For many years developers of industrial inkjet systems have been constrained by the high cost of components such as printheads, drive electronics, and ink curing systems.
The performance of these components is not in doubt, and they work beautifully for OEMs making large complex systems, with prices to match. However, they don’t fit the business model of OEMs wishing to adopt UV inkjet technology in light industrial or commercial niches, perhaps upgrading from consumer inkjet or thermal transfer technology. These companies sell printers in higher volumes, and at lower price points, with fewer printheads on board. Until now, they have been unable to achieve the product cost targets that their markets demand. Many have resorted to re-purposing graphics printers purchased on the open market, with no support from the printhead manufacturer, and no certainty of supply.
To fill this gap, TTP has created FlexJet, an industrial UV inkjet platform based around Ricoh’s GH2220 printhead. In the simplest terms, FlexJet offers all the performance of high end industrial inkjet platforms, and the substrate flexibility of UV inks, at a significantly lower cost.
We have achieved this by applying nearly thirty years’ experience in the design of both mass-produced and high end industrial printing systems. In addition, TTP’s business model is to customize and license the design to OEMs, who can make FlexJet printers in-house, or work with a contract manufacturer. Either way, manufacturer margins are removed or significantly reduced. The third cost factor is the printhead itself: Ricoh are offering very attractive pricing on the GH2220.
FlexJet is fully modular: TTP’s engineers will configure a solution which fits any format from flatbed to web-based, and is custom-built to precisely suit each of our customers’ applications. We provide a full range of manufacturing support services, in addition to our design and development activities.
TTP is currently working with a number of ink vendors, and has achieved excellent print quality, adhesion and durability on plastic substrates with four ink vendors to date.
We will be launching FlexJet at InPrint, and showing an A3 flatbed prototype. This version will print at up to 600 x 600 dpi with 3 level greyscale, but 1200 dpi printing has been demonstrated in our labs. Our lead customers will be entering volume production early in 2018. Initial one-off R&D systems for lab trials and application development can be ordered at InPrint.
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