IMI Europe Inkjet Ink Development Conference

Conference Programme

Download the conference brochure

Download the conference brochure

15-16 March 2017

Aquatis Hotel, Lausanne, Switzerland

For more details about the Aquatis Hotel, please visit our venue page.

The IMI Europe Inkjet Ink Development Conference is aimed at ink development chemists looking to find out the latest products, technology and techniques, and exchange ideas with peers. The conference covers colorants, material dispersions, resins and polymers, photoinitiators, ink additives and other materials, analytical equipment and processing techniques.

The conference programme provides information on creating stable dispersions, the impact of additives on formulation performance, raw material quality and consistency for manufacturing, and other topical themes.


The conference is guided by a Technical Advisory Board consisting of key industry figures, including:

  • Dr Andy Hancock, Mexar

The Technical Advisory Board is chaired by Dr Tim Phillips of IMI Europe.

presenting companies

Adphos Digital Printing | Alchemie Technology | Amazon Filters | Armor Industrial Inks | Chemspeed Technologies | Fullbrook Systems | ImageXpert | Malvern Instruments | Mexar | Netzsch | Promethean Particles | Ricoh | Setas Kimya | Technische Universität Chemnitz | Tiger Coatings | University of Cambridge | University of Leeds | University of Manchester Graphene Centre | University of Sheffield | X-Rite

Additional Benefits


Meet with suppliers, industry experts and developers from other companies at our complimentary networking breaks, lunches and evening drinks reception. Excellent refreshments will help you enjoy this key part of the conference.

Sponsor Exhibits & Forum

Event sponsors will have their products and technology on display in the breakout area. In addition the Sponsors' Forum enables you to hear short presentations from sponsors with their latest news. If you are interested in becoming an event sponsor, please visit our sponsorship page.

Free report

Conference registration includes a free copy of the IT Strategies "The Numbers" market report.

Conference Programme

WEDNESDAY 15 March 2017

09:00-10:00 Registration
10:00 Morning session begins

Development of aqueous pigmented inkjet inks for industrial applications
Dr Andy Hancock, Technical Director, Mexar

This talk will outline some of the interest areas for aqueous pigmented inkjet inks for industrial printing. It will include a detailed overview of the technical challenges faced by formulators in this area. Specific applications such as textile printing and décor printing will be highlighted with some insights into the future, including single pass printing and the challenges this presents for inkjet ink developers.

Read Andy's blog article.

Inkjet printing inks for textiles - Challenges and potential solutions
Prof Long Lin, Digital Print Centre of Industrial Collaboration, University of Leeds

Whilst research and development into inkjet printing of textile fabrics started a few decades ago, the technology seems to have recently caught the imagination of the textile printing industry and embarked on a phenomenal upward spiral of technology improvement and application expansion!  This talk will present a view of existing challenges for both pigment-based and dye-based inkjet printing technology and potential solutions to such challenges, which will hopefully help propel the advancement of inkjet printing technology for textiles.

UV-curing inks for flooring applications
Dr Dieter Holzinger, R&D Manager Inkjet Ink, Tiger Coatings

In this presentation an overview regarding the usage of special UV-based inkjet inks for flooring applications will be given. A special focus will be on the melamine compatibility of these inks. Furthermore the different manufacturing processes of laminate that are compatible with the acrylate-based inks will be described. Additionally a comparison between water- and UV-based inks in technology and cost will be given. In an outlook the usage of UV-based inkjet inks for the production of Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs) will be introduced.


High quality reactive dyes and inkjet inks for industrial textile printing
Dr Mehmet Emre Şener, President, Setas Kimya Group

Setas Kimya has been a traditonal textile dyestuff manufacturer since 1966. During recent years Setas has focused on developing aqueous inkjet inks for the textile market. After successfully completing the disperse range (both sublimation and direct printing inks) Setas is now focusing on reactive inkjet dyes and inks. Using its own in-house reactive dye synthesis capabilities, Setas will produce not only monochlorotriazine reactive inks but also bifunctional reactive inks for the textile market to increase the colour yield on fabrics (thus decreasing the overall printing cost for users).

