LumeJet, Coventry-based digital print innovator, has recently won a £250k Smart funding award from TSB for the development of LumeBar, a new type of photonic print head.
LumeBar prints in a single-pass, and can be tailored to different resolutions and wavelengths - including light beyond the visible spectrum - to suit a variety of applications. In combination with emerging coating technologies, LumeBar will make photonic printing available to digital print customers in sectors outside LumeJet’s current market of high-end commercial printers.
Photonic printing’s inherent advantages, high quality and productivity, are the Holy Grail for many packaging and plastic electronics requirements. Indeed, for many applications, photonics delivers opportunities in speed and precision impossible using conventional ink/toner-based solutions.
The LumeJet S200 printer, the first commercial product and proof of concept, features LumeJet’s unique, patented Digital Print Head for high-precision RGB printing at affordable cost. In future, customers can expect to see developments in both print heads and printers; higher productivity for lower cost.
The development of LumeBar confirms LumeJet as a provider of photonic imaging solutions. LumeBar may be commercialised by a different model, such that LumeJet will sometimes be the print head or print engine supplier, rather than the printer manufacturer. For the foreseeable future, both LumeJet’s Digital Print Head and LumeBar will be developed in parallel.
What is Photonic digital printing? For this, think inkjet with light. LumeJet’s unique, patented Digital Print Head beams tiny dots (> 0.005 mm) of calibrated light with unparalleled precision, single pass, edge-to-edge across light-sensitive media. Lumejet's first commercial product and proof of concept, the LumeJet S200 digital printer, currently in beta, will be launched at the InPrint Show in Hannover 8-10 April 2014.
Beyond the LumeJet S200 upgrade program, Lumejet are also developing photonic platform technology for inkless printing and patterning. LumeJet R&D is exploring lucrative opportunities for photonics in high-speed industrial printing applications - inline labelling and packaging, security; also emerging technologies for rapid prototyping of OLAE and plastic electronics.