What Is Industrial Inkjet Printing?

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Inkjet technology is the process in which print-head ejects tiny droplets of ink onto the substrate without print-head actually making all kinds of physical contact.

The dots of various colored inks combine to provide photo-quality images. The main challenge lies in achieving a high level of precision and reliability.

The points are smaller than 70 microns and hence, the head must be positioned precisely to achieve resolution and good print quality.

This accuracy is only achieved by using a combination of science, technology and design. Although inkjet technology has been around since the 1950s, its application in the industrial environment has recently been explored.

Industrial continuous inkjet printers are broadly classified into two categories – continuous printing (CIJ) or drop on demand (DOD), with variants in each classification.

In terms of continuous inkjet technology, droplets are released continuously from print-head, whereas in the case of drop on demand technology, droplets are removed from print-head only when needed.

In the case of CIJ, the pump directs the liquid from the reservoir to one or more small nozzles, which emit a continuous flow of droplets at very high frequencies.

High frequency is achieved using piezoelectric crystals. Drops are then made to pass through the electrode, which gives a charge to each drop and is then made to pass through the deflection plate.

The electrostatic field is maintained and this determines which droplets are released and which droplets are collected and recirculated.

Because piezoelectric technology is used, high-speed inkjet printing is possible. Furthermore, high speed droplets allow relatively large distances between print-head and media.

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