Inkjet printing for novel functional applications
Dr Patrick J. Smith, University of Sheffield

Inkjet printing has a number of distinct advantages which includes precisely positioning droplets at pre-determined locations on a substrate and depositing up to four different colours. The size of the droplets can be tailored but of greater interest is the reproducibility of droplet production. In this talk, I describe how these advantages have given rise to novel application areas in carbon fibre composites and in medicine and biology. In carbon fibre composites, discrete droplets of PMMA increase the toughness of the composite whilst maintaining the weight advantage of the composite. Promising dual material systems, made possible by inkjet, offers increases in strength and toughness. The ability to print more than one ink has led to the field of reactive inkjet printing, which has been used to pattern dental membranes and produce silk structures such as small micro-rockets.

13:00-14:30 Lunch
14:30 Afternoon session begins

Tools and tips for inkjet developers - waveform optimization
Yair Kipman, President, ImageXpert

In this presentation, ImageXpert will give a behind-the-scenes look at the systems used in inkjet R&D to produce better results in a shorter amount of time, with a focus on waveform optimization. This in-depth talk will provide recommended tests, tips, data, and actual results, based on observations taken from over three hundred ink, printhead, and printer developers. Topics include: an overview of available tools for waveform optimization and other R&D tasks, a step-by-step waveform optimization process with real images and data, and tips for bridging the gap between good jetting and good printing.

Read ImageXpert's blog article.

Effect of waveform on ink jetting performance
Dr Changlong Sun, Technical Sales Manager, Ricoh

Waveform optimisation is a key step to achieve good jetting performance for drop-on-demand piezo inkjet printheads. The waveform is a set of parameters used to control the activity of the piezo actuator, more specifically controlling the timing and amplitude of the actuator. Almost every ink is customised and every printer is a unique design in the fast expanding industrial inkjet market. This will require waveforms to be tailored for each ink and each system. This talk will cover how waveform optimisation can improve the ink jetting performance in the areas of controlling drop ligament, reduction of satellites, increasing jetting stability, etc.

Rheology measurements for inkjet inks
Mats Larsson, Product Technical Specialist, Malvern Instruments

Rheology is the science of flow and deformation of materials and covers many vital functions of our lives. Ink rheology is important not only for the jetting process but also on the formulation and manufacturing of inks. Another factor affected by ink rheology is the behavior on the substrate on which it is printed. This presentation will give an introduction to rheology, and some examples of rheological tests on different types of inks. Focus will be on ink stability before, during and after the jetting process and the demands on inks in different applications.

Read Mats' blog article.

Measuring high-rate rheology of inkjet fluids using a continuous jet experiment
Dr Oliver Harlen, University of Leeds

The processes of jetting and drop formation in inkjet printing are strongly affected by fluid rheology. During jetting the fluid experiences the sudden onset of very high shear and extensional flows, whilst the processes of break-off and break-up of the ligament are controlled by the resistance of the fluid to extension. However, traditional rheometers are designed for much more viscous fluids and cannot operate at the strain-rates and frequencies encountered in inkjet printing. This presentation discusses the use of a continuous jetting experiment to determine the extensional rheology of low viscosity fluids by measuring the thinning of the liquid bridges between drops prior to break-off. This rate of thinning is controlled by a balance between surface tension and the extensional stress in the fluid, providing a direct measure of the extensional viscosity under the conditions found in inkjet printing. Further information on fluid properties can be obtained from measuring the frequency and decay of oscillations of the drops after break-off, providing measurements of both the instantaneous surface tension and shear viscosity of the fluid.

How to use colour measurement systems to optimise ink development
Jochen Mohr, Applications Specialist, X-Rite

Whether you work in paints, plastics, textiles or printing, developing a new colour without using the right colour measurement systems and formulation tools can be an exercise in futility. It may take a dozen iterations before you get a colour that is visually acceptable if you are developing colours by eye.
During this presentation, we will describe the process of calculating formulas, making an initial formulation and measuring samples for comparison using a colour measurement system. This will simplify the process, get you to tolerance faster, remove guesswork and utilize your current ink supply. Whether you need to produce a specific colour, are trying to quickly turn around trending colours, or just want to make your colour creation process as fast and accurate as possible, the talk will describe how to optimize your ink development.

