Single Pass Inkjet System Design

High speed inkjet system design and process development

Monday 22 - Tuesday 23 January 2018

Ayre Hotel Astoria Palace, Valencia, Spain


This course provides an in-depth introduction to the real world challenges of high speed single pass printer design. The course focuses on five key areas:

Printer Development Process: Attendees will learn a proven printer development process, from market requirements to specific design suggestions. This includes an overview of drop placement error budgets, how to work effectively with key vendors plus methods required to make trade-off decisions.

Jetting Process: How does it work and how do the key process variables affect image quality and reliability? Questions answered such as “what limits the speed of printing?”, “what are the most common reasons for jetting reliability issues?” etc.

System Integration & Design Process: Commonly made mistakes during integration from ink supply design, encoder assembly, substrate transport system and other common integration issues plus specific design suggestions to minimise such issues.

Printhead & Ink Selection to Match Printing Application: List of printheads and inks that are available. Discussion of common printing applications with key variables affecting printhead and ink selection. Process to match printhead and inks to application requirements.

Application Process Development: Overview of process development and testing procedures to tune the printing process including ink/substrate tuning, time from print to drying, interstation vs. standard drying, ink formulation changes, print quality tuning on range of substrates, screening, colour laydown order, ink limiting, pre-treatment of substrate, etc.

High speed single pass production printer development is very challenging. This course provides a proven framework for printer development plus practical recommendations on key design areas, testing and solutions to common development mistakes. The course will assist those undertaking design or implementation of inkjet systems by providing critical insights to the design and implementation process. It also provides the knowledge and understanding to ask the right questions of vendors in the inkjet system selection and installation process.


Monday 22 January

12:30 - 13:30 Registration

13:30 Course begins

High speed printer development: Challenges & markets

  • Why digital printing?
  • Inkjet vs. conventional printing: The secret is the cost curve
  • Current & emerging single pass markets

Printer development process: Key areas of focus

  • Overview of product development: key points
  • System architectures
  • Process development basics: Marriage of printhead, system, ink formulation & substrates to meet market requirements
  • Market requirements & engineering specifications

Jetting process & effect of ink properties

  • Slow motion video of jetting
  • Printhead inputs & outputs diagram
  • Rectified diffusion: What is it & why does it result in reliability issues?
  • Flow-through vs. non-flow through printheads
  • Jetting effects of critical variables

Overview of drop placement error budgets

  • Common sources of errors
  • Error budgets concept
  • Banderly Curve: Determining drop placement errors
  • Printhead mounting errors
  • Substrate transport errors
  • Statistical method to calculate system errors
  • Sample calculation for single pass system (An Excel spreadsheet will be provided with sample calculations)

17.00 Session ends

18.00 – 19.00 Reception

Join us for local beers, wines and good company!

Tuesday 23 January

9:00 Course begins

Sub-system design

  • Encoder design
  • Printhead mounting
  • Print electronics integration
  • Drying/curing
  • Technical areas: Key points

Ink supply design

  • Non-recirculating
    • Vacuum feed
    • Pump feed
  • Ink recirculating systems
    • Constant pressure
    • Recirculating pump feedback systems
    • Low cost systems
  • White ink and high pigment load inks

Design of transport systems

  • Belt-based systems
  • Web-based systems
  • Sheetfed systems
  • Printing on 3D parts

Printhead selection to match printing application

  • Common printhead specifications
  • Application requirements: rotary printing, large print gap, interstation drying, substrate movement, etc.
  • Known constraints / issues for specific printheads
  • Fit between printheads and applications

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 Session begins

Ink selection to match printing application

  • Ink types and vendors
  • Recently developed ink types
  • Application requirements; open time, pigment loading, drying time, etc.
  • Method to identify potential vendors and select best vendor
  • Ink price negotiation strategies and risks
  • Recommended ink testing

Process development: The marriage of printhead, system, ink formulation and substrates

  • Common process variables that are tuned for an application
  • Process testing & equipment
  • Ink/substrate interaction
  • Process development: Key points

Vendor & outside resource management

  • Key vendors
  • Advice & services vendors provide – an under-utilised resource
  • Overall design & development management plan

Discussion of attendee’s projects

  • Attendee’s projects & issues they are experiencing
  • Rob Rogers will be available after the course for private discussion on specific projects

17:00 Course ends

Course Leader

Rob Rogers
Founder & President, Print3 Technologies

Rob Rogers is the Founder and President of Print3 Technologies, a one stop shop for contract engineering and technical consulting, assisting clients to rapidly bring world class inkjet products to market.

Rob has been involved in the inkjet industry for over 15 years, where he has been responsible for a wide range of inkjet production printing systems including high speed on-press variable data printers, an inkjet label printing press, a one hundred part per minute container printer, flooring printers, a solar cell deposition system and many others.

Rob formerly worked at Dimatix where he assisted international customers with new product development. Rob was a Co-Founder and Principal Engineer of Jetrion, an EFI company. While at Jetrion he was responsible for multiple custom inkjet production machines and the first commercially successful label press.

He has consulted for Heidelberg, Mark Andy, and many confidential clients. His team has recently designed and built a print engine for a confidential Fortune 500 company that was demonstrated at the DRUPA trade show.

Rob graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.