid, which can carry out "hydrophilic pre-treatment" for many ordinary coated papers on the market to achieve higher quality inkjet printing.
The development of piezoelectric inkjet technology mainly relies on several nozzle manufacturers, such as Kyocera, Hitachi, and Panasonic. It is said that high-resolution sprinklers will be launched soon, and it is expected to be seen on drupa2016. At present, many inkjet equipment manufacturers realize the so-called "1200dpi control accuracy" by arranging two sets of 600dpi nozzles staggeredly. They can obtain more refined print quality at the expense of printing speed (printing speed is halved), but at the same time It also caused an increase in equipment manufacturing costs.
Kodak has cooperated with domestic manufacturers to produce special pre-coated paper, but because the overall consumption is not large enough, the price of this paper is still maintained at a high level. There is also news that Kodak will release faster high-speed inkjet printing equipment, but Kodak has recently been preparing to sell its inkjet product line. We will wait and see how it will develop in the future.
Application status analysis
Compared with traditional offset printing, the quality of current high-speed inkjet printing technology still has a certain gap. The bill direct mail market, where high-speed inkjet printing is widely used abroad, is not developing smoothly in my country. At present, the application of high-speed inkjet printing technology is mainly concentrated in the publishing field.
However, we believe that the current application of high-speed inkjet printing in the publishing field is only limited to short-run printing, and it has not truly reflected the advantages of digital printing. Only by integrating sales channels into the supply chain can we truly achieve " "Sell first and then print" to achieve on-demand printing. For example, Rotomail, a *on-demand printer, uses high-speed inkjet printing to produce individual books of different formats and different papers on one production line, and it can process orders of 10,000 copies per day. In addition, as domestic newspapers have also experienced a significant decline in print volume (most of the decline is 30% to 40%), it is also possible to make full use of the advantages of digital printing to launch more newspapers aimed at niche readers, or follow For newspapers with regional content segmentation, there are also many successful foreign cases in this regard, such as Symeta in Belgium and CSQ in Italy.
At present, Beiren Group has developed and launched an on-demand publishing and printing overall solution for the Chinese publishing industry, including:
(1) For mass printing and publishing, Beiren Group provides intelligent and digital publishing and printing solutions, that is, traditional printing equipment transformed with intelligent and digital technology, and relying on industrial robots and intelligent technology to break all islands in the printing process. Thereby greatly improving printing efficiency and quality, reducing costs and waste;
(2) For small-batch publishing and printing, Beiren Group provides digital printing solutions. This is a complete solution that includes both digital printing presses and digital finishing equipment. It also enables Chinese users to "affordably and smoothly use , Use well" digital printing solutions.
High-speed inkjet printing also has certain application potential in the field of packaging printing. Due to the relatively low operating cost of high-speed inkjet printing, it is very suitable for digital printing of packaging cartons. Existing equipment suppliers have launched special high-speed inkjet printing equipment for the packaging field. For example, HP has released two single-sided corrugated paper inkjet printing Equipment-HPPageWideWebPressT400S and HPPageWideWebPressT1100S, there are also many domestic customers who are watching and investigating. I believe that news of successful installation and application will come soon.
However, from the current point of view, there are still many packaging companies that are unwilling to adopt digital printing methods. The main reasons include the high cost of equipment and consumables; compared with traditional processes, the productivity of digital printing machines needs to be improved; and they cannot fully meet the requirements of finishing and packaging. Specific functions, etc. In response to these aspects, Beiren Group proposed to install digital inkjet units on traditional packaging equipment, combining the cost and quality advantages of traditional printing, and the variable information advantages of digital printing to form new traditional printing and digital printing with excellent cost performance. The hybrid printing equipment integrated with printing brings new profit growth points to users.
Digital label printing is a mature market with more competition. Due to the application of traceable labels promoted by national policies such as medicines and foods, the application of digital printing in this field has been very extensive. But for most domestic label companies, the application of digital inkjet printing is mainly focused on inkjet printing. With the increasing demand for personalized and anti-counterfeiting information in the label market, digital inkjet printing will become an important means for companies to implement personalized, diversified, and anti-counterfeiting label printing.