High-throughput and high-output formulation, application and testing of inks
Carine Marcos, VP Business Development, Chemspeed Technology

The ink development industry is seeking efficiency increases and raw material cost savings to face the increased demand for functionalized and highly performing inks. Automation of intelligent workflows allows for a tremendous increase in efficiency, flexibility, diversity, standardisation and speed in the entire formulation, application and testing process. Based on this concept, selected case studies of high throughput and high output formulation, application and testing of inks will be presented, including ink formulation (handling of liquids and powders with subsequent dispersion), ink application (draw down, gravure printing) and product characterisation and testing (viscosity, volume solid, stability, colour, conductivity, etc.).

18:00-19:00 Sponsors' Forum

Hear short presentations from the event sponsors.

19.00-20:30 Reception

Join us for wine, beer, canapés and good company!

THURSDAY 16 March 2017

09:00 Morning session begins

Water-based 2D-crystal inks: from formulation engineering to all-inkjet-printed devices
Prof Cinzia Casiraghi, Graphene Centre, University of Manchester

The isolation of two-dimensional (2D) materials using mechanical exfoliation allows the fabrication of heterostructure devices such as tunnel diodes, tunnelling transistors, photodetectors and light emitters. Exploiting the properties of 2D crystals for commercial applications requires a production method able to produce complex heterostructures on any substrate. Solution processing of 2D crystals allows fabrication techniques such as inkjet printing to be used. However, available formulations are not suitable for fabrication due to the re-mixing of different 2D crystals, leading to poor device performance. We demonstrate inkjet printable 2D crystal formulations, providing optimal film formation for multi-stack fabrication. We show examples of all-inkjet printed heterostructures, such as large area arrays of photosensors and programmable logic memory devices. In vitro cytotoxicity assays confirm biocompatibility, leading to potential biomedical applications.

Read Cinzia's blog article.

Hydrothermal synthesis of nanoparticles for inkjet printable inks
Dr Pete Gooden, Technical Manager, Promethean Particles

Promethean Particles design and develop bespoke inorganic nanoparticle dispersions by continuous hydrothermal synthesis and are currently commissioning the world’s largest continuous hydrothermal reactor system capable of producing multiple materials at ton scale. This technology allows for the continuous production of large volumes of metallic nanoparticles with no observable oxide impurity. Small uniform particles can enable applications such as low-T sintering conductive inks using metals like Cu and Ag. Also, the reduced particle size provides opportunities in the choice of print method and inkjet printing of these inks shows great promise, particularly for fine-feature circuitry on flexible substrates. Working with our partners, these materials have been formulated into inkjet printing inks, demonstrated using a Dimatix DMP printer, which display good conductivity of ~50 mΩ/□.

Read Pete's blog article.

Inkjet approaches to manufacture flexible electronics and beyond
Prof Dr Reinhard R. Baumann, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Digital Printing and Imaging Technology

Printing technologies are sustainable, resources saving technologies, which are becoming a general manufacturing technology for printed products that do not address the human visual sense anymore. Additionally inkjet digital printing technology provides product individualisation opportunities. By printing a layer stack of inks, e.g. giving the electrical functionalities insulation, conductivity and semi-conductivity, appropriate patterns can be manufactured which result in active electric circuitry. Beyond flexible and hybrid electronics applications further functionalities, e.g. catalysis, filtration and photonics are entering the industrialisation level. The paper will discuss opportunities, challenges and limitations of manufacturing systems for the industrialisation of printing smart objects at small batch sizes with functionalities beyond colour and of appropriate applications.

Near-IR drying solutions, case studies and benefits in functional inkjet printing applications
Dr Kai Bär, Managing Director, Adphos Digital Printing

Adphos' near-IR photonic technology can be applied for multiple fast, almost instantaneous heating, drying and sintering/curing processes. Based on a short introduction of the technology's working principle, the benefits will be outlined, evaluated and justified in real case applications including textile printing (sublimation inks and primers) and printed electronics (drying and sintering of conductive coatings). Finally we will outline new dryer design configurations for 3D-shaped components and introduce initial attractive results in high speed 3D-additive manufacturing.

Case study: The development of bespoke filter configurations for digital ink
David Ridealgh, Market Development Specialist, Amazon Filters

Today’s complex ink formulations can provide unique challenges with respect to implementing the most optimal filtration system. This case study highlights the problems associated with specifying filters based on standard micron ratings assigned using efficiency to particulate such as ACFTD (air cleaner fine dust test). Filter development work conducted at a major manufacturer of UV digital ink demonstrated the large discrepancy between stated and actual retention performance. Maximising of pigment transmission while at the same time retaining agglomerates and microgels was achieved through an iterative design process with the ink manufacturer. The final solution provided a consistent ink quality and eliminated the inconsistent jetting performance some customers were experiencing on wide format piezo DOD printers.

12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30 Afternoon session begins

Requirements and challenges in aqueous inks for flooring and packaging
Frank de Jonge, Business Development Director, Armor Industrial Inks

The presentation will examine the opportunities for water-based inkjet inks for key applications like flooring and packaging. In these cases the requirement for application performance and jettability presents significant formulation challenges based on the need for significant pigment loading and binder concentration. These challenges, along with substrate compatibility, pre- and post-treatment methods and suitable curing technologies will be discussed for each application, and latest developments presented.

Manufacturing of digital inks: Process improvements beyond the use of bead milling technology
Santiago Requena, Digital Inks Processing Global Product Manager, Netzsch

The process of manufacturing digital inks is not just about ultrafine grinding of particle suspensions into sub-micron or nano range. It is a far more complex set of processes such as solid/wet phase mixing, wetting out, interaction of chemicals and solid surface, stabilization and homogenization, plus of course fine grinding into the desired particle size distribution. Traditionally, most of these processes have been performed by premixing the components of the formulation and then by bead mills (pre or fine grinding). The more demanding requirements for digital inks have pushed into new or adapted technologies, such as vacuum feeding of solids, microcavitation of predispersion, medium pressure homogenizers and others to better suit the individual process steps.

Pigment dispersion technology for industrial inkjet inks
Dr Alan Hudd, Founder & Director, Alchemie Technology

The talk will highlight the key elements of inkjet ink design, especially focused on successfully developing inkjet inks based on difficult and functional materials. In particular, methods of creating chemically-stabilised colloidal, organic and inorganic pigment dispersions will be described for reliable and stable jetting performance. A range of typical difficult materials will be presented along with the argument that there should be no reason whatsoever to block an inkjet nozzle using pigment-based inkjet inks.

Large scale aerodynamic effects in inkjet printing
Dr Cristina Rodriguez-Rivero, Inkjet Research Centre, University of Cambridge

Industrial inkjet printing involves the accurate deposition of micrometric sized droplets onto a printing medium which moves at a constant speed relative to the printhead. It has been observed that the throw distance between the printhead and substrate and the velocity of the moving medium clearly affect print quality. Thus, the constrained throw distances and relative speeds used by current commercial systems limits applications of inkjet technologies in some markets. Therefore, increasing the throw distance without compromising print quality is a priority. Previous observations had pointed out how the motion of the ink droplets seemed to be affected by air currents and aerodynamic phenomena. This work presents an experimental investigation of the airflow dynamics within the gap between commercial printheads and a moving plane surface. This velocimetric technique based on high speed imaging and laser visualization gives a good insight into the process and how to improve printing conditions.

Measurement of stability of inkjet inks and control of foam formation using multiple light scattering
James Holloway, Technical Sales, Fullbrook Systems

Measuring the stability of inkjet inks at working concentrations is a challenging issue. The use of multiple light scattering allows the rate of any size change or migration to be measured and quantified at an early stage, which is essential for both development and quality control functions. The rapid nature of the test also makes it ideal for assessment of foam formation and collapse, allowing for the optimisation of anti-foam and de-foaming agents.

16:00 Conference ends